Examples of experiential learning at Ithaca College

This section includes a few examples of experiential-learning opportunities from service trips to innovative programs offered by our schools at Ithaca College.


  • Experiential-Learning Trip to Alaska Helps Local Tribes with their Taxes

Business School students and a faculty member participated in a service-learning trip to Alaska to help members of local tribes with their taxes on a pro bono basis. This was an offshoot of the local Volunteer Income Tax Program that Accounting majors and other Business School students participate in. The VIT Program takes the angst out of dealing with annual tax returns for individuals in the community making under $54,000, persons with disabilities, and the elderly. All students become IRS-certified volunteers to qualify for income tax preparation. The Business School-sponsored program was developed in partnership with the Alternatives Federal Credit Union. Read more about the trip to Alaska.  Ithaca College students give Alaskan villagers tax assistance. The Ithacan, March 18, 2015


  • IMC Capstone Labs Operate Like Real-world Creative Agencies

The Integrated Marketing Communications program offers a variety of capstone labs that operate like creative agencies for students to address challenges and recommend solutions for real-world organizations throughout the semester. Recent awards include Ad Lab receiving a prestigious first place award for the nationwide American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition. Public Relations Lab won two competitive PRism Awards from the Rochester Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and a Gold Award from the international AVA Digital Awards honoring creative work in digital communication. Here are a few stories on the labs offered by IMC:

Ad Lab relishes its first place win in advertising competition. The Ithacan, August 28, 2019

Students Win PR Competition. IC News. July 2, 2020

Alumnae Awarded for Social Justice PR Campaign. IC News, October 25, 2021

Health Sciences & Human Performances

  • Clinical Programs Benefit the Bombers, the Campus, and the Community

An example of an on-campus clinical education experience is how future athlete trainers support the Bombers Athletics Program. The Athletics and Events Center houses three equipped facilities for athletic training services. In addition, students in the Department of Exercise Science and Athletic Training rotate at the Ithaca College Hammond Health Center on campus, as well as at Cornell University, medical centers, and other off-campus sites. Read more about athletic trainers and their work with IC sports teams

Humanities & Sciences

  • Ithaca College Natural Lands for Experiential Learning

The 85-acre Ithaca College Natural Lands has been a valuable outdoor classroom for courses and research in environmental studies, biology, anthropology, and others. In the Framing the Forest Environmental Studies course, faculty and students collaborate to create sustainable products from the lands. Students make and sell their products— balms, honey, maple and hickory syrups, and wooden utensils and carvings – under the South Hill Forest Products brand. Founded in 2008, the student-run company includes student talent from other programs and schools. For more information about existing or potentially new experiential learning opportunities on Ithaca College Natural Lands, send an email to icnl@ithaca.edu. Also read a story about the land. 

Student workers maintain the Ithaca College Natural Lands. The Ithacan, October 12, 2017.

Collaborative Project with Music

  • The Music as Medicine Project

Can music help those experiencing memory impairment? A collaborative effort with the School of Music (renamed the School of Music, Theatre and Dance in summer 2022), the Gerontology Department, the Department of Recreation Leisure Studies, the Office of Civic Engagement, and the Center for Faculty Excellence wanted to discover the possibilities through the formation of a service-learning program called The Music as Medicine Project. Students used live performances and technology to provide aging people suffering with dementia and other memory loss illnesses with coping and communication techniques. Ithaca College’s program is an affiliate of the national Music as Medicine Program, with its mission to “help our communities metabolize systemic trauma, cultivate energy for action, reconnect with the more-than-human world, and create meaningful artistic cultures.” Read more about the project.

Staying Sharp: Service project links music to memory. The Ithacan, April 13, 2016 

Share examples of experiential learning in your courses

Please contact us if you have a story to share about experiential learning in your IC courses.