All University of South Carolina students are encouraged to engage in at least one Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) during their undergraduate years. Students entering in Fall 2018 and later will be able to view and share their participation in experiential learning through their official record of engagement, their My USC Experience.
Experiential learning helps students put complex concepts in a real-world context and deepens understanding. USC focuses on Experiential Learning Opportunities in five areas:
- Community Service / Service Learning
- Global Learning (e.g., Study Abroad and local cultural opportunities)
- Internships, Co-ops, and Other Work-based Experiences
- Peer Leadership
Experiential Learning Opportunities include for-credit and non-credit bearing experiences. All opportunities ensure high quality by meeting the same criteria.
- Significant time and effort: A minimum of 45 hours of engagement in which students are applying learning in a real world context. Hours can include time spent in preparation for and reflection on the experience.
- Clear expectations: Expectations for participation are shared with students in written form (e.g., syllabus, guide, or handbook) and/or through individual or group meeting sessions.
- Required reflection: Students reflect on learning and its application through assignments (e.g., projects, papers, presentations), journals, blogs, group sessions, or one-on-one meetings.
- Feedback: Students receive feedback from a faculty, staff, or a graduate assistant (as well as potential peer feedback) on their participation and/or learning.
See Proposing Experiential Learning Opportunities[pdf] page 3 for further details on criteria.
Official University Record of Purposeful Engagement
The My USC Experience record and co-curricular transcript provide a record of students’ educational experiences outside of the classroom. Students can use these records to plan future beyond the classroom engagements and reflect upon what they have accomplished as they consider how to meet their personal, educational, and career goals. Upon graduation, students can create different versions of their records in the form of a co-curricular transcript to highlight how they were able to engage beyond the classroom and to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they gained during these experiences.
Details on Submitting Proposals
Before submitting a proposal, read further detail on Proposing Experiential Learning Opportunities[pdf]. Please note that if you are a faculty member leading a study abroad for-credit program, your study abroad course already has ELO approval through the Study Abroad Office. When you have coordinated within your unit and have support materials ready to attach, login and then click on the “create new proposal” button to get started.
Contact Charles Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org, Faculty Executive Director of CIEL for further information.