Faculty applications to the Experiential Learning Development Program, an award that puts a faculty pair from an academic department through a nine-month program to enhance that department’s experiential learning requirements, are due Friday.
Experiential learning describes when students get outside of their classroom to do internships, mission trips, study abroad, service learning or undergraduate research.
“Experiential learning is the opportunity for students to get outside of their home classroom setting and have the opportunity to to be in situations where they’re faced with new experiences, where they have to adapt, where they encounter new perspectives, where they’re engaging in problem solving and and apply their learning and their skills in a setting that was not dictated to them,” said Derran Reese, director of experiential learning. “They’re having to learn to adapt to real life situations. and so it takes all the great knowledge and skills they’re learning in classrooms and then being in in situations where they have to apply that learning adapts to the situation, overcome obstacles and expand their perspectives and horizons depending on the situation they’re in.”
The Experiential Learning Development program helps departments implement a new experiential learning requirement for an undergraduate degree program.
Departments who have not already participated in the program will be given priority once applications are received, then two faculty members from each accepted department will be chosen to participate.
According to the Adams Center, the two chosen faculty members will each be awarded $2500 to work on the project during the summer. The faculty pair will be required to participate in monthly meetings with the director of experiential learning, the executive director of the Adams Center and other ACCEL staff.
“A key part of experiential learning also is to be able to reflect on the experience and then even opportunity to reconceptualize the knowledge that they’ve learned in their fields, so part of this is not just getting students to engage in an experience like study abroad or an internship, but also to then have the opportunity to meaningfully reflect on that experience,” Reese said. “Now it’s coming to the forefront where they can think about the challenges they face, problems they had to overcome, and think about what they’ve learned in the classroom.”
In their application, faculty members should address which faculty will work on the project, which majors or tracks the new requirement would fall under, any current experiential learning requirements, benefits of experiential learning for the students in their department, and what outcomes the program requirement will meet. Those accepted into the program will be chosen by the vice provost, director of experiential learning, executive director of the Adams Center and co-chair of the Faculty Development Committee. Departments will be notified of their acceptance by Dec. 4.
“The objective for the ELDP is develop faculty understanding and expertise in Experiential Learning and to integrate experiential learning into all undergraduate degree plans,” said the Adams Center. “The goal of the Experiential Learning Development Program is to encourage and support departments and programs as they move through implementing the strategic plan into their departments.”