Experiential Learning

Experiential learning, or learning-by-doing, is the personal acquisition of knowledge and skill through practice; and practices can range from those closely connected to one’s career plans, as with research or internships, to those that shape one’s perspective profoundly but may not be closely connected to professional aspirations, as is often the case with study abroad. Students select those experiential learning opportunities that they expect will cultivate the knowledge and skills that interest them; a reflection process facilitates students' ability to understand and articulate how these experiences will integrate with formal academic learning towards their broader self-conceptions and goals.

Important Notice Regarding Experiential Education – Fall 2020  (Issued August 21, 2020) 

Requirements

  • Earn at least 12 honors credits (see semester hour equivalents below) in addition to 12 semester hours of honors coursework by graduation.
  • You can start at any time, but must complete all applied experiences at the time of degree conferral to earn University Honors.

Experiential Learning

An alternative assignment is being offered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This project is open to all Honors students (except incoming students) and up to 3 experiential learning credits can be earned right from home.

The deadline to submit a pre-experience questionnaire has passed. Only students who submitted that form can currently submit the Project by Sept 1st.

Project Description

Your study abroad and internship plans for summer 2020 may have been upended by the pandemic, but there's still a wide world of ideas and knowledge to explore! Honors has developed a summer 2020 introspective assignment, the Honors Summer 2020 Project, to resource and reward you for staying intellectually engaged with your professional and academic goals. The project will count towards your honors experiential learning requirement.

Similar to the honors reflection assignments for study abroad and internships, you will complete a pre-experience questionnaire and a post-experience questionnaire. More than a reflection, the Summer 2020 Project is an introspective research assignment making connections between the present difficulties and your professional/academic aspirations. The assignment itself, which is described below, is available to all honors students regardless of major or summer plans and will earn up to 3 honors credits in experiential learning. The pre-experience questionnaire must be completed by 06/01/20, and the post-experience questionnaire and submission will be due by 09/01/20


Quick Links


Step 1: Read the Instructions

Scroll down the page and read the Honors Summer 2020 Project Description and look at the Rubric. If this opportunity for Experiential Learning Credits is something you would like to take advantage of, please continue!


Step 2: Identify a Project Topic

Think about what professional or academic goals are most salient for you right now. Are any of these goals being impacted by the COVID19 outbreak and campus response? That may be the topic you want to engage with for this assignment!


Step 3: Complete the Pre-Experience Questionnaire

This consists of a few basic questions. It is designed to help you begin considering your intended outcomes for the Summer 2020 Project.

Click here to navigate to the pre-experience questionnaire. 

Due by June 1st, 2020.


Step 4: Do the Project!

Get creative! Push your comfort zone! Engage!


Step 5: Complete the Post-Experience Questionnaire 

Click here to navigate to the post-experience questionnaire. This is the place where you can comment on how you were able to engage with this Project, and hopefully help you tie together the benefits you gained from completing the Project. Some of your answers here will be evaluated as part of the Project.

Due by September 1st, 2020


Step 6: Submit the Project

Click here to navigate to the form to submit your project.

Due by September 1st, 2020


Project Guidelines

Click here to learn more about the project, develop a deeper understanding of the requirements, and find a rubric detailing the process. Contact honors-program@uiowa.edu with questions!

Earns you up to 12 experiential learning credits.


Honors in the major is awarded to students who make their connection within a field of study by collaborating with faculty on research and creative work. This scholarly activity must culminate in a capstone project or experience that is submitted to the major department.


Each major identifies the requirements to graduate with honors and appoints an Honors Advisor from the department to guide you through the process and verify satisfactory completion of the requirements upon graduation. You do not have to be a member of the University Honors Program in order to complete honors in your major and not all majors require a thesis/project. Contact your Honors Advisor with questions.


Honors in the Major by College

Honors in the major is based on the college and department you are earning your degree from. Information on honors in the major for each undergraduate degree granting college can be found at:

There is no distinct universal application for graduating with honors in the major. It is associated with your degree application. Information on the Degree Application process can be found here. Questions about your eligibility to graduate with honors in the major should be directed to your department or college.


Step 1

Meet specific requirements set by your major or college. Contact your Honors Advisor to begin the process.


Step 2

Apply to graduate through MyUI. Ensure your academic advisor knows you are Pursuing Honors in the Major and then indicate this on your degree application. 


Graduation

Students who have earned honors in their major will be announced at commencement, and the designation will be noted on their transcript and diploma. If you are walking early (see Early Participation on the Registrar's website) you must have completed your major's requirements for honors at the time of commencement participation to receive your cordons.

