FSU is largest US University to add experiential learning criterion
Posted on June 18, 2019
Florida State University is all set to become the largest US University to include the criterion for experiential learning. It is embarking on a fresh initiative that has the potential for creating one of the most robust and diverse talent pipelines in the US.
FSU is already a leader in the US in terms of student success. It now plans to enrich the learning experience of students by adopting a graduation requirement for experiential learning for Undergraduates. It will become the most diverse and largest US University to have such a requirement after implementation.
Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs Sally McRorie said that every student can and must take part in career-building, transformative experiential learning. By this, we will assist to reshape the possibilities of talent development in public higher education. It is by deploying new resources, partnerships, and approaches added the Provost.
Experiential learning is also known as formative experiences in the curriculum of FSU. It involves strengthening and applying skills and knowledge through hands-on experience. This is outside the classrooms that are assessed by staff or faculty. It includes significant leadership experiences, study abroad, undergraduate creative or research activity, service learning, and internships.
The requirement for graduation will be implemented from summer or fall 2019 for Undergraduate students entering the University. The gamut will be run by qualified experiences. This will range from conducting lab research to student teaching and curating an art show to studying overseas as an FSU Global Scholar.
McRorie said that research has demonstrated that students’ academic performances are enhanced by high-quality experiential learning participation. It includes graduation rates, higher GPAs, and also enhances the post-graduation outcomes of students. This helps them in entering graduate school or securing jobs, she added.
The Provost added that these experiences have the ability to assist students in identifying their passion. These also deepen their experiences, broaden professional networks, and build their skills added McRorie.
Other large public Universities in the US with graduation requirement of experiential learning are the Kent State University, Miami University and the University of Georgia.
Around 75% of the Undergraduates at FSU complete minimum one experiential learning opportunity prior to graduation. This is as per the survey of the seniors graduating from this US University. Many of the students complete a formative experience included in their requirements for a degree program.
Professor of Biological Science and Liberal Studies Policy and Coordinating Committee Chair at the Faculty Senate James Fadool elaborated on the initiative. As a member of the faculty, it is rewarding to see students taking ownership of their education said Fadool. They critically reflect and evaluate the outcomes of their choice and become engaged in decision making, he added.
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