Experiential learning can occur both in and out of the classroom, as well as on or off campus. It includes labs and performances, summer research and internships, community outreach programs and leadership institutes, among many other things. What holds these diverse experiences together is that students are acquiring knowledge and skills from a structured learning opportunity.

Here at Hamilton, there is a wide variety of credit-bearing courses that use experiential learning methods to promote linkages between disciplinary studies and meaningful engagement with the society-at-large. Any Hamilton credit-bearing course using experiential learning methods engages rigorous and structured college-level learning with disciplinary and/or programmatic content and focus, and a complementary pedagogy. Within these courses students must demonstrate achievement of learning goals through a synthesis of experiential learning and other course content.

  • On-campus courses using experiential learning methods incorporate labs, productions, exhibits, and research studies.
  • Off-campus learning opportunities integrated into courses use methods such as field studies, research studies and theoretical applications and can be found at a distance (e.g., Adirondack Park, New England Center for Children, New York City, and Washington, D.C.) or close by within the local community (e.g. schools, social initiatives, and other diverse organizations).

Here are a few representative courses:

Hamilton also has a rich tradition of co-curricular community-based experiential opportunities that allow students to engage in service to the campus and local communities. Emerson Summer Grants, Levitt Center Initiatives, Alternative Spring Break, ABC House Tutors, and COOP Community Service Interns all engage in community-based learning. These activities and a variety of other experiential learning occasions give students the opportunity to synthesize formal academic learning outside the structures of a traditional college classroom or independent study.

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