Experiential learning requirement fails to pass Faculty Senate

Anna Staver

Faculty Senate voted 20-18 today against an experiential learning requirement for all Kent State students.

The proposal would have required students to have at least one ELR experience in order to graduate. This could have been fulfilled through internships, research projects or volunteering. It also allowed for the creation of new experiential learning classes and for current classes to be modified to include out-of-the-classroom experiences.

Those opposed to the proposal voiced concerns over what they said to be the vague language of the bill.

“My concern is that everyone says they agree with the spirit of the proposal, but I don’t know what that spirit is,” said Geography professor James Tyner. “There is no definition anywhere in this proposal of what experiential learning is.”

Those in favor of the requirement believe that experiences outside of the classroom are vital to a student’s education, and in order to ensure every student has at least one prior to graduation, it must be a requirement.

“I would say that experiential learning is equally as important as math and the sciences,” said Pan-African studies professor George Garrison.

The heated debate over the proposal lasted more than an hour before senate chair Mack Hassler closed the discussion for a vote. The vote was taken by anonymous paper ballots rather than a typical vocal yes or no.

Anna Staver