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Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR)

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Experiential learning can be viewed as a strategy to encourage students to practice using the knowledge and skills developed at Kent State to give back, engage, and support real needs within communities.


Faculty members looking to apply the ELR designation to their course/non-course can access the following resources:

Course Approval Process

URCC Members' Contact Information


The purpose of Kent State’s experiential learning requirement (ELR) is to provide students with direct engagement in learning experiences that promote academic relevance, meaning, and an understanding of real-world issues. Experiential learning opportunities exist in a variety of course- and non-course-based forms and may include community service, service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad/away, and culminating experiences such as internships, student teaching, and capstone projects, to name a few.


Each ELR course or activity must provide opportunities for students to meet the learning outcomes listed below. Students will be able to:

  • Connect ideas, concepts, and skills developed at the University with their applications to new and different contexts;
  • Demonstrate how this experience has broadened their understanding of the discipline, the world, or themselves as learners; and
  • Reflect on the meaning of the experience.
  • Students also will be required to meet any additional learning outcomes as defined by the course, program, or faculty member.

Each ELR course or activity must have a plan of assessment for the experiential learning that has taken place.

Curricular Guidelines

  • All students must satisfy the experiential learning requirement as part of the requirements for any baccalaureate degree.
  • Experiential learning opportunities must be completed while the student is enrolled at Kent State University; however, the experiences may occur on or off campus. The expectation is that students will complete the ELR after the first year of study.
  • Experiential learning opportunities must meet existing University regulations and guidelines (e.g., institutional review board approval for research with animals or human subjects, memoranda of affiliation/understanding with community partners).
  • In the case of a program-approved ELR course, satisfactory completion will be determined by the instructor of the course. In the case of a program-approved ELR activity, satisfactory completion will be determined by the faculty member.
  • If an ELR course also is designated as a diversity course, a Kent Core course, and/or a writing intensive course, the student shall receive credit for fulfilling requirements in all applicable categories.
  • If a unit does not approve an experience as meeting the ELR, a student who wishes to appeal that decision should submit a letter of appeal to the dean’s office in the student’s degree-granting College.

The ELR can be satisfied in four basic ways:

ELR - Designated Course:

All students are involved in experiential learning as an integrated aspect of the course. ELR designations must be approved at the department/school, college, and EPC level. All sections of the course must incorporate experiential learning to create continuity of course design. This course must be approved at the unit and collegial levels in order for students to receive Experiential Learning transcript notation.

Students enroll in a course that includes an experiential learning component and explore ways their course or disciplinary expertise and competencies translate with real-world issues.

Talk to a faculty/ or advisor about course options
Register for the courses
Fulfill the course requirements
Complete optional pre or post online surveys

ELR - Non-Course Activity:

Non-course-based activities must be approved at the unit and collegial levels. Non-course-based experiential learning involves engagement in non-credit bearing activities which contribute to the understanding, growth and development of students. Non-course-based experiences may include community activities such as alternative break trips, immersion trips, study abroad experiences, and sustained and significant leadership roles. 

     Talk with a faculty of interest to create and secure an activity
     Complete and submit online application at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the activity
       Complete required pre or post online surveys
      Complete and submit final Reflective Guide/Assignment
step 5  Once ELR is complete, collect signatures and submit to OEECE

ELR - Plus-1 Credit Course:

Students may add one-hour of course credit to an existing course with faculty permission. The “add on” or Plus-1 Credit allows students to append experiential learning to any undergraduate course that does not have an existing activity. Students use reflective analysis to document the integration of course objectives with the engaged learning experience.

Talk with a faculty of interest to create and secure an activity

Complete and submit online application by Thursday of the fourth week of classes

Complete required pre or post online surveys

Complete and submit final Reflective Guide/Assignment

*All applications are only valid with appropriate signatures

** Verify that the ELR course is taught during the semester of interest


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Continuum of Engaged Experiential Learning

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