The goal for students as they complete this element of the Core Curriculum is that they bridge the gap between the academy and the world beyond, transcending the theory-praxis divide and giving extra meaning to their academic courses by applying their developing knowledge, skills, and values to life experiences outside the boundaries of the college campus.
At the completion of ELAW, students will be able to:
- Explain how knowledge gained in a classroom setting is applied to, but also altered by experiences outside of the classroom.
- Situate their individual experiences within broader professional, cultural, sociopolitical, and/or global contexts.
Students fulfill the Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World (ELAW) requirement by successfully completing one of the following:
- A study tour
- A study abroad program
- A credit-bearing internship
- A College-designated service or experiential learning class.
For classes and study tours that satisfy ELAW in any given semester, please see the courses listed under “CORE ELAW” in the Portal’s Schedule of Classes. For a list of all classes approved to satisfy ELAW, please see the Core Curriculum page of the current catalog: http://www.smcm.edu/catalog/core-curriculum/ (scroll down and click on “Experiencing the Liberal Arts in the World”).
Students may also use a 4-credit independent study or directed research to fulfill ELAW if it has a significant off-campus component. In such cases, students will work with their instructor to complete the ELAW Learning Contract (which replaces the usual Learning Contract used for an independent study or directed research) at the beginning of the semester in which their course takes place:
Experiences equivalent to a 4-credit course (160 hours), such as a non-credit bearing internship, can also be used to fulfill ELAW. Students who wish to use such an experience for ELAW must work with a faculty sponsor to ensure that their experience meets the expectations for ELAW. Such experiences must:
- Take place off-campus
- Include a structured learning component
- Total at least 160 hours.
Faculty will not sponsor experiences that do not meet these qualifications.
If the experience meets these qualifications, students will work with their faculty sponsors to complete the ELAW Learning Contract (see above) at the beginning of the semester in which their experience takes place. This contract registers the student for Core 350, a 0-credit ELAW course. As part of this course, faculty sponsors will provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their experience. Core 350 is evaluated pass with distinction, pass, or fail.
Students who wish to use an experience that occurred prior to January 1, 2018 must follow past ELAW procedures and petition the Academic Policy Committee for approval using this form:
Students whose petitions are approved will work with the Associate Dean of Curriculum to register for Core 350; students will be expected to submit a reflective essay about their experience in order to pass Core 350. Refer to the old guidelines for ELAW reflective essays. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or talk with your advisor if you have any questions about these procedures.