Research shows that students who are engaged with experiential learning benefit greatly from the experience.
Persistence and Retention
- Increased student persistence and plans to re-enroll.
- First-year students engaged civically through service learning were more likely than non-service-learning peers to indicate they planned to re-enroll and eventually graduate from their current institution.
- An increase in students’ content knowledge and skills.
- Statistically higher outcomes in application of coursework to everyday life than comparable students not engaged in experiential learning.
- Improved higher-order thinking skills—an ability to demonstrate greater complexities of understanding.
- Statistically significant increases in ability to analyze increasingly complex problems.
- Significant increases in students’ critical thinking abilities.
Personal and Social Outcomes
- Increases students’ self-esteem.
- Enhances students’ sense of self-efficacy and empowerment.
- Increases students’ likelihood to engage in prosocial behaviors and decreases students’ likelihood to engage in at-risk behaviors.
- Provides a positive effect on students’ motivation for learning.