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Experiential Learning & Internships

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING IS DEFINED AS LEARNING THAT OCCURS OUTSIDE THE FORMAL CLASSROOM. WE MANAGE UNIVERSITY SYSTEMS AND PROVIDE SUPPORT AND CAMPUS REPORTING FOR CAREER AND EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES.

This includes facilitating legal, risk, and university policy compliance; managing data collection and reporting processes; and maintaining experiential learning systems like IRAMS and ELMS.

Experiential Learning Framework

Who are you? Let's get you where you need to go.

Internship Coordinators

Find the resources you need to manage your academic internship program.

Internship Coordinator Resources

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Academic Internships

Students considering an academic internship will need to complete an internship application prior to enrolling in the intenrship course. To learn about the application process and resources click the link below.

ELMS Managers

Your portal to the Experiential Learning Management System.

Experiential Learning Management System

The Experiential Learning Management System (ELMS) is administered by BYU Careers & Experiential Learning to gather and track experiential learning activities on campus. Through ELMS we are able to collect data, create reports, develop insights, and capture the impact and inspiration students are experiencing.
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Experiential Learning Framework

Discover what Experiential Learning looks like at BYU and how to enhance experiences for students.
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ELMS Manager Directory

Connect with your fellow ELMS managers.
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ELMS Training Packet

New to ELMS? Click here for a full training packet on how to use the new system.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions about ELMS.
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ExL Practitioners

Faculty lead experiences should include the four pillars of experiential learning and high impact practices. Learn more below, or click through for partnering resources.

Experiential Learning Framework

Experiential learning is a process of learning through experience and reflection and occurs outside the formal classroom. At BYU, experiential learning meets the university Mission & Aims when it is characterized by four foundational principles which create “inspiring learning.” For a PDF version of the full framework, click here.
  • Inspiring Learning is “learning that leads to inspiration or revelation.”

    The experience should foster opportunities which lead to inspiration or revelation. Learners are invited to actively engage the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and faculty mentors should teach students to recognize the role of inspiration throughout their experiences.

  • Learning outcomes are outlined.

    Faculty mentors should establish learning outcomes or identify a problem to be solved and seek to incorporate spiritual goals. Learning outcomes may describe knowledge, skills, or abilities the learners should have after successfully completing the experience.

  • Faculty mentors should implement high impact practices and identify avenues to apply learning.

    One or more of the following key features must be included in the experience:

    1. Opportunities for quality mentoring in the experience.
    2. Frequent, timely, and constructive feedback.
    3. Opportunities to apply learning from their discipline in a real-world setting.
    4. Opportunities for a public demonstration of competence.
    5. Investment of a significant amount of concentrated effort over time.
    6. Opportunities to interact with faculty, peers, and others about substantive matters.
    7. Opportunities to engage with people and circumstances that differed from what is familiar.
  • Faculty mentors should provide space for periodic, structured opportunities to reflect and integrate learning.

    Learners are invited to reflect on the revelatory spiritual impact of their experiences and to consider how their learning can be applied in their future career or life plans. The reflection process can be remembered this way: What? So what? Now what?

Experiential Learning Types

At BYU, experiential learning is divided into 6 experience types. Explore the list below to review the definitions and subcategories of each type.
  • Culminating Learning Experience


    A Culminating Learning Experience is an umbrella term for most project/event-based learning experiences. Culminating Learning Experiences include but are not limited to these categories: Capstone, Project-based learning (SIPs or experiential projects through the Marriot school), competitions, conferences, symposiums, workshops, festivals, recitals, portfolios, and senior theses.

    Capstone/Project-based learning 

    When we use the word project, it can be applied to a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities here at BYU. Projects are hands on learning experiences. Most prominently, we are referencing our Capstone Projects. These programs are educational experiences for senior students that integrate classroom activity with supervised practical experience in instructional, community, or more formal research settings. A Capstone Project is something put on by many different majors that you often complete in your senior year.

    Oftentimes a capstone class is listed as one of the last requirements to complete your major. The easiest way to find if your major involves a capstone project is to look at the course requirements here.

    While capstones compose the largest amount of what we would define as ‘projects’, there are a few other opportunities to check out as well. If you’re hoping to work on special projects before your senior year, check your department page for opportunities.

    Social Impact Projects - SIP is a class and an on-campus internship where BYU students work locally (or remotely) with one of our incredible partners –social-impact-minded organizations that want to use their company or nonprofit to do good in the world, but that need help. Click here to learn more.

    Experiential Classes - Classes are offered throughout campus that help provide on campus opportunities undergraduates. Search 'experiential' on the course catalog to find opportunities.

    Competition (competing) 

    BYU Hosts several on-campus competitions pertaining to different majors and fields. Your college should have these events posted on their website or announce them through their email updates.

    Conferences/Symposium/Workshop (presenting)

    A conference or symposium is a formal gathering of scholars including students and professors. They often focus on one specific field and include research presentations. Often times, a guest speaker is invited to speak on a current issue or new data. Talk to your department about opportunities to attend conferences.   

    Festival (performing)

    Some students (typically in film, music, dance, and media) have the opportunity to participate in local festivals to perform or learn from other artists. These festivals allow students to network, create, and collaborate with people from different schools/organizations while providing an opportunity to showcase a student’s work.

