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Benefits of Experience Learning

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.

Academic Outcomes

  • 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.