Travel, CPLs, Symposiums, Oh My!

School of Professional & Continuing Education (SPCE)

Tell me and I forget; Teach me and I remember; Involve me and I will learn. - Benjamin Franklin, 1750


Learning is most purposeful when learners can apply knowledge creatively and critically to solve problems, challenge the status quo, enhance the quality of their lives, and positively impact their world. Experiential learning achieves this! Through engagement in active experiential learning, students can process knowledge, acquire relevant in-demand skills, and consistently grow in their personal and professional lives. The JMU Adult Degree Program offers a wide range of opportunities that demonstrate the program’s longstanding commitment to the philosophy of experiential learning. Read further to learn more about how we serve our students through the philosophy of experiential learning.


Course Design

ADP courses place the professional and career needs of students in perspective. A step away from the traditional highly structured pattern of learning, our courses are flexibly designed to actively engage students in the learning process, enabling them to bring their experience, interests, and professional/career goals to projects, class activities, and assignments. Through this process-focused course design, students hone existing skill sets while growing and acquiring supplemental ones. Students largely benefit from the guidance of our expectational faculty as they work toward their degrees.


Service-Learning Study Abroad Programsimg_1496.jpg

Our students can travel abroad for our service-learning programs in the summer funded by Online Virginia Network. The study abroad initiative helps students to actively engage with foreign communities, build relationships and foster practical learning through service. Students from past study abroad programs in Germany and Jamaica have shared profound testimonials of exponential personal growth and discovery. According to ADP director, Daniel Robinson, this initiative reflects the program's commitment to experiential learning with an international focus. In the Summer of 2024, selected ADP students will be fully funded to take a course in migration and culture in Germany.


Credit for Prior Learning

We believe that most adult learners returning to earn a college degree come with a plethora of relevant professional skills from work experience. These valued experiences have a place in our program where you can reflect on them and build a portfolio that counts toward your college credits and your overall learning. Our IS 206 Researching, Writing and Documenting Prior Learning guides students through the process of making their prior learning count toward their college degree. Additionally, courses like IS 300: Sponsored Learning equip our students to deepen their professional skills in their chosen field of interest. Karl Gracia who recently earned his bachelor's degree in Communications and Business Technology took advantage of the experiential learning opportunities that abound in ADP as he worked on prior learning portfolios to earn credit for four courses based on his extensive work experience in IT. Ever since this experiential learning component was incorporated into the ADP, more students have earned college credits through portfolios from prior learning experiences.


Teaching Licensure and Practicums

Our College of Education, Bachelor of Individualized Study students benefit from a rich array of experiential learning opportunities through field experiences tailored to their specific program tracks. For ECED BIS students, there are two practicum experiences and one student teaching experience, all within PreK-3 settings, closely aligned with concurrent content courses. The practicum extends through the semester, providing immersive learning. Similarly, ELED BIS students engage in three practicum experiences and one student teaching stint in PreK-6 grades, ensuring alignment with coursework. IECE BIS program participants undergo two eight-week student teaching placements, one in early intervention or special education and the other in a K-3 general education classroom. Special Education BIS students also partake in integrated field experiences throughout their program, culminating in two student teaching placements focusing on adapted and general curriculum, across different grade levels. These opportunities foster hands-on learning and preparation for real-world teaching environments, crucial for their professional development. The information here is for the 2023 cohort. Every year we review the structure of the field-based practicums and student teaching to optimize our students’ experience as they learn by deep involvement with the processes of the teaching profession. Further details can be found in the Student Teaching Performance Guide provided by the College of Education.

students in Germany


Symposiums for Sharing Research

The Adult Degree Program equips students to conduct cutting-edge and pertinent research in their selected disciplines. Organized symposiums provide platforms for students to present their research methodologies and discoveries. Through these symposiums, students demonstrate their developing research skills and the reasons behind their chosen research directions. Past student research has covered a wide range of topical issues around advocacy for marginalized groups in different sectors, including healthcare and access to economic opportunities.


In addition to all these avenues for experiential learning at ADP, our students have access to on-campus events and conference opportunities targeted at their professional and academic advancement. Attending big on-campus events such as the Commencement Ceremonies has been one of the most exciting moments for adult learners who have successfully navigated the demanding yet fulfilling path of earning their degrees.


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Published: Saturday, August 26, 2023

Last Updated: Monday, April 22, 2024

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