IUPUI Office of the Registrar
Experiential Learning Notations on
|IUPUI Policy and Procedure
Background and Policy
Background and Policy
In an effort to identify and track specific community-based learning
experiences, experiential learning notations have been approved for addition to
the official Indiana University transcript. An explanation of what constitutes
experiential learning, what courses might qualify, and how these notations would
appear on a student’s transcript is outlined below. While this policy is implemented at IUPUI, it has not been implemented at all Indiana University campuses.
Note: The approval to provide service/experiential learning notations on the official transcript pre-dates the IUPUI RISE to the Challenge initiative. If a student successfully completes a Service Learning or Experiential Learning class as defined in the policy below, not only will an additional notation be added to the completed class (see below) but that class will also satisfy either the Service (S) or Experiential Learning (E) requirement of the RISE Challenge.
Experiential learning is defined as formal, supervised learning experiences that rely substantially on students’ applying through direct experience the knowledge and information acquired through reading, simulations or electronic exercises, faculty instruction, or other modes of learning directly within the context and duration of the course. Consequently, experiential learning entails the integration of
- knowledge—the concepts, facts, and information acquired through formal learning and past experience;
- activity—the application of knowledge to a “real world” setting; and
- reflection—the analysis and synthesis of knowledge and activity to create new knowledge.
Experiential learning may occur on campus, in the community, or both. Although many co-curricular student activities can also be categorized as experiential learning, approval for transcript notations applies only to those activities that are linked to students’ academic coursework.
The intent of this policy is to permit academic units, faculty, and students to understand and to record these types of learning and, further, to identify which are based substantially in the community, either in off-campus settings or applied to off-campus situations. In making decisions about the classification of experiential learning, judgment of individual faculty and approval of the academic department will be required. These guidelines have been developed to provide assistance in this process, and to ensure consistency across campuses. The recognized categories of experiential learning are specified below.
Categories of Experiential Learning
The following list provides definitions of the types of experiential learning courses that will be tracked on transcripts and other official documents issued through the Office of the Registrar. Most of these definitions have been adapted from established, nationally referenced sources (see references section below).
All courses listed on the transcript must meet the criteria noted above.
Clinical education: Entails the practice of learned didactic and experiential skills, most frequently in health care and legal settings, under the supervision of a credentialed practitioner.
Cooperative education: Special program offered by a department or school in which students alternate work and study, usually spending a number of weeks in study (typically full-time) and a number of weeks in employment away from campus (typically full-time). Alternatively, cooperative education may occur when students simultaneously attend classes part-time and work part-time during consecutive school semesters in an intentionally planned and coordinated way. Students receive academic credit for cooperative education when the experiences meet the criteria for credit (i.e., faculty supervision, reflective components, evidence of learning).
Field work: Supervised student research or practice carried out away from the institution and in direct contact with the people, natural phenomena, or other entities being studied; especially frequent in fields including anthropology, archaeology, sociology, social work, earth sciences, and environmental studies.
Internship: Sustained work experience in a student’s field of interest assessed by a faculty member and supervised by an employer who is not the faculty member. Work can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, on-campus or off-campus. The design of the internship determines whether or not the student may earn academic credit or have a formal transcript notation.
Practicum: A course or student exercise involving practical experience in a work setting (whether paid or unpaid) as well as theoretical study, including supervised experience as part of professional pre-service education.
Service learning: A course or competency-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and (c) an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.
Student teaching: A student in pre-professional and pre-service teacher education who is gaining required and evaluated experience in supervised teaching.
Study abroad: Students earn academic credit for coursework that occurs outside of one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia.
Identifying Attributes of Experiential Learning in Community Settings
In order to more fully track the richness and variations of students’ experiential learning on their transcripts and to identify which of the experiences occurred substantially in the community, each campus may identify appropriate courses with the following designations. The following formal designators may be applied to any course in the categories noted above. They may be used individually or in combination with each other.
Community-based research: This includes, but is not limited to, field work, e.g., courses in which students complete research in which they collect data in a community setting and/or share findings with community entities in a service-learning course or an internship.
Approved Transcript Notation: Community Based Research
Service-learning: Courses in which students participate in service learning as defined above.
Approved Transcript Notation: Organized Community Service Activity
Community: Courses in which students spend a significant amount, e.g., one-third, of their time in a community setting in ways that contribute to learning objectives of the course.
Approved Transcript Notation: Significant Time in Community Setting
Immersion: Courses in which students are immersed in a culture different from one’s own while extending the study of the course content. Such courses include, but are not limited to, courses taken as part of a study abroad experience. They may also include field work, practica, internships, and all other categories defined above, provided such experiences involve immersion in a culture different from that of the student.
Approved Transcript Notation: Immersed in Different Culture
Internal Tracking and Reporting
Courses will be identified in such a way that allows for consistent tracking and reporting of enrollments in courses using the categories and attributes listed above.
Bringle, R.G., and Hatcher, J.A. (1995). A service-learning curriculum for faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2, 112-122.
Hawes, G.R., and Hawes, L.S. (1982). The concise dictionary of education. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
Academic Leadership Council (Oct, 2005)*
Notations to be reviewed in three years; amended by formal action in the interim
Academic Policies and Procedures Committee (December 2005)
Implemented at IUPUI Effective Spring 2006