Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential learning means gaining active, hands-on experience in the real world as part of the academic program. Learning is enhanced when students integrate the formal classroom instructional process with practical experience.

How is Experiential Learning at Purdue University Calumet different from hands-on learning at many other colleges and universities?
Experiential learning is a graduation requirement for undergraduate students at Purdue University Calumet. Students enroll in two experiential learning courses while completing their degree. Purdue University Calumet is recognized as a national leader in the field of experiential education and is one of a select few institutions to adopt this approach as a graduation requirement that complies with standards established by the National Society of Experiential Education (NSEE). Experiential learning courses must meet a set of measurable guidelines to fulfill the graduation requirement. The University, the student and the community partner must collaborate to ensure success for all parties.

What are the benefits of Experiential Learning?
Purdue University Calumet’s Experiential Learning requirement brings opportunities and benefits to all the partners involved in the success of this effort: The University and its faculty; our students; and our Community Partners.

What’s in it for students?
Learning is enhanced when students integrate the formal classroom instructional process with experience in the real world. Experiential learning is one more way Purdue University Calumet gives students a competitive advantage. By graduation, each student will have had at least two opportunities to apply what he or she has learned in a chosen field of study. That can lead to job opportunities, interview skills and solid life skills.

What are the benefits to Community Partners (Employers and Partner Organizations)?
The University is working with partners such as businesses of all sizes, research facilities, nonprofit organizations, community service groups, government offices and medical facilities to design structured, supervised programs that benefit the students as well as the community partners. The partners gain a source of highly educated and motivated pre-professionals. With more than 45 majors, Purdue University Calumet can help its partners find talented students and design and develop a specialized program to fit the organization’s needs and time commitments.

What’s in it for Faculty?
The University has formed a strategic partnership with the NSEE to further professional development in the area of experiential education for our own faculty as well as regionally and nationally. The graduation requirement broadens opportunities for faculty, along with their students, to apply research and learning in a particular field of study. Experiential learning enhances the classroom experience with cutting edge research, business and technology initiatives. And our faculty has the opportunity to be part of a showcase experiential learning program, as the University is on the leading edge of this important area of development for the future of education.

What are the benefits to the University?
Already an academically comprehensive regional university and part of the internationally respected Purdue system, Purdue University Calumet is now recognized as a national leader in the field of experiential education.