A statement of Honors in the Major is recognized by the college in which you are earning your major. General information about Honors the Major, and links for specific collegiate requirements can be found here.


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Earns you up to 12 experiential learning credits. 


The University of Iowa depends on robust and creative research efforts, and honors students are able to receive honors credit for participating. There are many opportunities for honors students to get involved in research and creative activities at the University of Iowa, and not just in the sciences! Research happens in every department and major on campus. Research can be done with UIowa faculty members (known as mentored research) or as your own project as a part of earning honors in your major.


Students may earn honors credit for research whether it is paid or unpaid, registered for credit or not. See the various ways to earn honors credit for your research below.


The Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU) anchors these efforts by promoting and supporting research by undergraduates throughout campus. ICRU serves all students with interests and talents in research. The ICRU office is located at 6 Gilmore Hall and provides advising on how to get involved, training and development opportunities, and funding. Contact them at icru@uiowa.edu or visit uiowa.edu/ircu


Earn Honors Credit for Research

The following research opportunities appear automatically on your honors degree audit:

The following research opportunities will be added to your honors degree audit after the 10th day of the semester in which you are registered*:

*Effective Fall 2018 unless otherwise noted. If you have registered past mentored research with a course code above that is not currently reflected on your honors degree audit, please submit the honors research experience verification form, linked below.

**Effective Spring 2019. If you have registered past mentored research with a course code above that is not currently reflected on your honors degree audit, please submit the honors research experience verification form, linked below.

***Effective Summer 2019. If you have registered past mentored research with a course code above that is not currently reflected on your honors degree audit, please submit the honors research experience verification form, linked below.


Are you participating in research but don't see an option to get honors credit for it above? Fill out the Research Experience Verification Form!

Earns you up to 12 experiential learning credits. 


Honors education often celebrates leadership, especially when leadership through service projects. By the century’s turn, service learning had become a national movement in college education. Already honors students at Iowa have contributed one of its major inventions, generating the 10,000 Hours Show as a device for motivating many students to volunteer community service in small amounts that can cumulate into important effects. For service to become service learning, though, there needs to be academically informed reflection on the experience.


Instructions

Honors students may earn experiential credit for service learning through two distinct registrations: (1) the experiential learning course PHIL:3920 Philosophy in Public or (2) the independent study course HONR:3150 Honors Service Learning


PHIL:3920 Philosophy in Public

To get credit for experiential learning course, students enroll in the course, PHIL:3920, and participate in a community internship, volunteer activity, or UI student group and write short weekly reflections that connect the activity with their larger personal, professional, and/or community aims. Each week students read a single text -- an article from a newspaper or blog, a video podcast, or an excerpt from a piece of philosophy -- and then write a response informed by the piece and their service. Honors students earn honors experiential learning credit for the course.

While offered by the Philosophy department, Phil:3920 is designed for a wide variety of service experiences and is a popular option.


HONR:3150 Honors Service Learning

For this independent study course, students need to:

    1. Approach an instructor and request they serve as your mentor/guide for a service learning project*
    2. Working with your instructor and volunteer supervisor/organization, develop:
      1. A description of what you will be doing as a volunteer
      2. How many hours per week you will be volunteering
      3. A reflective piece (we encourage journaling or blogging)
      4. A further learning piece (readings on the company, field, nonprofits, etc. as appropriate)
      5. Discussions/meetings on a semi-regular basis with your instructor
    3. Enroll in HONR:3150 Honors Service Learning and complete the Honors Service Learning Form

    HONR:3150 is the best option if you have a preference for a specific faculty member or department to provide the academic component of the experience. You choose your mentor/guide and design the course together.

    *Your instructor must have faculty status at the University of Iowa. If your instructor is not listed in MyUI email honors-program@uiowa.edu with their name and department and we will notify you when they've been added.​​​

    All projects must be approved by the instructor and the Honors Program. See the form for further instructions.

    Some good places to look are:

    By completing the Honors Reflection Process, study abroad earns you up to 12 experiential learning credits depending on the length of your time abroad:

    • up to 1 credit for a 1-2 week experience with questionnaires and narrative
    • up to 2 credits for a 3-5 week experience with reflection process
    • up to 3 credits for a 6-9 week experience with reflection process
    • up to 4 credits for a 10-15 week experience with reflection process

    Add up to 3 credits by completing an independent project*

    *The independent project is not an option for the 1-2 or 3-5 week experience as the duration does not allow enough time for completion.

    Note that the reflection process includes a form that must be completed before your experience abroad begins.


    Honors at Iowa encourages students to explore—and studying abroad allows them to do just that. To earn honors credit for a study abroad experience all students must complete a guided reflection process, which includes a pre- and post-experience questionnaire and a narrative submission. Students may have the option to earn additional honors credit by developing and conducting an independent project.


