Experiential Learning Example

Example of past Experiential Learning application

Below is an example of well-created past Experiential Learning application. Notice how the example show complete and thoughtful effort in addressing each prompt. The example is not meant to be used as a template for your own application.


Experiential Learning Project Example

Needle Exchange Volunteer

Student Name: Tess Hansen
Experiential Learning Category: Service
Associated UW Course (if applicable): Soc 270/ Honors 232A


For my experiential learning activity, I will volunteer at the King County Needle Exchange. The primary focus of the organization is harm reduction among people who use drugs by injection. I will collect used needles and supply sanitary needles in order to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and other blood borne infectious diseases through needle use. In addition, the organization provides testing for HIV/AIDS and offers health care treatment.
My expectations for my supervisor is that he will train me so that I feel comfortable interacting with people at the needle exchange and equipped to perform the necessary actions of my position.

Explain how your activity demonstrates the values of the Honors Program Experiential Learning area you selected. Rather than reiterating our definition, outline how your activity embodies this definition.

I am volunteering through the Carlson Center and a sociology Honors course. My experiences at the Needle Exchange will directly correlate with what I am studying in class: HIV as a social problem and the ways in which HIV is characterized as a social problem. I will be engaging with the organization for the entirety of spring quarter, for a total of 36 hours.

How and why did you select this engagement? What skills or experiences do you hope to gain from it?

I chose to volunteer at the Needle Exchange because I have studied HIV in a biomedical internship. However, I am really interested in understanding the underlying social aspects of HIV and how needle exchanges attempt to alleviate the stigma associated with HIV transmission. I am interested in serving the population through a harm reduction program, which has been objectively proven and which I believe to be effective in preventing the spread of HIV through contaminated needles. I hope to serve not only those who use needles for injection, but to serve the families who may be affected through the transmission of HIV through pregnancy and unprotected sex with individuals who inject.

How does this activity connect to your concurrent or past coursework? How does it speak to your broader education goals and experiences?

I have studied the transmission of HIV in a scientific context and I am also interested in the humanistic side of the prevention of HIV. In addition to my current sociology course, I have taken economics courses and social justice classes. In terms of an economic study, I will observe the effectiveness of harm reduction in lessening societal economic burdens like healthcare costs. I hope to expand my education through social work experiences by directly working with people who use drugs by injection and understanding the impact needle exchange and health treatments have on lives. I would also like to get to know those who run the organization and successfully effect social change.

How will your activity contribute to the larger goals of the organization/your partners?

The goal of the organization is to implement a system of harm reduction by providing sanitary needles in exchange for used needles. I will directly contribute to the larger goals by working with drug users. I will work to educate drug users on the importance of the needle exchange to prevent the spread of HIV and other blood borne diseases. I will also provide information about treatment options.