ERIC Number: EJ912854
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 3
Growing and Funding Experiential Learning Programs: A Recipe for Success
Cowart, Monica R.
New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n124 p63-68 Win 2010
While numerous professors and administrators can agree upon the benefits of infusing the curriculum with experiential learning, a commonly stated obstacle to widespread curricular reform is funding. Specifically, given that external institutional support can be difficult to procure, especially in uncertain economic times, institutions might question whether it makes sense to start experiential learning initiatives, especially if long-term funding is uncertain. While, ideally, initiating an experiential learning program would involve allocating ample funds for faculty development grants and professional development programs, it is incorrect to assume that this is the "only" model that will result in a flourishing experiential learning program. This chapter provides an alternative model to extensive internal funding streams by outlining how a college or university with limited resources can find the internal and external resources to start or enhance an experiential learning program. Using Merrimack College, a small tuition-dependent liberal arts college north of Boston, as a case study, this chapter discusses the specific challenges programs can face when trying to find the resources to incorporate experiential learning initiatives into their curriculum. For each challenge that is identified, specific strategies are provided to successfully address that challenge. Moreover, challenges and solutions are provided from multiple perspectives (students, faculty, and administrative challenges) so that a comprehensive strategic plan is formulated that includes the perspectives of all stakeholders. Finally, these challenges and tested solutions are articulated within a larger "developmental" framework, which traces the funding challenges and solutions experiential learning programs can encounter as they grow over time. The chapter concludes with specific lessons learned from the Merrimack College case study, but the overall chapter aims to broadly suggest strategies that other colleges can use to address funding challenges.
Descriptors: Strategic Planning, Experiential Learning, Educational Change, Faculty Development, Financial Support, Educational Finance, Economic Climate, College Students, College Faculty, College Administration, College Curriculum, Administrators, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts