More and more instructors in community colleges are expanding learning beyond the classroom walls, incorporating field trips, internships, and community-based projects as part of college curricula. Experiential learning can be highly rewarding and motivational, providing opportunities to reinforce concepts learned in class while allowing students to test-drive different careers and build contacts. Industry connections also reinforce topics studied in class and help reach students with different learning styles, while giving employers access to a pool of potential job candidates.
Like any aspect of effective teaching, involving industry and community resources requires careful planning to make the experience as successful as possible. Creating and managing community-based learning opportunities involves:
- Examining your course outcomes
- Developing and managing learning experiences
- Connecting them to the academic curriculum
- Evaluating those experiences