May 9, 2017
Fredericton, N.B. –On May 4, St. Thomas University’s Senate passed a Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. Expected for September 2017, STU students will be able to work towards this certificate during their degree.
The certificate will be recorded on a student’s transcript and students have their entire degree to complete the requirements for the certificate. The certificate incorporates both in-class learning and community service and according to the proposal submitted to Senate on the certificate it recognizes, “Both formal and informal off-campus, unpaid community engagement opportunities.”
The requirements for the certificate stipulate that a student must successfully complete the following two requirements. First, the student must complete nine credit hours from a list of courses approved by the Registrar, in which the student must meet the experiential learning and/or community engagement requirement in each course. Second, the student must gain 30 hours of community service, and complete the reflection and critical thinking exercises.
The proposal outlines the reasoning for having this certificate as follows, “Increasingly, students are seeking a university experience that affords them the opportunity to develop tangible skills. […] Experiential learning serves to compliment student skill acquisition and better prepare them for life after graduation.”
The proposal for the certificate also mentions how this certificate was created as a result of experiential learning being identified as a priority for both the university and the Province of New Brunswick.
The STUSU is pleased to see the university taking a step in the right direction with initiatives such as this that expand and recognize the work of students both inside and outside of the classroom. The tangible skills and experience gained through experiential learning opportunities are invaluable experiences for all students. The STUSU looks forward to continuing to work with the university on experiential learning projects and to promote this new certificate to students.
In addition, the STUSU looks forward to working towards expanding this certificate in order to reach a broader recognition from the university for the diverse experiential learning opportunities STU students engage in.
Media Contact: Brianna Workman, Vice-President Education, STUSU, firstname.lastname@example.org, 506-452-0627.