Experiential learning is a key component of St. Edward’s undergraduate General Education. This type of learning engages students outside of the classroom to broaden and deepen their awareness of societal problems and participate in community-based activities that address these issues.

Types of Experiential Learning

  • Introductory Experiential Learning exposes students to foundational experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom.
  • Advanced Experiential Learning provides more robust and meaningful experiential learning opportunities with additional engagement required of the student in both time and effort.

Through the Experiential Learning for Social Justice (EL4SJ) mission marker course in the General Education requirement, all undergraduate students will complete at least one introductory experiential learning opportunity. Students may have additional curricular and co-curricular introductory experiential learning opportunities during their time at St. Edward’s.

As articulated in Strategic Plan 2027, 100% of undergraduate students will complete at least one
advanced experiential learning opportunity before graduation. To support this goal over five years, constructing definitions of experiential learning areas and establishing clear criteria for advanced experiential learning across the university is key to overall success.

As a result, St. Edward's has developed five definitions for advanced experiential learning:

1. Internships and Field Experience

2. Research and Creative Works with Faculty

3. Immersive Domestic and International Travel Experiences

4. Service-Learning and Volunteering

5. Student Employment/Leadership On and Off Campus

Advanced Experiential Learning Criteria

To achieve rigor through time and effort, an Advanced Experiential Learning opportunity must meet all of the following criteria:

1. Quantitative: 60 clock hours within a semester. Equal to 1 credit or 4 hrs/week for 16 weeks.

2. Intentional: The experience should be purposeful, planned in advance with explicit goals and intended outcomes.

3. Beneficial: Support students’ interests, career readiness, and aspirations.

4. Supervised: The experience should be supervised, including ongoing faculty, staff, supervisor and/or community involvement in all phases.

Optional Enhancements

Advanced Experiential Learning opportunities can be enhanced or further enriched by meeting one or more additional criteria:

  • Offer credit hours or financial payment.
  • Provide opportunities for reflection.
  • Occur in or simulate a "real-world" context as much as possible.
  • Present a meaningful challenge to the student.
  • Incorporate active learning, with the student an active participant in all stages of the experience from planning to evaluation.
  • Enriched, with access to materials, resources, and support systems.
  • Opportunity to learn, with adequate time and quality of opportunities.
  • Involve the application of concepts/knowledge learned in the student's regular course work.