Experiential learning is a key component of the St. Edward's University undergraduate education. This type of learning engages students outside of the classroom to broaden and deepen their awareness of societal problems and participate in community-based activities that address these issues. There are two types of experiential learning: Introductory Experiential Learning, which exposes students to foundational experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom and Advanced Experiential Learning (AEL) which provides more robust and meaningful experiential learning opportunities with additional engagement required of the student in both time and effort.
As articulated in Strategic Plan 2027, 100% of undergraduate students will complete at least one AEL opportunity before graduation. To support this goal over five years, constructing definitions of experiential learning areas and establishing clear criteria for advanced experiential learning across the university is key to overall success. As a result, St. Edward's has developed five definitions for AEL: Internships and Field Experience, Research and Creative Works with Faculty, Immersive Domestic and International Travel Experiences, Service-Learning, Volunteering, and Student Employment/Leadership on and off campus.
To achieve rigor through time and effort, an AEL opportunity must meet all of the following criteria, 1) Quantitative - 60 clock hours within a semester 2) Intentional - The experience should be purposeful, planned in advance with explicit goals and intended outcomes, 3) Beneficial - Support students' interests, career readiness, and aspirations, and 4) Supervised - The experience should be supervised, including ongoing faculty, staff, supervisor and/or community involvement in all phases.
The Blue & Gold Scholar program recognizes St. Edward's University undergraduate student participation in advanced experiential learning opportunities. There are three types of scholars, 1) Blue Scholars complete one AEL opportunity, 2) Gold Scholars complete two advanced experiential learning opportunities, and 3) Blue and Gold Scholars complete 3 or more AEL opportunities.
DELIVERY FORMAT: The program is in-person only.
PROGRAM SCALE: Large-scale (reaches more than 25 percent of its intended target population)
DEPARTMENT(S) OVERSEEING PROGRAM: Student Success Center
CONTACT FOR MORE INFO: Nicole Trevino at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-428-1037