    Portfolio

    Portfolios are a culmination of work throughout an entire semester or year. These are often required for those in the Fine Arts/Communications Majors, as well as some business majors. Portfolios demonstrate your creative thinking & thought process while displaying projects and pieces that are often required by core classes.

    Performance

    Some majors require a final show, performance, or recital as a requirement for graduation (namely in the fine arts department). These performances showcase what you have learned at BYU.

    Senior Project/Thesis

    In your thesis, you will craft and define a problem (often with help from your advisor). You will have to find and explain the context for that problem, including a clear summary of the related works of others. You must justify why your research problem is worth pursuing. Once completed, you will have the opportunity to develop a clear written description of your work and a coherent and concise argument for its conclusions. This is a written assignment and is often accompanied by an oral presentation.

  • Field studies & field work are typically opportunities where a research team or company mentor students to become more familiar in their field. Most field studies are clinical/scientific in nature, but it can include a variety of other fields. Often times field studies gather new data alongside BYU faculty.

  • An internship is an opportunity provided by an organization to give career related experience to students related to their major. A student may or may not be compensated financially for this experience. Students who participate in internships have the opportunity to explore what their career may look like. The mission of an internship is to support the integration of theory and practice, explore careers, and provide personal and professional development.

    Students are responsible for finding and pursing their own internships. However, BYU has resources available to provide students with internship opportunities.

    • Handshake, BYU’s own job board, offers listing for recruiters hiring BYU students for internships. Click here to learn more.

    • Students may also consider browsing online job boards including Linkedin, Indeed, or Glassdoor.

    • Talking to professors, peers, and mentors in any given field can also provide students with networking opportunities. Search for any listed internship opportunities listed on your department’s website or in their email newsletters. You may also consider talking to your academic advisor to see what other options are available.

    Grants and scholarships are also available for unpaid internships. Students may contact their department to learn how to apply for these opportunities.

    The first step is to contact your internship coordinator. Let them know that you are interested in doing an internship, as well as if you have found an opportunity yet or need some further assistance. Your internship coordinator can answer any questions you may have and may have additional resources to help you find an internship.

    Once you find an internship, you will submit an application & your internship coordinator will approve it. Click here and select “Internship Application” in the center row. Filling out the application usually take about 10 minutes. After you submit your internship application, the Experiential Learning & Internships office will approve it and you will be able to receive credit for your internship.

    On-campus

    When participating in an on-campus internship, you may gain real-world experience while receiving academic credit on-campus. Some on-campus internship opportunities are available through the business school. Others are often posted on the college’s web-page or through professors. Opportunities include business projects, financial services projects, and social impact projects. If you are interested in an on-campus internship and your college doesn’t directly provide one, visit the Ballard Center for possible on-campus internships.

    International Internship

    You may participate in internships internationally! Click here for additional instructions and more information about the procedure/requirements.

    The Kennedy Center also offers International Study Programs (ISP). These programs are designed to meet the needs of departments and students including study abroad, field studies, internship programs, and individual internships. Click here for more information on International Study Programs.

    Clinical 

    Clinicals are a series of supervised interactions with patients in local healthcare facilities. Students gain hands-on experience assessing patients while being guided and supported by their instructor. Students will see firsthand how medical professionals function as a team. If a clinical course is required for graduation, students should talk to their course instructor for more information, or visit their college’s main webpage for more information.

    Practicum 

    A relative of the internship, this form of experiential learning usually is a course or student exercise involving practical experience in a work setting (whether paid or unpaid) as well as theoretical study, including supervised experience as part of professional pre-service education. This could be something like coursework for the major or observing in the field. Practicum experiences are generally required in teaching/professional social science disciplines. Opportunities for practicums are only available for upper classmen in specific majors. To get started, students should enroll in a practicum course and/or speak with their academic advisor.

    Student Teaching

    Student teaching provides practical “real life” opportunities that are the same as teaching. Students will develop skills and adopt the values that shape their teaching. Student teaching is for students pursing a degree in education. Typically, students are required to have been accepted to the major and have completed upper division coursework. They are required to complete student teaching before graduating. Students should talk to their academic advisor because majors have differing requirements.

  • Clubs, service opportunities, and on-campus leadership workshops/activities are all in-person experiences that help students become a part of something greater. These experiences include collaboration with other students, helping those in need, and leading groups and communities in order to help students (participants and the student body as a whole) learn though service.

  • Several professors offer on/off-campus research opportunities. These faculty typically look for students within major-related classes, posts on their college’s page, or even listings under BYU jobs. You can also create your own research project that would likewise be directed by faculty member on a topic of mutual interest. Students will identify and examine a substantive academic research problem & report their findings.

  • A study abroad is guided by a BYU professor in the field and offers lectures, study, and research on-site. Field trips to important locations of cultural and historical significance support the program's academic aims and bring to life theory and principles gained in the classroom. These trips are usually a semester long, filled with new adventures and experiences. Visit the Kennedy Center to explore these opportunities.

Experiential Writing Project helps experiential learning practitioners implement core principles of experiential writing to help students synthesize learning. The writing concepts apply to all academic programs and provide tools to cultivate a culture of reflective writing and active learning.

ExL Providers/Sponsors

Resources to help you provide experiential learning opportunities to BYU students.

Inspiring Learning | Kevin J Worthen | 2016