University Studies Advisory Committee

Explorations beyond the Classroom


This document provides a description of the Explorations Beyond the Classroom component of University Studies. In so doing, it differentiates between common component-level student learning outcomes and discipline-specific course-level learning outcomes, offering examples of both types. The goal is to encourage the development of challenging and varied University Studies courses that share common assessable student learning outcomes.



This component of the University Studies program provides a framework that will allow students to understand these options and help them to make intentional choices to complement their educational and vocational goals. Some of the options described below are already required for some majors and each is currently utilized by a substantial minority of our students. In many circumstances students will fulfill this requirement as part of a major or minor or by integrating it into other components of University Studies.

Each student will be required to complete one approved experience (that may be double counted in other components of University Studies or in the major):

Discovery: These options are generally credit-bearing research or creative projects that involve close work with a faculty mentor; they frequently take the form of a Directed Individual Study (DIS) or Honors project.

Application: These options involve applying content knowledge and skills to real-world problems, often taking the form of work with a professional outside the classroom in a variety of traditional applied settings, including internships, fieldwork, practicum, and student-teaching.

Regional Engagement: These options include course-embedded service learning projects with community-based organizations (profit or non-profit) that may not currently result in academic credit but represent substantial opportunities for students to gain direct experience with issues they have encountered in coursework.

Exploration Away: These options include all education exchange and abroad options approved by the Office of International Programs.


The student will:
  • EBC 1. Articulate their expectations, the purpose, and/or the goals of the experience in terms of their personal educational development. [Thoughtful Expression]
  • EBC 2. Synthesize knowledge drawn from their coursework to address the issues/challenges/questions involved in the experience. [Critical Thinking, Thoughtful Expression]
  • EBC 3. Communicate the impact or significance on their personal educational development and on others in the profession or in the field at the conclusion of the experience. [Thoughtful Expression]

The completion of one approved experience is required here - may be integrated into the major or any of the other components for multiple counting.