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How Will You Experience Learning?

That’s the question we want everyone to be asking now that this exciting new initiative is under way.

Experience Learning—developed as part of our Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaccreditation process—is rooted in the pedagogical concept of experiential learning.

Through Experience Learning, we will give our students more opportunities to engage in civic life, to solve complex real-world problems, and to contribute to the welfare of their communities as part of their regular course work. Our goal is to help our students develop lifelong skills in learning and problem solving and to prepare them for the ever-changing global environment. Watch this video for more details.

Our ongoing Smart Communities Initiative (SCI) is a major facet of Experience Learning.

This year, we are partnering through SCI with the Southeast Tennessee Development District/Chattanooga Area Regional Council of Governments. About 400 students and seventeen faculty members from seven colleges and twelve departments are working on projects. Classes are assessing livability conditions for senior citizens in Grundy County, developing a business plan for a farmers market in Pikeville, and laying the groundwork for local and regional disaster planning. Read more here.

Many of you already incorporate Experience Learning concepts into your courses. For those who aren’t involved and want to be, or who want to enrich and enhance what they are already doing, we’ve created a “Getting Started” guide that can be found on the Experience Learning website.

This guide will connect you with Matthew Theriot, associate provost for teaching and learning innovation, who is leading the implementation of Experience Learning and overseeing the Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center. The center will be offering workshops and providing personal consultations for faculty who want to be part of Experience Learning.

We have launched a national search for an Experience Learning director to work closely with Matthew in support of this new initiative.