On Wednesday, Feb. 16, the Campus Center for the Environment (CCE) will host an experiential education forum to enlighten students on the practical, hands-on educational opportunities available at UC Davis.
CCE has enlisted a number of professors from various departments, including plant science, soil science, textiles, technocultural studies, international agricultural development and sociology, to present a short presentation emphasizing the experiential possibilities for students.
“Experiential education is hiding everywhere on campus and students should take advantage of those opportunities,” said Renata Langis, CCE staff member and junior international agricultural development major. “This hands-on experience seeks to address real world issues and apply theories into practice to motivate learning and education.”
The forum will commence with a short film from Sir Ken Robinson, titled “Changing Education Paradigms.” The video underscores the importance of experiential learning as a cornerstone for education with particular importance in universities with a largely agricultural foundation.
Robinson emphasizes that to have a college degree is no longer a guarantee for a job. Given the current economic climate, it is essential to have both a degree and fairly extensive experience in order to clinch a job.
The UC system has often been criticized for providing students with a purely theoretical wealth of knowledge, Langis said. CCE recognizes the advantage of an education that is steeped in both theoretical and practical information.
“My major is one that requires field work, so the opportunity to go out to the vineyard and observe the vines is really helpful and I’m glad UC Davis facilitates this kind of hands-on learning,” said Kayla Berthoud, junior viticulture and enology major. “We are encouraged to go out to the vineyard on our own to practice and study what we learn in the classroom and lab.”
The forum is aimed at highlighting the positive actions the university is taking to correct this image, Langis said. The student farm, Russell Ranch and various field classes are great mediums for a more hands-on approach to learning.
“One of the main points is that the forum is open to students of all years and majors,” Langis said. “It’s a great opportunity for those students that are interested in gaining experience in their chosen field through internships and career opportunities.”
This event is unique from other lectures as it will be a continuum rather than an abrupt distinction between speaker and audience; all attendees are both speakers and listeners with relevant experience and backgrounds to share, Langis said.
“This event speaks to our mission at CCE,” said Rajiv Narayan, CCE staff member and junior critical economics major. “The goal is to collaborate with professors from varying departments to create events that reach the entire student body.”
The experiential education forum will be held at the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building in conference room 3001 from 6 to 8 p.m.
KATIE LEVERONI can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.