Experiential Learning at Dartmouth

In an effort to expand and enhance experiential learning across the institution, DCAL coordinates resources to engage Dartmouth students, faculty, co-curricular educators, and community partners in the design and delivery of experiential learning opportunities.

Experiential Learning Seed Grant: Call for Proposals

DCAL invites faculty and staff to submit proposals for seed funding to support new and existing experiential learning opportunities in 2017-18.

DCAL coordinates resources to expand and enhance experiential learning across the institution and ensure best practice in the design and delivery of experiential learning opportunities. Please read more about experiential learning at Dartmouth below.

DCAL sponsored 30 experiential learning opportunities in 2015-16 and is excited to announce a second request for experiential learning proposals.

To be eligible for funding, an experiential learning opportunity must:

  • Be directed by Dartmouth faculty and/or staff members
  • Engage Dartmouth students in direct experience and reflection
  • Be embedded within or directly connected to an academic course or series of courses
  • Take place between July 2017 and June 2018
  • Be fully approved by all applicable approval bodies - the academic department(s) or center(s), the Committee on Instruction (COI), and/or the Committee on Off-Campus Activities (COCA)

Please note that this call for proposals seeks larger experiential learning projects in the $10,000-50,000 range, though smaller-scale requests will also be considered. Funding for smaller projects ($2000 or less) will be available on a rolling basis beginning July 2017. Details will be available in early summer.

Proposals may be submitted online by completing this form.

Important Dates:
Wednesday, May 10: Proposals due by 5:00 p.m. 
Saturday, June 3:  Selections announced.

Please contact Ashley Kehoe, Associate Director for Experiential Learning, at Ashley.Kehoe@Dartmouth.edu, with any questions.

About Experiential Learning

“Experiential education is a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities.” - Association for Experiential Education

As a pedagogy, experiential learning requires students to actively and iteratively apply and reflect on the concepts, knowledge, and skills acquired in their course of study. It provides students with the opportunity to confront the uncertainties, complexities, and challenges of bringing theory into praxis, and translating ideas into social application.

At Dartmouth, experiential learning encompasses a wide range of activities, including but not limited to research opportunities, outdoor programs, service for social impact, entrepreneurship, art and performance, clinical placements, internships, project-based learning, and global experiences. In our model, experiential learning can be academic, co-curricular, or a hybrid. To be considered experiential learning, an activity must include the following components:

  • Students intentionally engage intellectually, creatively, emotionally, or physically in a direct experience
  • Students have the opportunity to take initiative, make decisions, problem solve, and be accountable for the results
  • Students conceptualize and critically reflect on the experience

An experiential learning opportunity must be designed to promote student learning and development. Specifically, experiential learning at Dartmouth should demonstrate a positive impact on students’ confidence and abilities to:

  • Innovate, take risks, and learn from failure
  • Work effectively with people from very different backgrounds, cultures, and life situations
  • Understand the importance of deep thinking and the power of the intellect to address the world’s most difficult issues
  • Effectively communicate about complex issues and objectives
  • Apply multiple disciplines and perspectives to a complex problem or opportunity

Experiential learning is already a prominent component of “the Dartmouth experience,” both in and beyond the classroom. In a 2014 survey, departments reported over 120 courses characterized by experiential learning taught by over 70 Dartmouth faculty. More than 70 co-curricular programs (including employment, internships, outreach, research, and service opportunities) reported experiential learning as a central component of the programs.

For more information about experiential learning at Dartmouth, contact Ashley Kehoe, Associate Director for Experiential Learning, at Ashley.Kehoe@Dartmouth.edu.