The faculty Steering Committee for Experiential Learning was established in 2011 "to provide academic oversight of experiential learning offerings." Experiential learning in H&S, as the committee has defined it, is fundamentally an academic enterprise, with the goal of engaged student learning at the heart of it; although administrative support is necessary to support experiential learning, only faculty oversight can ensure that experiential learning retains academic integrity and meets established learning goals. Four models of experiential learning are included in the purview of this committee:
- cultural immersion
- civic engagement/service learning
- professional practice (including internships)
- undergraduate research/scholarship.
Committee Charge and Responsibilities
The Steering Committee is charged with maintaining and furthering the academic quality of experiential learning in H&S. Responsibilities include:
- working with appropriate faculty and administrative bodies (e.g., Office of Civic Engagement, HSCC Curriculum Committee, H&S General Education Committee, H&S departments, Office of the Registrar, etc.) to clarify the role of, and to develop processes for, incorporating experiential learning into the academic core of H&S
- developing curriculum within H&S with experiential learning as the focus (e.g., a “discovery” internship course open to any student in H&S)
- developing assessment rubrics for experiential learning courses;
- developing new programming to support experiential learning in H&S (e.g., Summer Scholars program);
- establishing guidelines related to for-credit internships, related to the roles of the faculty sponsor and site supervisor, and expectations for students;
- serving as a resource to H&S faculty who are developing and
delivering experiential learning opportunities.
Composition and Appointment
The Steering Committee for Experiential Learning consists of a minimum of six faculty members, one each from the four major disciplines of H&S (Humanities, Natural Sciences/Math/Computer Science, Social Sciences, and Fine Arts) and two at-large members. In addition, prospective committee members are expected to have experience teaching courses with experiential learning components; ideally, all four of the models of experiential learning, to the degree possible, will be represented in faculty member expertise. Full-time, continuing faculty members are eligible to participate in the committee.
The Associate Dean for Curriculum and Undergraduate Programs and the Program Assistant for experiential learning from the Dean’s Office will also participate.
The Dean’s Office coordinates appointment to the committee; committee members will be appointed for two-year terms. A call for membership goes out in the spring of the academic year. Continuing and newly-appointed committee members will elect a chair at the conclusion of the academic year to serve the following year.