Pillars of Experiential Education

Students who learn by doing learn more effectively. Experiential education allows students to act on what they have learned and to use the theories and skills gained in the classroom to solve real-world problems. It also gives future graduates an edge on the competition for jobs and graduate school.

The University of Tampa emphasizes active learning in the classroom and field research outside it, creating an environment where education through application thrives.

NSEE UT Collaboration

UT is a strategic partner of the National Society of Experiential Education...

The University of Tampa is a strategic partner of the National Society of Experiential Education (NSEE). NSEE is a nonprofit membership association of educators, businesses and community leaders founded in 1971. The mission of NSEE is to foster the effective use of experience as an integral part of education in order to empower learners and promote the common good. The University of Tampa supports the use of learning through experience in five main types of settings: service-learning, internships and cooperative education, faculty-mentored undergraduate research, education abroad and leadership development.

As the Southern Regional Institute of NSEE, The University of Tampa hosts annual workshops in the fall and spring for experiential educators interested in pursuing a certificate from the Experiential Education Academy. The next workshop will be held March 29, 2014.

Graduates of the NSEE Academy

Ross Bartow, Coordinator and Lecturer, Sport Management
Marca Bear
, Associate Dean of International Programs
Colleen Beaudoin, Instructor, Mathematics
Kathryn Branch, Associate Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Susan Brinkley
, Chair/Associate Professor, Criminology and Criminal Justice
Amy Brownlee, Assistant Professor, Management
Maureen Butler, Assistant Professor, Accounting
Ali Dunn, Assistant Director of Internships, Office of Career Services
Christine Harrington, Assistant Professor, Finance
Scott Husband, Associate Professor, Psychology
Dean Koutroumanis, Assistant Professor, Management
Gary Luter, Director of the Honors Program
Dean Martin, Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Rebecca Olsen, Associate Professor, Health Sciences and Human Performance
Gary Simon, Director of Adult and Summer Academic Programs
Walter Smith, Associate Professor, Accounting
Susan Steiner, Chair/Associate Professor, Management 
Alex Tan, Assistant Professor, Finance
Stephanie Thomason, Associate Dean, Sykes College of Business
Jen Wortham, Associate Professor, Health Sciences and Human Performance  

Service-Learning

UT adopts the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education Standards for Service-Learning...

The University of Tampa adopts the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education Standards for Service-Learning Programs’ definition of service-learning. It states that “service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs, together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development.”

At The University of Tampa, service-learning incorporates a curricular (academic) service-learning component and a co-curricular (community) service-learning component.

Curricular service-learning is an approach to experiential education that integrates and enhances curricular content through community service and partnership. The goal of curricular service-learning is to employ a teaching method that uses community involvement to apply theories or skills taught in a course.

Components include:
  • Design and/or delivery of a service-learning activity to meet an identified community need
  • Structured opportunities for ongoing critical reflection
  • Promotion of a sense of personal values and citizenship
  • Assessment of the service-learning

Internships

Internships engage students in planned, educationally-related work and learning experiences...

Internships engage students in planned, educationally-related work and learning experiences that integrate knowledge and theory with practical application and skill development in a professional setting.

The University of Tampa’s Internship Program is a collaborative effort between academic departments and the Office of Career Services. Each department or college has a faculty internship coordinator who serves to evaluate if an internship meets departmental criteria for credit approval. Often this person also administers the internship class for the department or academic program. The Office of Career Services employs a university assistant director of internships who serves as the point of contact for organizations wishing to post internships and is the administrator of HIRE-UT, an on-line job and internship database. Additional responsibilities include internship prep workshops, meeting with students and consulting with academic departments regarding internships.

Most academic disciplines have internship opportunities for eligible students. Each student is encouraged to plan how an internship experience best fits into their overall course of study. A meaningful internship can allow students to:

  • Gain leadership skills
  • Apply their academics
  • Gain academic credit
  • Try on a career field(s)
  • Develop personal strengths and improve upon weaknesses
  • Build a stronger resume with related industry experience
  • Network with professional contacts
  • Earn a salary

Undergraduate Research

The undergraduate research experience is one in which students work closely with UT faculty members...

The undergraduate research experience is one in which students work closely with UT faculty members or qualified researchers in the region to conduct a high-quality, original research project. Students develop important analytical skills and learn to collaborate with other students and faculty — skills that will give them a competitive edge for jobs and graduate school admission. Both basic and applied research projects are available. These research projects allow the student to:

  • Confront novel, innovative and creative ideas
  • Engage in the collection and analysis of data
  • Identify opportunities for applying research to real contexts and solving real problems
  • Interact with faculty in a substantive way
  • Receive frequent and meaningful feedback on their progress
  • Discover the relevance of research to their success in the discipline
  • Own a unique research project that can be identified as a significant accomplishment during his/her undergraduate career
  • Present the results of his/her research in oral and written formats, most commonly at professional meetings of peers in the discipline

Leadership

Leadership is a process engaged in by responsible citizens in influence relationships...

Leadership is a process engaged in by responsible citizens in influence relationships who share a common purpose of transforming changes. The following are assumptions about leadership:

  • Leadership is an active process. It does not require that one be in a position of formal authority. Therefore, any responsible citizen can engage in leadership.
  • Leadership creates transformational change. The needed change is identified mutually by all stakeholders in the issue – and all have the opportunity to participate in the process of change (to varying degrees). It is transformational because it addresses a systemic social, cultural and organizational issue. It changes how we do things or how we know that will guide future action and thinking.
  • Often, as the process of leadership unfolds, individuals actively engaged in the process experience personal transformational change. Therefore, leadership is also a developmental process.
  • Leadership is engaged in by responsible citizens. This implies that there is an ethical dimension to leadership, and that leaders must be individuals with character and integrity.
  • Leadership is relational. It happens in the space between people – this is where we develop trust, respect, a common purpose, engage in controversy with civility and share power. Leadership often happens in groups/teams of people.
  • Those participating in leadership use influence to create change. Influence can come in the form of formal or informal authority – but it is often most effective when informal authority is utilized.

Education Abroad

University of Tampa students in all majors have the opportunity to build their credentials...
University of Tampa students in all majors have the opportunity to build their credentials through an education abroad program. UT’s education abroad programs prepare University of Tampa students to be global-ready in terms of international skills, knowledge and attitudes. Today’s employers seek graduates who can communicate in at least one foreign language, have multi-cultural knowledge, possess skills and training in negotiating with people of different cultures and have the basic skills to travel and work outside of the United States.