“Experience Learning” … Sounds catchy, Right?
Well… it caught on.
At this point you might be wondering what experience learning is. Well it’s pretty straight forward as mentioned in the title. Any student participating gets the opportunity to do what is generally expected of all human beings; to learn from an experience. However, in this case, that experience is everything but random.
Usually, by the time people decide to go to college, they have some idea of what they want to do with their lives. And if they don’t, at some point in their college experience, they’ll start to figure it out. No literally, at some point in their College Experience Class at SPC, they will begin to figure it out.
The class is mandatory for all freshmen and is actually quite informative, covering an array of topics from how to write an APA paper to stress and health management. Another significant portion of the course is the Experience Learning program, which just happens to be a requirement for all students to pass… thought you could get out huh…wait! You’ll want to keep reading.
How does the program work? So… you pick a place that has do with your career path and volunteer there for six hours. Really, that’s it. “What if I don’t know what I want to be?”
Take a breather and don’t worry.
A freshman, Robert Vines, who is still unsure of his career goals said that even he has found some enjoyment doing this. He simply volunteered at the library because he didn’t know what else to do. When asked how this could’ve possibly have helped him, he paused before speaking.
“I think it’s to hel you get use to helping the community…” He went on to express how just being at the library emphasized his passion for people. He now knows that he will indefinitely want to find a career helping people.
For those who might already have some sort of direction with their career path, this could provide a firsthand experience.
“It has definitely solidified my career choice and I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as far as not focusing on the financial aspect of getting there…” Amanda Peach. Venturing into primary education, teaching fourth grade, Amanda has gained excitement
for her career choice through mentoring at Saxton Elementary School. Expressing that she’s always loved children, now she knows, even more so, that this is the path for her.
Both students agreed that the program is indeed a bonus to the curriculum. And though it only solidified their prospective on their passions and therefore careers, it could end up doing much more and even changing perspectives for you.
Tara Newsom, an Associate professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and said that she “learned that helping students find their interest and showing them a pathway to serve others using that passion, not only helped the community but professionally developed the student and increased academic success.” Thus, the program was born.
Well if this was just her idea, how did everyone else fee about it? “SPC’s Administration has had an unwavering support of service based learning.” This she stated saying that service is nothing new here at SPC’s campuses. She said that formally institutionalizing it into the syllabus in mere progression in that arena. “The hope is that every student at SPC will take a service based learning class before they graduate.”
Now with all this information what am I supposed to do? See an advisor of coarse! Oh, wait… I did that for you.
Career Outreach Specialist, Dee Mortellaro, offered that this experience could provide more exposure to one’s career and provide an opportunity for the student to ask questions, on the job, that they might not otherwise get to ask. In addition to this, the student gets to network, professionally, in the field that he/she has selected.
She said that this is also a two-way street of opportunity for both the students and the organizations where they volunteer. This, as the relationship between the corporate world and the college is developed, the students are exposed to on the job observation and the various organizations supporting this program remain updated with what the students learn. They therefore can make sure that the students learn what they need to know in order to survive in the field.
See we all benefit here!
Ms. Mortellaro also stated that most students have expressed that they find that they actually get more out of this experience than they thought. “I think the part of it that everyone really walks away with the most is just that great feeling that they did something to help someone else.” She went on to say that she believes it’s a contagious thing.
But don’t you worry, it’s a good thing! When you help others, you help yourself!
“Experience Learning” Catchy, right?