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"In these programs, field-based “experiential learning” with community partners is an instructional strategy—and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good."
Before joining AAC&U, I worked at a large university as a program director and counselor in career services, focusing much of my time on helping students identify their interests, figure out the connections between their academic majors and future careers, and test out these interests and connections experientially, most commonly through internships.
The beauty of internships is that they can serve different purposes for different students. For those students just beginning to figure out their choice of major and career interests, an internship can help them to become aware of the many different kinds of organizations comprising “the world of work,” build early professional experience, and sometimes discover what they don’t want to do. For those students who are clearer about their career interests and academic pursuits, an internship can help them apply what they are learning in “real world” settings, gain more substantial professional experience, and begin to develop a network of people in fields that interest them. Continue reading...
CCBC & Service Learning
Campus Compact defines service-learning in the following way: “Service-learning incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community.” We see service-learning as a win-win situation where the student meets a community need, and the community organizations build student knowledge that relates to course curriculum.