Are you Experienced? An Assessment of Experiential Learning in NJ
Xin Huang, Christopher Myles, Kellie Palomba, Daniyal Rahim, Vanessa Raymond
Experiential learning (EL) is pedagogical technique that provides students with the opportunity to apply concepts from the classroom in real world scenarios. There is broad agreement that EL is critical for student development and leads to increased employment outcomes after graduation. It is mainly those EL opportunities that are measured as high-quality that lead to beneficial outcomes. High-quality experiences contain the following elements: reflection, critical analysis, synthesis, opportunities for student initiative, decision-making power, and accountability. Employers today are expecting new hires coming out of college to have considerable experience using critical workplace skills. As the benefits for students and employers are becoming better quantified and publicized, institutions of higher education (IHEs) are developing forward-thinking ways of fostering and encouraging meaningful student involvement in such activities. IHEs in New Jersey offer a wide range of services and programs to support students in their pursuit of EL opportunities; however, students still face significant barriers in obtaining and completing quality experiences.