Starting in Fall 2018, all incoming students are encouraged to engage in at least one Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) during their undergraduate years. Soon students entering Fall 2018 and later will be able to view and share their participation in experiential learning in a USC verified Experiential and Engaged Learning Transcript.
Experiential learning helps students put complex concepts in a real-world context and deepens understanding. USC focuses on Experiential Learning Opportunities in five areas:
- Community Service / Service Learning
- Global Learning (e.g., Study Abroad and local cultural opportunities)
- Internships, Co-ops, and Other Work-based Experiences
- Peer Leadership
Experiential Learning Opportunities include for-credit and non-credit bearing experiences. All opportunities ensure high quality by meeting the same criteria.
- Significant time and effort: A minimum of 45 hours of engagement in which students are applying learning in a real world context. Hours can include time spent in preparation for and reflection on the experience.
- Clear expectations: Expectations for participation are shared with students in written form (e.g., syllabus, guide, or handbook) and/or through individual or group meeting sessions.
- Required reflection: Students reflect on learning and its application through assignments (e.g., projects, papers, presentations), journals, blogs, group sessions, or one-on-one meetings.
- Feedback: Students receive feedback from a faculty, staff, or a graduate assistant (as well as potential peer feedback) on their participation and/or learning.
See Proposing Experiential Learning Opportunities[pdf] page 3 for further details on criteria.
Official University Record of Purposeful Engagement
USC is developing options for students to be able to share a record of their completion of purposeful experiences beyond the classroom in a separate Experiential and Engaged Learning Record (a companion to the academic transcript). The record will include for-credit and non-credit opportunities and is being developed through a system called Beyond The Classroom Matters®. Student completion of experiences will be verified by experience providers and collected through Banner and other systems. Experiential and Engaged Learning Records will be available to students who entered USC Columbia Fall 2018 or later.
Details on Submitting Proposals
Before submitting a proposal, read further detail on Proposing Experiential Learning Opportunities[pdf]. Please note that if you are a faculty member leading a study abroad for-credit program, your study abroad course already has ELO approval through the Study Abroad Office. When you have coordinated within your unit and have support materials ready to attach, login and then click on the “create new proposal” button to get started.
Contact Lara Ducate, Faculty Executive Director of CIEL for further information.