Experiential Educator Feature
Why is experiential learning a priority for you?
I value providing students with practical experience in the classroom that will prepare them for the workplace. Social Work is an applied science; therefore, students need ample experiences to prepare them for real-world challenges.
Can you give us an example of a successful experiential learning engagement that you've coordinated/delivered?
My students and I had the pleasure of working with two incredible industry partners. For one project, students presented findings on the floral industry’s impact on the environment and created a corporate social responsibility plan for a preserved floral company. The other project centered upon raising awareness about homelessness, in which students created an online public awareness campaign and drafted language for children’s books.
What's the most challenging part of being an #ExperientialEducator? (coordinating/delivering an experiential learning curriculum to students)
Combating student perfectionism and managing change are the most challenging aspects of being an experiential educator.
What skills do your students use when engaged in experiential learning?
Students engage in higher-order thinking skills, including practical application, analysis, evaluation, and creation. In addition to cognitive skills, experiential learning provides an opportunity for students to practice important social skills necessary for collaborative work environments.
What advice do you have for faculty and institutions considering experiential learning?
Normalize imperfection in professional settings at the onset of the project and set aside additional time for revision, check-ins, and group processing.