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Experiential Learning Course Guidelines

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Courses are designated as EL by application from the department to the Committee on Academic Policy. Application should include a rationale for the designation based on the criteria above. If a department believes that the course meets the intentions of an EL designation but falls short of meeting all four criteria, it may petition the CAP for an exception.

The courses should meet one or more of the following student learning outcomes. In EL designated courses, students should participate in and be evaluated on how they:

  1. Produce, either individually or collaboratively, research or creative work of which they have significant ownership and share the research or creative work through presentations, written work, performances, or exhibitions.
  2. Complete an internship or practicum for credit in which they explore career interests and gain work experience.
  3. Engage local, national, or global issues through relationships with community partners that are mutually beneficial.
  4. Develop their cultural understanding and awareness of social and cultural systems while studying off-campus or participating in significant immersive actions.
  5. Courses focused on other types of experiences may be approved by the CAP through a petition that explains how components of the course fit the intentions of the EL program and that specifies learning objectives.

Implementation Guidelines

Departments and Programs will submit proposals to CAP for approval of an EL designation for a course that meets the four basic criteria below:

  • Course includes components that emphasize learning by doing or hands-on learning as a substantial means of learning in the course.
  • Course requires opportunities for structured reflection on and critical analysis of the experiential components. The course should provide required reflection activities that help the student think about the experience and what they have learned from it in a systematic way.
  • Course requires connection and synthesis of the experiential component with academic elements in the course. Disciplinary content, pedagogy, and/or methods should be linked to the experience through readings, preparation for the activity, learning goals, or reflection. Different forms of EL may use different methods of connecting the academic and experiential.
  • Course extends beyond the typical classroom in a manner appropriate for the discipline. Internships, practica, community engagement projects, and immersive off-campus experiences offer opportunities to engage beyond the classroom. Engagement beyond the classroom might include publications, conference presentations or posters, public presentations, distribution of a final product or paper to community partners or organizations, public performances, exhibitions, or the production work supporting performances and exhibitions.
  • Courses will be capped between 12 and 20, based on the particular pedagogical requirements of the instructor

(passed by Faculty on Sept. 25, 2019)

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