Experiential learning is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from other students and become highly competitive for jobs and paid positions in graduate school.
You will do things like:
- Gain practical, hands-on experience in a conservation related field
- Demonstrate the ability to formulate hypotheses, collect data, perform quantitative analysis
- Gain real-world perspective on how complex cultural issues relate to natural resource conservation and management
- Effectively report results in written form.
PLANNING YOUR EXPERIENCE
WHEN SHOULD YOU START PLANNING?
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BUT BY YOUR SECOND SEMESTER AS A FISH OR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION MAJOR
(Your experience must be proposed and approved prior to beginning the experience.)
WHO SHOULD YOU TALK TO?
PLEASE MEET WITH YOUR FACULTY MENTOR TO DISCUSS YOUR PLAN
(If you are not sure who your faculty mentor is, you can log into the Student Success Collaborative where you will see a Fish and Wildlife Conservation faculty name listed.)
WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE?
/////////HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING?
(Please complete steps 1 through 3 at the same time)
1) Write your Experiential Learning Proposal:
After speaking with your faculty mentor and agreeing on an experience, prepare a short proposal (250 – 500 words) explaining your experiential learning opportunity. This proposal should be submitted BEFORE you begin the experience. The proposal should include:
- What you intend to do and with whom
- When it will be done
- What you hope to achieve during the experience and what the outcomes will be?
Complete the Experiential Learning Partnership Agreement form, sign the form, and obtain signatures from:
1) employer/instructor* (i.e., The person overseeing your experiential learning on a daily basis).
2) Your assigned faculty mentor or the Associate Department Head, Dr. Dean Stauffer (if you are not sure who your mentor is).
*Your employer/instructor and mentor are the same if you are doing research with your faculty mentor.
Turn in your signed Experiential Learning Partnership Agreement form and short proposal of your experiential learning to the department office in room 100 of Cheatham Hall for the Department Head’s signature.
3) Register for the Appropriate Class:
Depending on your experience, you should complete the appropriate form to enroll in one of the following courses:
FiW 2974 or 4974 [Independent Study] INDEPENDENT STUDY REQUEST
FiW 3954 [Study Abroad] AUTHORIZATION TO STUDY ABROAD (students participating in VT faculty led programs do not need to complete this form)
FiW 3964 [Internship] FIELD STUDY / INTERNSHIP REQUEST (only select FIW 3964)
FiW 4994 [Undergraduate Research] UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH REQUEST
After signing the form yourself, have your Faculty Mentor or the Associate Department Head, Dr. Dean Stauffer, sign the form. Turn in your signed registration form to the department office in room 100 of Cheatham Hall for the Department Head’s signature. We will submit the form to the Advising Center.
4)Complete your experience by*:
1) Completing the Student Evaluation of Experiential Learning Project Form.
2) Have your Employer/Instructor Complete the Employer/Instructor Evaluation of Student Performance Form. The completed form can be emailed to Dana Keith if your employer/instructor is located off campus.
3) Write a two- to three-page report on your Experiential Learning Project. The two- to three-page project final report should include reflection on the value of the experience to your training as a fish or wildlife conservation major. See your faculty mentor for more details.
4) Turn in your signed evaluation form and final report to the department office in room 100 of Cheatham Hall for the Department Head’s signature.
*Note that you will receive a grade of Incomplete in the course until all final forms & your report are completed and turned in.
Requests for experiential learning after the experience will typically not be approved. In exceptional circumstances, approval may be given within the semester following the experience being requested for credit; requests more than one semester after the experience will not be considered.