Experiential Education

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Student and instructor in a lab

Experiential education empowers students to learn by doing, allowing them to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real world experiences.

Experiential learning is vitally important to students' educational and career outcomes in that it:

  • Makes learning relatable to students:  Students build on what they already know and are provided with opportunities to make connections between new concepts and existing ones.
  • Increases the effectiveness of learning:  Students engage in critical thinking, acquire problem-solving skills and engage in decision-making.
  • Links theory to practice:  Students have the chance to engage in the experience and practice what they have learned, see the application of theoretical concepts in practice, process that application and make generalizations.
  • Increases students' engagement by encouraging collaboration and scaffolding between learners.
  • Assists in memory retention by building strong relationships between feelings and thinking processes.  Students have the capacity to learn successfully when the information is associated with values and feelings. 
  • Leads to development of skills for lifelong learning by assisting in the acquisition of essential skills and encouraging students to reflect, conceptualize, and plan for next steps.

The Career Development Center at SIU offers several opportunities for experiential education.  These include:

  • Saluki Mentor Network
  • Externships
  • Internships