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Tuesday, October 10 • 11:15am - 11:45am
Gauging Experience: Implementation and Assessment of an Experiential Learning Initiative (30 mins)

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In 2010, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) implemented an institution-wide five year Quality Enhancement Plan, ThinkAchieve, focused on critical thinking and experiential learning (EL). There were three components to the initiative that involved 1) new student orientation, 2) enhanced critical thinking instruction, and 3) EL opportunities. Beyond the first five years, departmental and administrative support yielded the continuation of a growing EL platform based on a blend of faculty, staff, and undergraduate student initiative and recognition, including a student graduation award. The current pathways for student involvement at UTC include designated EL classes, non-academic credit bearing experiences, community engagement agreements, and campus and community events. Critical Reflection is a central theme of EL at UTC and is required for the each of the ways by which students can be involved. Some of this reflection is directed by faculty, while some is directed by students and reviewed by faculty, staff and community partners. Critical thinking student learning outcomes measured by assessments are also used in academic credit bearing experiences. Much of the growth of the platform may be attributable to its augmenting, rather than competing with, existing campus and community endeavors and programs. As interest in EL grows at UTC and in many areas of higher education, incorporation and differentiation of EL into existing institutional frameworks are indicators of how to engage the needs of a regional, comprehensive University.


Bengt Carlson

Experential Learning Coordinator, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dawn Ford

Executive Director-Walker Ctr for Teaching, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Tuesday October 10, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am MDT
Colorado A