Experiential Education 2024-25

Experiential education, involving “learning by doing” outside the classroom, is a robust part of the Williams curriculum. In addition to the use of traditional laboratory work in the natural sciences and studio work in art, faculty have been challenging students to become engaged more personally in the Williams curriculum through field work, whether in the form of research, sustained work on special projects, or through placement with community organizations. Courses which include experiential learning provide students with opportunities to encounter firsthand the issues that they read and study about, requiring them to apply academic learning to nonacademic settings and challenging them to use their experiences in those settings to think more critically and deeply about what they are studying. Experiential courses, as defined above, range from fully integrated off-campus programs such as the Williams-Mystic: Coastal and Ocean Studies Program to courses involving a small field research exercise or project. The amount and nature of the experiential component(s) varies according to the instructor’s judgment. More information can be found on the Center for Learning in Action site.

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