    Quick Links - Honors Reflection Process


    Step 1: Identify a Study Abroad Opportunity

    At the University of Iowa, the Office of Study Abroad connects students with many established programs for studying abroad. The University of Iowa offers approximately 75 study abroad programs scattered across every continent (except Antarctica). If none of the UI’s programs are right for you, you may participate in a program offered by another U.S. university or foreign university or a program approved by the Office of Study Abroad. The possibilities are nearly limitless.

    Contact the Office of Study Abroad with questions at (319) 335-0353 or study-abroad@uiowa.edu, or visit the Study Abroad Office website.


    Step 2: Register with the Office of Study Abroad

    As long as a student is registered for the program through the Office of Study Abroad, the student is eligible to earn honors credit.  


    Step 3: Complete the Pre-Experience Questionnaire

    This consists of a few basic questions. It is designed to guide you through considering and then describing what you hope to gain or accomplish from your study abroad experience.

    Pre-Experience Questionnaire

    This is due before you depart for your study abroad experience.


    Step 4: Go abroad!


    Step 5: Complete the Post-Experience Questionnaire

    This is the place where you can comment on how your experience has shaped your growth. It is designed to guide your reflection on your study abroad experience to see how and in what ways it fulfilled or did not fulfill your hopes and expectations.

    Post-Experience Questionnaire

    You can start this once you complete your study abroad and must do so within five (5) weeks after your study abroad program ends. If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Iowa, this is due no later than the Monday of finals week.


    Step 6: Submit Your Narrative

    The purpose of your narrative is to present highlights of your experience to others and demonstrate how they have contributed to your growth and self-knowledge. There isn’t one way to do this, but in general, we want it to be fun and informative, yet easy to read and/or understand.

    Narratives can take many forms including a written piece, podcast, comic strip, video, slideshow, etc. There is no required format. We do expect a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1000 words for written pieces. Video and audio can be varying length. Video, audio, and comic strip submissions will require a short explanation (minimum of 250 words) detailing their pertinence to your experience.

    Here is a list of what your narrative must include and what we might ask for you to expand on after reviewing it:

    • Where you went and what you did
    • How long you were there
    • Highlights of your experience 
    • How this experience fostered self-discovery and personal growth
    • Two (2) images (more are welcome, though!)
    • Your author bio (you have the option to include a photo of yourself)

    Your narrative may be published on the honors blog and social media. By sharing your narrative with others, what you learned can have a broader impact and possibly lead someone else to take part in a new experience. To prepare your narrative for others, you will need to reflect on the experience and think about what you want to share. You may draw on ideas and even whole paragraphs from your answers to the post-experience questionnaire; however, please keep in mind that you are writing the narrative for a general audience.

    Here are some tips for blog-writing:

    • Avoid unnecessary jargon, like technical terms and acronyms.  Make sure to explain any ideas or concepts that are not common knowledge.
    • Use paragraphs to break up the ideas in your narrative.
    • Be specific about your experience by including examples and anecdotes. Get creative and be descriptive!
    • Pay attention to the transition and flow of your main ideas—your narrative should make sense from start to finish.
    • Finish strong. What do you want others to take away from your narrative? What advice do you want to impart to your peers? How did this experience impact you the most? End your narrative with gusto!
    • Fix grammatical errors and submit a polished final draft.

    Submit Your Narrative

    You can start this once you complete your study abroad and must do so within five (5) weeks after your study abroad program ends. If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Iowa, this is due no later than the Monday of finals week.


    Step 7: Earn Honors Credit!

    Honors Experiential Learning credit will be awarded per semester accordingly:

    • 1-2 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: 1 honors credit
    • 3-5 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 2 honors credits
    • 6-9 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 3 honors credits
    • 10 or more week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 4 honors credits
    • Add up to 3 honors credits to the above for completion of an optional independent project*

    *The independent project is not an option for the 1-2 or 3-5 week experiences as the duration does not allow enough time for completion.

    Note: For study abroad in the same country for one semester (regardless of the number of weeks), four (4) is the maximum number of honors credits that can be earned by completing the honors reflection assignment. For study abroad in the same country for two or more semesters, eight (8) is the maximum number of honors credits that can be earned by completing the honors reflection assignment. A maximum of three (3) additional honors credits can be earned by developing, conducting, and reporting on an independent study abroad project. It is also possible to participate in a different study abroad experience in a different country for additional honors study abroad credit.


