Engaged Learning enhances students’ education
Published: Sunday, February 12, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:11
Education is our major preoccupation here at SMU.
It is vital to our future graduates' life chances and choices as challenges facing our graduates are more complex and less predictable than ever before.
To be truly effective, higher education must give its graduates exposure to a wide range of contexts and role models for learning, in the classroom and beyond.
SMU's new initiative, Engaged Learning, connects undergraduate education with local and global realities.
Engaged Learning is the sum of the knowledge and skills learned from dedicated professors and its actual application in an activity of interest to the student.
Be it research, service or internship, SMU encourages all students to take on an extensive learning project and to make it part of their SMU experience.
Engaged Learning promotes deep learning, active citizenship and employability.
Engaged Learning expands the classroom into a world of broad cultural, social, financial and physical realities.
Engaged Learning at SMU is the new landscape of education, rigor and depth of the best instruction combined with the flexibility and motivational power of community-based collaborative learning and student-driven desire.
Through Engaged Learning, students participate in undergraduate research and service projects.
They engage in internships and co-ops.
They take on-campus courses that require participation in off-campus projects. Students on their own identify pressing issues in local or global communities and come up with solutions.
Engaged Learning's distinguishing feature is the Unbridled Learning Project, student-developed and student-driven. Students imagine what is important to them and what they want to learn from it, what impact they want to make, how it ties into their SMU education and then they make it happen.
The Project is a structured intensive experience, typically undertaken in the third year.
The university has funding for projects of students who demonstrate financial need.
Better yet, the university documents Unbridled Learning Projects students' on SMU transcripts.
Let's celebrate student engagement!
Come to Engaged Learning Day activities today: there is an Open House in the office in the basement of Clements Hall. Two workshops will teach you all your need to know about Engaged learning and how to do an Unbridled Learning Project. Current students completing projects will present their work at the Engaged Learning Forum at 3 p.m. Monday in the Hughes-Trigg Forum.
And best of all, there is the Flagpole event at 5 p.m. Monday. Come get your free T-shirt!
Susan is the Director of Engaged Learning at SMU.