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Experiential Learning: A Primer: CofC Peer & Aspirant Institutions EL Status

College of Charleston lists ten peer and aspirant institutions.  Four of these institutions provide substantive experiential education requirements


  • Appalachian State
  • Elon University
  • James Madison University
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • University of Tampa


  • Boston College
  • College of William and Mary
  • Miami University
  • University of New Hampshire

Of these one has a dedicated center for teaching excellence

  • Miami University

The four boxes below characterize the institutions that provide substantive experiential education requirements

Elon University

Elon University dedicates a single web page to experiential learning, recognizes five areas as experiential learning and links to a separate department or center for each area:

Univ. of Mary Washington

University of Mary Washington has no central EL center or web page.  EL is one requirement for their Gen Ed.   The EL requirements themselves are distributed throughout various departments.  

Here is a small sampling: 

  • Psychological Science has three courses listed as EL. 
  • Studies in Spanish has a web page of Experiential Learning: Research, Service, Internships, and Careers. 
  • Biology has a web page indicating “ways in which biology majors can satisfy the beyond the classroom requirement” (which is apparently another way of saying “experiential learning” - even though the term experiential learning” is actually in the URL for this page.) 
  • Political Science and International Affairs as a small section about satisfying the EL requirement with internships, student research, and study abroad.

Univ. of North Carolina Wilmington

Other than a white paper on EL (Applied Learning in Higher Education), University North Carolina Wilmington has no central EL clearing house.  It appears that each school offers EL opportunities, but the term “experiential learning is not universally used and is instead referred to mostly as “applied learning.” 

  • The Cameron School of Business has a section for “applied learning.” These opportunities are scattered across the various departments and include programs, practicums, projects, research groups, competitions, clubs, trips, and initiatives.
  • The College of  Arts & Sciences does mention “experiential learning” in the small print. These “opportunities” include CAS scholarships, internships, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate research. 
  • College of Health and Human Services does not mention EL or applied learning on its main  page.  However, the UNCW School of Nursing has a Simulation Learning Center to “improve healthcare outcomes through applied simulation learning.” 
  • Wastan College of Education ironically does not mention EL or even “applied learning.”  But, it does have a link to “field experiences,” which opens to the Office of Professional Experiences.  These include field experiences and internships.  There is also a section called “student engagement” that is focused on engaging “student leaders” in facilitating “student success.”

Miami University

Miami University has a dedicated Center for Teaching Excellence, which serves as the focal point for Miami University experiential learning. MU recognizes at least six areas of EL:

  • Designated Service-Learning courses

  • Credit-bearing or non-credit-bearing internships (numbered 340)

  • Credit-bearing or non-credit-bearing independent studies (numbered 177, 277, 377 or 477) that involve significant independent work focusing on research and including a presentation, lab, or archive component (carrying the “R” modifier)

  • Undergraduate Summer Scholars Program courses

  • Student teaching

  • Clinical courses