    Optional: Develop an Independent Project

    Students can choose to develop and conduct an independent project during their study abroad. Projects are tailored to a student’s individual interest. Some examples of the types of possible projects include:

    • Creative/original/entrepreneurial activities
    • Market research/historical research/environmental impact research
    • An in-depth analysis of the global or regional aspects of an industry or sector in which the student is working
    • An in-depth analysis of global or regional issues of concern to the host country
    • A series of personal conversations with appropriate leaders on a specific topic

    All students conducting independent projects are required to make a poster presentation. Details about the project, including topic, audience, and presentation will be finalized by individual students with the Honors Experiential Learning Director. Students are encouraged to discuss their ideas for an independent project with faculty.

    These details must be submitted to andrew-willard@uiowa.edu and approved prior to departing.

    Honors at Iowa encourages students to intern — whether as volunteers, paid employees, or as students enrolled for academic credit. Internships are supervised work experiences related to your career goals and are available across all disciplines. The word “internship” does not need to be in the job title for your experience to count as one.


    By completing the Honors Reflection Process, interning earns you up to 12 experiential learning credits depending on the length of your internship:

    • up to 2 credits for a 3-5 week experience with reflection process
    • up to 3 credits for a 6-9 week experience with reflection process
    • up to 4 credits for a 10-15 week experience with reflection process
    • Add up to 3 credits by completing an independent project*

    *The independent project option is not available for a 3-5 week experience as the duration does not allow enough time for completion.

    Note that the reflection process includes a form that must be completed before your internship begins.

    • HONR:3100 Honors Teaching Practicum (1-3 credits per semester)
      • Serving as a Teaching Assistant (TA) can be an experience that is treated as an internship and for which you can earn honors experiential learning credit.
      • There are different ways to register a teaching assistantship and perhaps the most common is to use HONR:3100 Honors Teaching Practicum (1-3 credits per semester).
      • However you register a teaching assistantship, to earn honors experiential learning credit for serving as a TA, you will need to complete the honors internship reflection assignment

    Students are strongly encouraged to register their internship (see Step #2), which will be listed on their grade report. Occasionally, students may be able to earn honors credit for an internship even though they cannot register it.

    If a student’s internship supervisor is a relative, the internship is not eligible for earning honors credit.


    Quick Links - Honors Reflection Process


    Step 1: Identify an Internship

    At the University of Iowa, the Pomerantz Career Center connects students with many established programs for interning or service learning. Many undergraduate colleges and departments also provide regular rubrics for internships or service-learning programs that tie substantively to their areas of inquiry and practice. Contact Honors Experiential Learning Director Andy Willard (andrew-willard@uiowa.edu) if you are unsure if your internship is eligible for honors credit.

    Students registering their experience through the College of Engineering may earn honors credit for their internships or co-ops but they should not use the procedure presented on this page; rather, they should contact the Director for Engineering Professional Development in the College of Engineering for the appropriate procedure.   


    Step 2: Register your Internship

    Option 1: Enroll in an internship course (CCP:XXXX) from the Pomerantz Career Center. These courses are available for zero (0) or more semester hours. Request to register by following these instructions and deadlines. To enroll in a zero (0) semester hour credit course, your internship must meet these requirements. 

    • Professional experience that relates to student's major field or area of career interest
    • At least 80% professional work
    • Full or part-time intern must work a minimum of 10 hours per week 
    • Intern must work at least 10 weeks during spring or fall term, or 8 weeks in summer 
    • Requires continuous supervision by a professional in the field (not a student)

    Option 2: All Tippie College of Business students must enroll in the zero (0) semester hour internship course BUS:3100. Request to register by following these instructions and deadlines.  

    Option 3: Enroll in an internship or practicum course usually offered by your college or department. This is a credit-bearing course and has associated tuition and fees. Contact your college or department to find out more about the course options and registration process. 

    Option 4: Enroll in HONR:3160 and complete the required Honors Internship Form. You can choose to earn zero, one, two, or three credits for this course with associated tuition and fees. This option is only available for internships supervised by a UI faculty or staff member with authority to issue a grade. 

    Option 5: If your internship does not meet registration requirements, it still might qualify as an experience for which you can earn honors credit. To explore this option, please contact Honors Experiential Learning Director Andy Willard at andrew-willard@uiowa.edu

    If you were not able to register your internship before the late registration deadline, contact Honors Experiential Learning Director Andy Willard.


    STEP 3: Complete the Pre-Experience Questionnaire

    This consists of a few basic questions. It is designed to guide you through considering and then describing what you hope to gain or accomplish from your internship.

    Pre-Experience Questionnaire

    This is due before your internship begins.


    STEP 4: Intern!


