Experiential education offers real-world components of an undergraduate education that complement the on campus academic learning. Primary examples range from full-time, paid cooperative education and internships in the student’s major field of study to part-time volunteer community service-learning experiences.

Other such experiences can include study abroad or undergraduate research with faculty members, which often fit well within the academic curriculum and may award credit for the experience. The common aspect of such experiences is that they allow the student to apply the academic learning from the classroom to the real world in a way that can powerfully complement the academic curriculum. Students, who obtain these experiences and reflect upon them, typically develop a much stronger understanding of their college career goals. That leads to three key outcomes that are of great public concern today: retention, persistence to graduation and greater career success. The recent Gallup-Purdue poll study highlights the importance of these kinds of experiences in producing engagement in college and at the workplace many years later.

This Colloquium will bring together academic leaders who will provide exemplary applications of experiential education principles to higher education. Our goal is have CAOs understand:

  1. The transformational power of experiential education for students
  2. The high impact of experiential education on their institutions
  3. How experiential education strengthens recruitment, retention & persistence to graduation
  4. The relationship of experiential education and institutional accreditation
  5. The resources available to develop & enhance their experiential education programs