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11.23 Experiential Learning Program

Approved by Academic Council on Nov. 11, 1999

The University is committed to making available to every qualified student at least one Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) appropriate to the student's program of study.

The rationale behind a policy that guarantees the availability of experiential learning opportunities for all eligible students is based on an assumption that University graduates should be competent for both work and life. Gaining competence involves not only the acquisition of knowledge, but also learning to effectively utilize that knowledge.

Experiential learning opportunities provide potential for learning to occur, and for skills to develop through direct, physical interaction with the environment; appropriate practical experiences help students relate theory to practice, and make connections between education and the world in which they will live and be active. Experiential learning opportunities focus on the contextual aspects of knowledge and learning occurs through induction rather than deduction. Experiential learning is learning by doing, learning by interactions with others, and learning by exposure and immersion.
The nature of experiential learning is such that it requires sufficient time in the learning environment for knowledge and skills to develop and sufficient time to critically evaluate what has been learned. Experiential learning opportunities involve hands-on experience and encourage both reflection and analysis.

  1. Policies related to experiential learning are developed by the Experiential Learning Oversight Committee (ELOC) and approved by the Academic Council. These policies include:
  2. Guidelines for Experiential Learning Opportunities
  3. Procedures to assist units in developing and maintaining ELOs in accord with the Guidelines
  4. Policies for compensating faculty for supervising the academic component of every Experiential Learning Opportunity

Information about these policies is available from the Chair of the Experiential Learning Oversight Committee, through the Office of the Provost.