What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential learning is the process of transforming real-life
experiences into knowledge. Experiential learning helps students to
learn through their in-depth exposure to and work on real-world
situations in real-world settings under the guidance of a
professional in their field. Students apply the skills and
knowledge they are learning in the classroom to their experiential
learning situation. What they learn in that situation can then be
brought back to the classroom through meaningful conversations,
concrete examples, and critical reflection.
The department sees experiential learning opportunities as
invaluable for our majors. They foster student engagement with the
wider community outside of Butler, they provide an applied basis
for learning, and they expose students to multicultural and diverse
social contexts. Through such experiences, students are able to
further develop and refine the skills they are learning in their
major and create the foundation for success after graduation.
Several different avenues for experiential learning are offered
to our students, including;
Majors in the Sociology and Criminology department are
required to complete an internship or
service-learning course as well as the senior research seminar
capstone project. Students interested in pursuing graduate school,
research-oriented careers, or just learning more about a
sociological/criminological topic and the research process can
choose to collaborate with a faculty member on a research project
through a directed research experience.