Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning can be most simply defined as “learning by doing”. More specifically, experiential learning offers opportunities for one to learn through reflection on what they are doing. This type of learning is integral to your overall education as it allows you to apply what you are learning, gain hands-on experience, and in some cases, network with professionals in your field of interest. There exist many pathways to experiential learning within and outside of the classroom. More common experiences are:

Internships and Cooperative Education Experiences

Internships and cooperative educational experiences (co-ops) offer students an opportunity to gain direct experience in a work setting. Often these experiences align with the student's career interests, but they also offer ways to explore different fields of work. These experiences are typically supervised by professionals in the field who could eventually become professional references and/or provide connections to a larger network of professional colleagues. Many academic departments in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences (CHSS) facilitate internship placement and the Center for Professional Success is home to the CHSS Match Internship Program through which students can be matched with an internship that fits their professional interests. Other internships can be found at ProfsJobs. Microinternships offered through Parker Dewey can also provide valuable shorter-term projects that are paid and entirely remote. 

Service Learning

Going beyond volunteerism, service learning engages students in direct experiences in which they analyze and solve problems in the community. Application in a real-world setting and reflection are key aspects of service learning. Rowan's Office of Volunteerism & Community Engagement offers many ways for students to engage in service-learning, such as alternative spring break. The office also facilitates volunteer and leadership opportunities. Interested in volunteering with a community partner on a more ongoing basis? Email volunteer@rowan.edu to set up a time to discuss volunteer opportunities. 

Case Studies and Project-Based Learning

Often collaborative in nature, case studies and other project-based learning activities engage students in learning to work and solve problems while listening to the insights of those who come from different backgrounds and life experiences. Students seeking to engage in project-based learning may be interested in enrolling in the 1-credit Interdisciplinary Case Studies in the Liberal Arts course through which you will work on a team and with a faculty coach to solve an interdisciplinary problem. 

Faculty-Led Research

By working with faculty on research outside of the classroom, students can build upon their independent research projects to better hone skills in systematic investigation, empirical observation, and academic writing. Opportunties could range from supporting a faculty member with a review of sources to conducting a research study. These experiences offer the unique space for students who are interested in graduate school to enhance their research and writing skills while exploring research interests along the way. 

Whether you are seeking to fulfill the CHSS Experiential Learning requirement or simply looking to get more involved experiential learning, the Center for Professional Success can be a great resource. Looking for something else? Our team can connect you with other opportunities within CHSS and across the campus; just make an appointment on the Rowan Success Network.