Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola

The Maroon

Campaign looks to accredit experiential learning

Loyola is trying to get accredited for the experiential learning opportunities it offers, such as study abroad programs and internships.

The university submitted its Quality Enhancement Plan to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in January to start the accreditation process.

Discerning Minds is the campaign to bring awareness to this plan. Joy Allen, faculty director of the quality enhancement plan, is working with a committee of faculty members across the university, along with student representatives and alumni, to prepare for accreditation.

Accreditors from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges came to campus for an on-site visit March 1-3.

Examples of experiential learning in the curriculum include study abroad, service learning, collaborative research and internships. This plan puts emphasis on the reflection aspect of education.

Morgan Ballard, student representative and public relations for the leadership team, gets experience for her career through working at the Donnelly Center and leading the public relations for Discerning Minds.

“Discerning Minds in its simplest terms means to experience, reflect and transform. Discerning Minds aims to enhance the student’s experience. Often times, student participate in experiential learning because it is a part of the curriculum. It is more than just a requirement, it is beneficial to the student as a whole. This plan aims to encourage students to recognize the importance of their education,” Ballard said.

A large part of the Jesuit tradition of “discernment” is for students to apply what they have learned through experience. After students do their respective internships or study abroad, they reflect and apply their knowledge to solving problems or expressing new ideas.

Connor Crowe, psychology senior, was happy to get an experience outside of college and even outside of the United States through his study abroad program.

“I feel like it’s learning through experiencing things. We get to go out into the world and use what we do in class to affect the world. I had a great experience studying abroad in France and I also got to learn about myself and the world as a whole. I got to experience culture and thinking critically,” Crowe said.

This program aims to get students out of their comfort zones and off campus. Discerning Minds and the overall not only pushes students to better themselves and gain experience, but also faculty to prepare their students for the real world.

Victoria Jones, mass communication senior, feels prepared for life after graduation because of the experience she’s gained through her internship. She also participates in the campaign for Discerning Minds.

“We want you to get a real world experience. I work for a lawyer for my internship, and I have to deal with some things that we don’t cover in class. Learning things outside of the classroom has benefited me. The school has pushed me to get out there,” Jones said.

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