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Office of Experiential Learning

Student FAQs

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential Learning is learning undertaken by acquiring and applying knowledge and skills directly to one's education/life study. "Education that occurs as a direct participation in the events of life" (Houle, 1980, p. 221).

What is a Constructive Action?

The Constructive Action is a seminar, project and a learning method that every MCNY student utilizes each semester. The Constructive Action seminar and projects unites classroom theory with real-world practice, providing students with an opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the field.

Purpose Seminars for the Bachelor of Professional Studies, School for Human Service Program

  • Purpose 1 - Self Assessment and Preparation for Practice: The Human Service professional has the responsibility for assessing himself and his responsibilities in relation to the demands of the organization, the citizen and the professional's own interests and needs. The professional must accept this responsibility and apply the planning, assessment, and research skills involved.  The student will work to identify a fieldwork assignment for the following semester.  Fieldwork at an agency setting will not be conducted this semester.
  • Purpose 2 - Developing Empowering Professional Relationships at the Workplace: This performance area speaks directly to a dilemma often faced by the professional, the needs of citizens versus the conflicting expectations of professional peers. Professionals must know how to build a network of positive relationships, the goal of which is the empowerment of citizens. The student is introduced to the two types of professional relationships: 1) the primary relationship that involves the human service practitioner’s interactions with citizens; and, 2) the secondary relationship that concerns interactions with supervisors, co-workers, human service professionals at other agencies, and family members or associates of citizens.  The student must identify an individual with whom he/she will establish a professional relationship. The individual could be the student’s supervisor, a co-worker or a citizen/client.
  • Purpose 3 -Developing Empowerment through Work in Groups:  Every citizen is a member of various groups and needs to be perceived, worked with and empowered not only as an individual, but as a participant of these groups. These groups include family, co-workers, teams of specialized professionals, members of community organizations and other individuals with whom a citizen interacts in various group situations. The student must be able to develop and run a small group.
  • Purpose 4 - Promoting Empowerment through Teaching and Communication: If the aim of the human service professional is to help empower citizens, practitioners must be ready to share their knowledge and skills. Citizens who achieve a significant degree of empowerment not only become more effective learners, but will themselves become teachers in their important relationships, as sons and daughters, wives and husbands, parents, workers, and members of community groups. The student can carry out this assignment by running workshops, tutoring or teaching a group of citizens.
  • Purpose 5 -Promoting Empowerment through Counseling: Human Service professionals must be prepared to provide citizens with the kind of assistance they need in order to become self-directed. The assignment can be carried out by assigning the student to a citizen that needs intensive help.
  • Purpose 6 - Promoting Empowerment through Community Liaison: Each citizen is a part of a community. That community is both a resource for the citizen needing assistance and a system with its own preferences and needs. The professional must know how to work in both contexts. The student can carry out this assignment by developing resources for the organization or taking resources from the organization into the community.
  • Purpose 7 - Promoting Empowerment through Supervision: This performance area recognizes that to have the fullest impact of service, professionals must be skilled at helping other professionals work effectively. Human Service professionals must be ready to share leadership and assume the responsibility for teaching new principles and skills to co-workers while continuing direct service with a citizen. The student can supervise personnel or a project.
  • Purpose 8 - Promoting Empowering Change: This final performance area underscores an aspect of service that is implicit in all other areas. The commitment to empowerment and the effort to empower others are part of the effort to create change. This change affects the organization’s practice and leads to new approaches to improve service. Professionals must be able to manage change and respond to it in ways that benefit their constituency. The student can develop a new service or enhance an already existing program or service.

How do I Find an Internship?

Students are encouraged to search for internships on their own; many students use their workplace as their internship site. However, if you have difficulty obtaining an internship, please contact the Office of Career Services for assistance.

Information for Students

  • Undergraduate Human Services students starting in purpose two (second semester) through purpose eight are required to complete an internship of at least 14 hours a week for 14 weeks per semester. Students can use their worksites to complete the internship requirements. All internships must be approved by your CA professor.
  • Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in American Urban Studies students engage in experiential learning activities in accordance with CA class practicum.
  • Business students are not required to have internships for course credit, but can pursue internships on their own.
For students who need assistance finding an internship contact the Office of Career Services

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