Experiential Learning in the UD College of Arts and Sciences

Experiential Learning in the UD College of Arts and Sciences

February 23, 2020 0 By Stanley Isaacs


– For me, the value of
experiential learning outside of the classroom, doing the Dean’s Summer Fellowship, is that the time period that
we have in a typical class just isn’t enough to
cover the kinds of skills that I’m developing. I’m able to sit for these
big long stretches of time and really hone the
skills that I’m learning in a way that isn’t possible in a typical classroom setting. (heartfelt music) – I think experiential learning
is unique at the college because our students are
really reflective about how they’re going to apply their education to making a positive impact in the world. I think that they get
involved in these experiences to try and find ways to
apply what they’re learning in the classroom to address
real world challenges, and I think that really distinguishes the students and the college. – So this summer I’m receiving
some sediment samples from the Gulf of Mexico
and I’m analyzing those to look at the microbial activity and try to pinpoint some
biological chemical processes that can help mitigate the harmful effects of ocean acidification. – Experiential learning takes place across the College of Arts
and Sciences in many forms. A snapshot of experiential
learning underway can be found by looking at the annual Dean’s Summer Fellowship Program. This program makes it
possible for students in all of our majors
to have the opportunity to engage in a faculty-mentored undergraduate research experience. – My research this summer, thanks to the Dean’s Summer Fellowship, has allowed me to explore the early American labor movement. I actually was able to go to West Virginia and explore the archives of the American Flint
Glass Workers’ Union. I’m given the opportunity to spend an entire week away from campus delving into my research and
getting at the actual source of what I’m trying to explore. – The mentoring of students in research has long been a hallmark of the
College of Arts and Sciences and we have a significant
number of faculty that are drawn to this work. In fact, some came to work
at the University of Dayton because it is a priority in the college and the broader university. – The benefits of being
mentored by Dr. Biffinger are that I actually get to have one-on-one time with a
faculty member here at U of D, and it’s more of, like,
working side-by-side on research projects
instead of just having a professor-student relationship. We’re actually developing
and researching together side-by-side. – Getting to learn
cinematography one-on-one with Professor Simmons is so helpful because I really get that guidance of her looking over my shoulder and, like, tweaking the little things that I’m doing that, you know, when I’m
in my class of 30 students, it’s kind of hard for the professor to really give you that individual attention. So it’s really helpful
to have her helping hand. – In the College of Arts and Sciences, faculty are really interested in developing relationships
with their students and offering a lot of
guidance and mentorship. I think that that’s really important because it gives students the opportunity to find ways of connecting with their learning to professional development opportunities to career opportunities to other things that will advance their
careers academically and professionally. – I’m studying art education, and we learn to be both
artists and teachers, and this fellowship this summer is really helping me to build
my skillset as an artist and give me time to
develop a studio practice in a way that isn’t possible
during typical classes. – My research this
summer has truly given me the ability to build the
groundwork for my future career. I plan on using this
thesis as a writing sample for graduate applications, and more than likely will
serve as a jumping off point for further research into
either a doctoral thesis or a lifetime of learning. – I think experiential learning
is extremely beneficial for any student, especially for myself as
a media production student because going into that field, it’s not necessarily
about what you’ve learned in your classroom, but you have to really get
the hands-on experience and work with professionals
and really understand how to do your job in a way
that you can’t really learn from reading a textbook and taking tests. – So, for me, the benefit
of hands-on learning versus just sitting in the classroom is that I remember before
I started working in a lab, I wasn’t sure if I was
in the right career path because my classes were difficult and I didn’t know what a
career based on those classes would look like. But once I started working in a lab, I really felt confident
that I was on the right path and I was setting myself up to
be successful in the future. (heartfelt music)