Experiential Learning

Extending your Honors experience beyond the classroom

Experiential Learning Deadlines

Summer C-Term 2021

Summer C-Term 2021 Due Dates (Previous Quarter)

By… You must have…
Monday, Sep 6 @ 9:00am Submitted a complete application for any activities happening this quarter
Monday, Sep 13 @ 9:00am Received a confirmation email stating that the Honors staff approved or denied your application
Monday, Sep 20 @ 9:00am Received a confirmation email stating that your supervisor approved or denied your application
Monday, Sep 27 @ 9:00am Submitted any revisions for applications denied by either Honors or your supervisor
Last week of the quarter Received an email from Honors with a link to your final reflection form
Last day of instruction for the current Quarter @ 9:00am Submitted your final reflection
Tuesday, Sep 28 @ 5:00pm Have had your supervisor submit your final evaluation
(a confirmation email is sent to you when this has occurred)

Autumn 2021

Autumn 2021 Due Dates (Upcoming/Current Quarter)

By… You must have…
Monday, Oct 18 @ 9:00am Submitted a complete application for any activities happening this quarter
Monday, Oct 25 @ 9:00am Received a confirmation email stating that the Honors staff approved or denied your application
Monday, Nov 1 @ 9:00am Received a confirmation email stating that your supervisor approved or denied your application
Monday, Nov 8 @ 9:00am Submitted any revisions for applications denied by either Honors or your supervisor
Monday of Week 9 of the Quarter Received an email from Honors with a link to your final reflection form
Last day of instruction for the current Quarter @ 9:00am Submitted your final reflection
Tuesday, Dec 21 @ 5:00pm Have had your supervisor submit your final evaluation
(a confirmation email is sent to you when this has occurred)

Winter 2022

Winter 2022 Due Dates (Next Quarter)

By… You must have…
Monday, Jan 17 @ 9:00am Submitted a complete application for any activities happening this quarter
Monday, Jan 24 @ 9:00am Received a confirmation email stating that the Honors staff approved or denied your application
Monday, Jan 31 @ 9:00am Received a confirmation email stating that your supervisor approved or denied your application
Monday, Feb 7 @ 9:00am Submitted any revisions for applications denied by either Honors or your supervisor
Last week of the quarter Received an email from Honors with a link to your final reflection form
Last day of instruction for the current Quarter @ 9:00am Submitted your final reflection
Tuesday, Mar 22 @ 5:00pm Have had your supervisor submit your final evaluation
(a confirmation email is sent to you when this has occurred)

Overview

The Honors Program believes that participation in activities outside of the classroom enhances and enriches the undergraduate experience, helping students connect their education to the larger world. Knowing that you will participate in many different types of activities throughout your undergraduate years, our goal is to help you take academic risks, actively engage in your own learning, explore the world, and ultimately develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your goals.

Therefore, Interdisciplinary Honors students must complete the experiential learning application process for two distinct activities during their time at UW within the following areas: international engagement, service, research, and leadership; each activity must be from a different area.

International Engagement

A project or period of study which involves travel or extensive engagement outside the U.S. This can also be met through working with an international community or project in the U.S. However, if you have an activity in mind that does not involve leaving the U.S., it must be of considerable depth, scope, and duration to qualify for this category. Examples include, but are not limited to, Honors study abroad programs or working for an internationally-focused group like a refugee resettlement organization.

See the latest international programs through Honors

Service

A project or period of engagement with a campus or community-based service organization or group. Sustained engagement with one project or organization is preferred and you must demonstrate both engagement with the organization/project and with the issues the organization/project addresses. Examples include, but are not limited to, participation in a course (either Honors or other courses) that has service learning embedded in the curriculum, service programs through the UW’s Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity, internships and fellowships with a service and community participation focus, or volunteering at the UW Medical Center.

See the EXPD website for more ideas

Research

A research job or project in any field (sciences, humanities, social sciences, arts, etcetera). This includes working with a faculty member or scholar on research, or implementing a research project of the student’s design. Research related to your Honors thesis or departmental work is eligible. Examples include, but are not limited to, departmental Honors thesis/research participation, opportunities through the Undergraduate Research Program, or independent research conducted with a faculty mentor.

See the URP website for more ideas

Leadership

An activity in which you demonstrate vision and then translate that vision into sustained action while collaborating with various partners. You must play a guiding role in said activity and demonstrate an engagement that clearly illustrates your commitment and collaborative skills. Examples include, but are not limited to, participation in Honors 100 as an Honors Peer Educator, acting as a FIG leader, or serving as a Resident Adviser (RA).

See the Husky Leadership website for more ideas

Please remember that all projects must be approved individually by the Honors Program via the application process, even if it is a program sponsored by the Honors Program or listed here as an example.

The intent of this requirement is to think deliberately about experiences you are having and how those experiences tie into your education. While this requirement can be satisfied via Honors-specific opportunities, there are many non-Honors and non-UW options that will also satisfy it. The UW offers a wide range of opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning on and off-campus, and our students frequently design their own projects and forge their own partnerships. 

