Simply put, experiential education is “learning-by-doing.” It is hands-on and participatory.
Experiential learning happens in lots of places and in a wide variety of situations. It happens in laboratories and neighborhoods, in office buildings and national forests, in the corporate arena and the public sector, in field research settings and inner cities, in other cultures and in our own backyard.
It occurs in every dimension of the K-Plan, and has for more than 40 years. Kalamazoo College students find an experiential education through:
- Center for Career and Professional Development programs. 71 percent of K students participate in career coaching, networking receptions, career workshops, internships, externships and career treks, among others;
- study abroad programs. 70 percent of students participate in a meaningful, immersive international and intercultural experience;
- Senior Individualized Projects. All students engage in a Senior Individualized Project, an in-depth research or creative project done in the senior year; and
- service-learning projects. About two thirds of students participate in community-based courses and student-led co-curricular programs.
But experience only presents the promise of learning. Those who make the most of these kinds of experiences have thought their way through them. They determine their goals up-front, they reflect on their observations throughout their experience and they analyze the outcomes. This is what the K-Plan is all about.
Excellent academics are the foundation of a college experience. Experiential learning offers the opportunity to deepen and contextualize intellectual thought. Theory learned but not tested remains an abstract idea. Theory applied connects the abstract with reality and the future. Learn more about Kalamazoo College and apply today.