The Impact of Two Experiential Learning Programs: The Graduates' Perspective

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2015-01-01
Authors
Mahoney, B.A.
Retallick, Michael
Retallick, Michael
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Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive census survey was to explore the impact of participation in two integrated, experiential learning programs in a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Specific objectives were to determine the influence of these programs on graduates’ (a) decisions to enter careers and graduate school, (b) level of skill improvement, (c) career development and decidedness and (d) preparation for careers and graduate school. Graduates believe their experience positively affected development of their skills and abilities and had a positive influence on their career and graduate school aspirations. Graduates report that the programs enhanced their preparation for careers and graduate school by helping them transition from the role of undergraduate student to that of employee or graduate student. Though both programs had positive impacts, there were some significant differences between the two programs, which have different purposes and outcomes. These findings provide further confirmation that experiential learning is an effective way to meet outcomes while using the real-world, hands-on, experiential learning methods that students often prefer.

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<p>This article is from <em>NACTA Journal</em> 59 (2015): 319. Posted with permission.</p>
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