Keep the following in mind as you begin your experiential learning activities:

  • A student beginning an activity should submit an official application in order to count it towards the requirement.
  • Activities cannot be approved retroactively. To receive experiential learning credit for an activity, an application must be submitted by the application deadline of the quarter in which the majority of the activity will occur. If the activity is already in progress when you apply, there must be a minimum of 20 hours remaining after the application deadline in order to receive experiential learning credit. 
  • Students must demonstrate sustained engagement in their activity. This will differ by activity, but it is a minimum of 20 hours of participation,  and the full completion of your agreed-upon commitment to your organization or partners.
  • Specific projects may actually fit in more than one of the four categories; you should choose the category that best represents the project and your goals. Please keep in mind that your two experiential learning activities must fall within different categories. 
  • You are encouraged to include both, but are required to include at least one of your two Experiential Learning activities in your portfolio. On completion of one experiential learning activity and six or more Honors course requirements, you can register for HONORS 496.
  • Please note that students are not required to complete additional work outside of their established commitment to their organization or position in order to meet the Honors Experiential Learning requirement. Students may simultaneously satisfy this and other requirements, such as those within the major.
  • The Experiential Learning requirement will not be marked complete on your Degree Audit until two experiential learning activities have been completed. If both activities are completed, your Degree Audit will be updated by the Friday following the final grading deadline of the quarter in which your activity ends.

For each Experiential Learning activity, you must choose a supervisor to oversee your progress and evaluate your completion of it. This person can be associated with the UW – as faculty, staff, or student – or may be a member of the community or organization in which you are working. It is important to choose a supervisor who will have direct involvement with the project, is able and willing to supervise you throughout the project, and can submit a final evaluation of the project and your reflective component. The project supervisor’s approval and satisfactory evaluation is required in order for an activity to count toward the Experiential Learning requirement.

Learn more about the expectations for students and supervisors »

Experiential Learning Process: Step-by-step

  1. Review the Experiential Learning guidelines and definitions.
  2. Speak with potential supervisors and solidify their commitment to oversee your activity. 
  3. Draft and submit your application prior to the deadline of the quarter in which the majority of the activity will occur. Applications open during week 5 of the prior quarter, and an example application is available.
  4. Receive email approval/denial of your application from the Honors Program by the end of the third week of the quarter. 
    1. If denied, you will be given an opportunity to resubmit your application with the requested clarifications or additions.  
  5. Ensure your supervisor submits her/his approval of your application by the end of the fourth week of the quarter. It is your responsibility to follow up with your supervisor to ensure this happens; we will not remind you or your supervisor.
    1. If your initial application was denied by the Honors advisers and required re-submission, the deadline for supervisor approval is the end of the fifth week of the quarter. 
  6. Complete the activity, communicating regularly with your supervisor throughout.
  7. Submit the final reflection form (emailed to you approximately two weeks prior to the activity end date) and remind your supervisor to submit the final evaluation of your completed activity.
  8. Archive your application and reflection form and any relevant artifacts for use in your portfolio.

Looking for an example of a past Experiential Learning application?

Past application example

Frequently Asked Questions

What activities can count towards the categories of service, leadership, international engagement or research?

Our categories for experiential learning are intentionally broad; any supervised activity that you feel is helping you grow professionally, academically and/or personally, is likely eligible for experiential learning. However, it is up to you in your application to articulate how you feel your activity is helping you grow in the respective category. When submitting your application, reflect on how the activity you are pursuing is reflected in your categories definition below:

  • Service: the action of helping or doing work for someone (whether paid or unpaid)
  • Leadership: the action of leading a group of people or an organization
  • International Engagement: responsible, and meaningful interaction with other countries, learning about places and cultures, and gaining intercultural skills in the process
  • Research: research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon

If I’m getting paid or getting course credit for an activity, is it still eligible for experiential learning?

Yes! As long as the activity meets the requirements listed above, it is eligible for the experiential learning requirement. 

Who can my supervisor be?

Supervisors can be anyone that is in a good position to oversee your work and provide you with feedback, whether this be another student, community leader, or faculty member. Ultimately, we rely on them to both approve your activity and complete the final evaluation, so make sure you’re choosing someone reliable. 

Does my supervisor need to be affiliated with UW?

No, your supervisor just needs to be someone who is in a position to oversee your work and give you good feedback.

What does the final reflection look like?

At the end of their experiential learning activity, students are asked to reflect on their experience. Some guiding prompts to consider when writing your reflection are listed below, but feel free to address other questions, or include different information if you wish.

  • How has your completion of the project changed how you would answer the questions on your initial application? 
  • How has this project furthered your educational or personal goals and experiences? 
  • How does it connect to your future or current coursework? 
  • How did your project contribute to the work of the organization or your partners? 
  • Do you see yourself continuing to work with the organization or partners, or on issues related to this project?
  •  What did you learn about yourself and the importance of this project over the course of the last quarter?

My Degree Audit still shows my experiential learning requirement as incomplete but I know I completed one activity already, what gives?

The Experiential Learning requirement will not be marked complete on your Degree Audit until two experiential learning activities have been completed. If both activities are completed, your Degree Audit will be updated by the Friday following the final grading deadline of the quarter in which your activity ends. If this date has passed and the requirement is still showing as incomplete, please email uwhonors@uw.edu.