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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Experiential learning expo set for March

Published: January 28, 2011
Section: News

Brandeis academic services along with the Dean of Arts and Sciences’ office has begun preparations for the semester experiential learning symposium, to be held later this spring.

“We look forward to showcasing a way to see what students are doing on campus,” Alyssa Grinberg, program manager for the Justice Brandeis Semester (JBS) project and a member of the committee overseeing and expanding other field-based learning, said.

Experiential learning at Brandeis is “hands-on” learning that incorporates teaching with “independent research … internships, community-engaged projects, studio and art work, and study abroad programs,” according to the university website. The experiential learning push includes, in addition to JBS and dean’s representatives, members from Study Abroad and faculty members already accustomed to meeting the goals of the project.

“Some majors, like Theatre or Arts, are already experiential by nature,” Grinberg said.

The symposium, set for March 24, seeks to provide other interested members of the community with the relevant projects that the university has succeeded in putting on in the past, particularly from the previous fall semester.

In addition to demonstrating academic opportunities students have chosen to participate in, the committee has also asked students to design the advertisement for the event in a poster contest, complete with a cash prize for the successful proposal for the conference. Poster applications are due Feb. 7.

“We’re looking to accomplish more access for more people to more info for interested students,” Grinberg said.

President Fred Lawrence will deliver an opening address at the session, extolling the virtues of combining classroom experience with applied knowledge outside the classroom. Faculty will then lead moderated panels and winning posters will be presented, along with projects from past experiential learning students, Grinberg said.

“It’s amazing what students are doing on campus,” she said, adding, “It’ll be a great time to learn about experiences and activities in areas you have never thought to look yourself.”