    STEP 5: Complete the Post-Experience Questionnaire

    This is the place where you can comment on how your experience has shaped your growth. It is designed to guide your reflection on your internship experience to see how and in what ways it fulfilled or did not fulfill your hopes and expectations.

    Post-Experience Questionnaire

    You can start this once you complete your internship and must do so within five (5) weeks after your internship concludes. If you are in your final semester at Iowa, this is due no later than the Monday of finals week.


    STEP 6: Submit your Narrative

    The purpose of your narrative is to present highlights of your experience to others and demonstrate how they have contributed to your growth and self-knowledge. There isn’t one way to do this, but in general, we want it to be fun and informative, yet easy to read and/or understand.

    Narratives can take many forms including a written piece, podcast, comic strip, video, slideshow, etc. There is no required format. We do expect a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1000 words for written pieces. Video and audio can be varying length. Video, audio, and comic strip submissions will require a short explanation (minimum of 250 words) detailing their pertinence to your experience.

    Here is a list of what your narrative must include and what we might ask for you to expand on after reviewing it:

    • Where you went and what you did
    • How long you were there
    • Highlights of your experience 
    • How this experience fostered self-discovery and personal growth
    • Two (2) images (more are welcome, though!)
    • Your author bio (you have the option to include a photo of yourself)

    Your narrative may be published on the honors blog and social media. By sharing your narrative with others, what you learned can have a broader impact and possibly lead someone else to take part in a new experience. To prepare your narrative for others, you will need to reflect on the experience and think about what you want to share. You may draw on ideas and even whole paragraphs from your answers to the post-experience questionnaire; however, please keep in mind that you are writing the narrative for a general audience.

    Here are some tips for blog-writing:

    • Avoid unnecessary jargon, like technical terms and acronyms.  Make sure to explain any ideas or concepts that are not common knowledge. 
    • Use paragraphs to break up the ideas in your narrative.
    • Be specific about your experience by including examples and anecdotes. Get creative and be descriptive!
    • Pay attention to the transition and flow of your main ideas—your narrative should make sense from start to finish.
    • Finish strong. What do you want others to take away from your narrative? What advice do you want to impart to your peers? How did this experience impact you the most? End your narrative with gusto!
    • Fix grammatical errors and submit a polished final draft.

    Submit Your Narrative

    You can start this once you complete your internship and must do so within five (5) weeks after your internship concludes. If you are in your final semester at Iowa, this is due no later than the Monday of finals week.


    STEP 7: Earn Honors Credit!

    For zero-credit internships, experiential learning credit will be awarded accordingly:

    • 1-2 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: 1 honors credit 
    • 3-5 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 2 honors credits
    • 6-9 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 3 honors credits
    • 10-15 week experience with questionnaires and narrative: up to 4 honors credits
    • Add up to 3 honors credits to the above for completion of an optional independent project*

    *The independent project is not an option for the 1-2 or 3-5 week experience as the duration does not allow enough time for completion.

    Note: For internships with the same organization that extend beyond fifteen (15) weeks, eight (8) is the maximum number of honors credits that can be earned by completing the honors reflection assignment; and a maximum of three (3) additional honors credits can be earned by developing, conducting, and reporting on an independent internship project. It is also possible to participate in a different internship with a different organization for additional honors experiential learning credit.

    For credit-bearing internships/practicums, experiential learning credit will be awarded accordingly:

    • For a 1 semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: 1 honors credit
    • For a 2 semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: up to 2 honors credits
    • For a 3 semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: up to 3 honors credits
    • For a 4 or more semester-hour course with questionnaires and narrative: up to 4 honors credits

    Optional: Develop an Independent Project

    In some circumstances, students can choose to develop and conduct an independent project during their internship. Projects are tailored to a student’s individual interest. Some examples of the types of possible projects include:

    • Creative/original/entrepreneurial activities
    • Market research/historical research/environmental impact research
    • An in-depth analysis of the global or regional aspects of an industry or sector in which the student is working
    • An in-depth analysis of global or regional issues of concern to the host country
    • A series of personal conversations with appropriate leaders on a specific topic

    All students conducting independent projects are required to make a poster presentation. Details about the project, including topic, audience, and presentation will be finalized by individual students with the Honors Experiential Learning Director. Students are encouraged to discuss their ideas for an independent project with faculty.

    These details must be submitted to andrew-willard@uiowa.edu and approved prior to your internship beginning.

    Experiential coursework earns you up to 6 experiential learning credits.


    HONR Courses


    Other Experiential Courses


    Honors Writing Fellowship

    Being an Honors Writing Fellow earns you up to 9 honors credits:


    Tippie RISE Courses