PUC honors 6 ‘Experiential Learning Exemplary Community Partners’

Purdue University Calumet recently presented six area businesses and organizations 2010 Experiential Learning Exemplary Community Partner Awards.

Recipients were recognized for partnering in dedicated, collaborative and exceptional ways with Purdue Calumet students and faculty within the university’s experiential learning initiative. Driving the initiative are relationships involving community organizations, which provide experiential learning opportunities; faculty, who develop and teach courses that integrate the opportunities; and students, who benefit, grow and turn the opportunities into valuable learning experiences.

Award recipients, selected by the Deans of each of Purdue Calumet’s six academic schools, are:

• Kenwood Elementary School of Hammond (School of Education) for placing student teachers in classrooms for participant observations and providing quality practicum experiences;

• Profile Systems of Merrillville (School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science) for hands-on experiences in the management of programming, access and monitoring of wireless controls that are installed;

• Merrillville Travel (School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences) for contributing to an educational study cruise course for hospitality and tourism management majors, while preparing and engaging students in cruise industry study;

• Swartz, Retson & Company accounting firm of Merrillville (School of Management) for mentoring students, including the provision of feedback and evaluations, during internships;

• Northwest Indiana Area Health Education Center of Merrillville (School of Nursing) for partnering with students through facilitation of cultural awareness activities, establishing clinical rotation sites in underserved areas, and providing service learning and grant opportunities; and

• Hammond Mayor’s Housing Initiative Task Force (School of Technology) for engaging students in performing home inspections, including the presentation of inspection results.

Purdue Calumet’s experiential learning initiative integrates traditional classroom learning with the applied learning that occurs within work-related, real-world experiences according to standards set by the National Society of Experiential Education. Experiential learning is a graduation requirement for baccalaureate degree-seeking students.

Since implementation in 2008, some 200 community partners have provided experiential learning opportunities for more than 2,000 students within the context of 100+ courses.