The Augsburg Experience integrates experiential learning with academic learning and links on-campus learning to the constituency goals, mission, needs or ideas of off-campus people, organizations and/or communities, through community partners and/or professional activities and/or travel.
The main goals of the Augsburg Experience are to link the theoretical with the practical and to line the on-campus experience to the wider community. Professional and pre-professional work-based learning experiences (internships, cooperative education, student teaching, practica, clinicals and fieldwork) that are done outside the classroom and off-campus are an essential learning dimension of many academic departments and the Augsburg College education.
An excerpt taken from the 1998 original Experiential Education Commission Report states: “People worldwide need a whole series of new competencies—the ability to conceptualize and solve problems that entail abstraction (the manipulation of thoughts and patterns), system thinking (interrelated thinking), experimentation, and collaboration. Such abilities cannot be taught solely in the classroom, or be developed solely by teachers. Higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills grow out of direct experience, not simply teaching; they require more than a classroom activity. They develop through active involvement and real-life experiences in workplaces and the community” (Abbott 1996:3-4).
Augsburg Experience Guidelines for Work-Based Learning Opportunities and Venues:
The following AE work-based learning opportunities are available to both day and AU students to provide options for completion on either a for-credit or “0” credit basis.
A. Internships For Credit
An internship done for academic credit is a carefully planned service or work-based experience in which the student focuses on intentional, self-designed academic and personal learning objectives. An academic internship is approved, supervised and evaluated by a faculty member in the department where the student wishes to earn the credit (INS internships are also available). To ensure consistency within academic departments and majors, it is recommended that each department of major (or area within a department) identify higher-level educational goals and assessment standards for internships that parallel classroom based learning. The Strommen Center for Meaningful Work can provide assistance and resources to departments, faculty and students that reflect good practices for experiential learning.
In order to qualify for an Augsburg Experience the internship should:
- Be an off-campus upper division 397 or 399 internship. Exceptions may be made for some on-campus internships if there is a clear linkage to off-campus people, organizations and/or communities.
- Include discipline (or interdisciplinary) based learning strategies, observable objectives, and systematic evaluation of the learning progress and outcomes.
Internship that are required part of immersion programs such as the HECUA program or the Washington Center Program will also qualify for an AE experience.
Registration and specific guidelines include the following:
- Full-credit AE internships will be registered as 399 and half-credit ones as 397.These will be made available in every academic department and also as INS. (note: on-campus internships will have 398 designation)
- A faculty supervisor and the Director of Strommen Center/Internship Coordinator will sign off on the student registration. (Using the Internship Registration form)
- Typically, a minimum of 160 hours should be devoted to the internship over an academic term(s) for 4 course credits, and 80 hours for 2 course credits.
- The supervising faculty along with the student will determine the grading option. (however, a Department can establish its own grading policy).
- The student must complete a Learning Agreement Plan outlining learning goals, strategies and evaluation methods. The learning agreement plan should be completed and approved by the Faculty Supervisor and the Internship Site Supervisor within the first 4 weeks of starting the internship.
- It is highly recommended that departments have an internship seminar or the student and faculty supervisor meet a minimum of three times over the course of the internship.
- Internship assessment should include tangible products or artifacts (paper, journal, projects, reports, video, etc.). It is highly recommended that the student compute an internship portfolio that clearly demonstrates the relationship of the learning outcome with the experiential activities and shows reflection on the experience. The internship portfolio will be submitted to the faculty supervisor at the end of the internship. A portfolio guideline has been designed by an Augsburg LET team and is available from Strommen Center.
- The student, faculty supervisor, and site supervisor will complete learning outcome evaluations at the completion of the internship.
- The faculty supervisor will submit a grade to the Registrar’s Office and the completion of the academic component will indicate fulfillment of the AE.
B. Cooperative Education
A cooperative education experience is a paid or unpaid work experience related to a student’s major/minor or career objective but not done for academic credit. The goal for students is to apply theory to practice in a work setting. The official college 0-credit transcript notation is used to recognize the learning inherent in work experiences that provide students with a clear application of coursework and enhancement of knowledge and skills.
In order to quality for an Augsburg Experience the co-op experience should:
- Be an off-campus paid or unpaid work experiences related to the student’s major/minor or career goals and registered for GST 009 “0” credit.
- Include learning strategies and observable objectives, systematic evaluation of the learning process and outcomes.
The student will identify a minimum of tress student-learning outcomes for the transcript notation that meet expectations for higher-level learning and a quality educational related experience.
Registration and specific guidelines include the following:
- The student must register for the GST 009-transcript notation.
- The Director of the Strommen Center/Internship Coordinator will sign off on the student registration. (Using an Internship Registration form)
- Typically, a minimum of 160 hours should be devoted to the co-op experience.
- The student must complete a Learning Agreement Plan outlining a minimum of three learning goals, strategies and assessment methods signed off by Strommen Center Director/Internship Coordinator with the first 4 weeks of starting the co-op.
- The students must attend a two-session seminar or have a minimum of two meetings with the Strommen Center Director/Internship Coordinator.
- The student, Strommen Center Director/Internship Coordinator, and the site supervisor will complete final evaluations of the co-op experience.
- The Strommen Center Director/Internship Coordinator will submit a “P-participation satisfactory” notation to the Registrar’s Office and the satisfactory completion of the co-op will indicated fulfillment of the AE.
C. Pre-Professional Experiential Learning in the Major (Student Teaching, Practica, Clinicals, Field Work and Internship)
Academic departments or majors that require off-campus pre-professional experiential learning can indicate a course or courses in their curriculum offerings that best meets the two criteria outlined for all AE’s. The AE will automatically be fulfilled when the course is completed. The following departments currently require an off-campus experiential learning component.
- Education (student teaching)
- Social Work (field work)
- Metro Urban Studies (internship 399)
- Music Therapy (practicum and clinical)
- Nursing (practicum)
- Psychology (internship 399)
- Women’s Studies (internship 399)
- Youth & Family Ministry (Internship 399)
D. Work-Connections Seminar (0-credit; available for WEC students)
The optional WEC work-connections seminar will meet the same criteria and goals of all other AE options but allow WEC students to utilize their rich and often extensive work history to meet the AE requirement. WEC students who are currently working full or part-time will have the option of attending a work-connections seminar offered at least one term each year. An Augsburg faculty or staff member will facilitate the seminar. The seminar will include learning outcome goals that integrate experience with classroom learning and utilize reflection assignments based on the current work experiences/jobs of the students.
In order for a WEC student to have his/her current job qualify for an Augsburg Experience:
- The student should consult with the Strommen Center staff prior to the term the student wishes to register.
- The student must register for the “0” credit work-connections seminar
- The student must attend the seminar and complete all assignments for successful completion of the AE requirement.