Experiential learning requirements to be streamlined

The experiential learning, EXP, now allows for multiple EXP credits to appear on student’s transcripts with a streamlined process to make completing EXP credits easier for students.

Following the changes made in the 2021-22 academic year which moved the experiential learning requirement from the core to a general graduation requirement, more changes will be implemented in this upcoming summer to streamline the process for completion and to provide the students with more opportunities to have multiple EXP courses on their transcript.   

Christie Shrefler, director of the Center for Global Exploration, said that the main goal of the change was to make the process simpler and more equitable for students across campus.   

“In the past, students had to complete several forms before the experience, find an EXP mentor, and then complete an evaluation and write an essay at the end,” Shrefler said. “Beginning this summer, students will be registered for a specific EXP section like EXP 300 internships or EXP 300 Study Abroad and then complete a survey at the end of the experience to help them reflect and guide them through the outcomes.”   

Once enrolled in the designated course, students will fall under a particular staff or faculty member instead of being required to find a faculty mentor for their experience. Shrefler is the faculty member for study abroad. Laura Hopkins, an assistant professor of public health and prevention science, is the faculty for the students handling research. Patti O’Grady, the director for orientation and new student programs, is handling experiential leadership. Marsita Ferguson, the interim director for the David & Frances Brain Center for Community Engagement, is handling service, and Dominique Edmonds, the internship & recruiting coordinator, is the faculty member for students using an internship to fulfill their EXP credits.   

While the process will be slightly different with the changes, students will still have the same options to complete the credit needed for graduation. These include completing any course with a designated X or S attached to the course number or participating in a study abroad, service, leadership, research or internship opportunity.    

Additionally, students now have the option to ‘stack’ their EXP credits, allowing multiple EXP courses to appear on their transcript throughout their time at BW. Shrefler said that while students may not need the credit, having multiple EXP credits on their transcript can be beneficial for post-graduation.   

“The more experiential learning [the students] do, the better their BW story becomes,” Shrefler said. “That story will help them get jobs, get into grad school, or simply help them figure out how to do hard things in the future.”   

The new process will pilot in the summer, and Shrefler hopes that it will allow more students to complete more experiences throughout their time at BW and treat them as more than just a graduation requirement.   

“I hope students, faculty, and staff find that the process is simpler and that we get campus-wide buy-in that students should be doing more and tracking it. We also hope that this change will help students recognize the value of experiential learning,” Shrefler said. “Rather than this being a graduation requirement, this is an opportunity to acquire new skills, promote self-awareness, develop more empathy, engage in their community and so much more.”