Experiential Learning

The Co-Curricular Element of Your Honors College Experience

You are already really good at being a student. Sometimes ambitious honors students think the best way to succeed in their careers is to be an even better student with multiple minors and double majors. Not true! (There’s plenty of qualitative and quantitative evidence that proves it’s not true—as a good student, knowing there is evidence should resonate, right?)

Kaycie Butler

The things you do outside your classes are vital to a full college education. And we're not talking about your social life. We're talking about studying economics in England, and then snagging that internship in Washington, D.C., the next fall, which leads to the job or graduate school admission you could only imagine during freshman year. That is what “cocurricular” means. It's the “doing” part of education that occurs alongside your formal, classroom education, and it’s just as important as your transcript. It’s the organization for which you volunteered, where you studied abroad, the science lab where you did your REU, your internship(s), and/or the campus organization you led. It’s the external credential that shows you can do something.

No matter how you think about the value of an education, no matter whether you are an idealist, a pragmatist, or a little of both, cocurricular must be there to complete a true college education. It will help you discover your goals as you deepen your knowledge through experience and become a more thoughtful global citizen. It will also validate for the rest of the professional world that you have the experience to achieve. They can take a chance on you because, along with good grades, you have shown that you are adaptable, that you can solve problems and build on your classroom knowledge. Experience will help you discover, refine, and achieve your goals.

Trust us that “experiential learning” is important and you need to master it, even it feels uncomfortable, overwhelming, or doesn’t fit your present notion of what a college student ought to focus on.

You may already realize this is important. Perhaps you are even excited about making it a big part of your four years of college, but usually students need some help understanding what the options are and how to make choices that fit individual gifts and goals. That’s what this section of the website is all about.

Hopefully, the resources available on this site will help you find what you need, when you need it, to help shape your education. If you don't find what you are looking for, or if you have questions, contact the HC associate director, Kevin Berezansky, at kevinb@iup.edu to arrange a meeting.