Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Citizen Scholars
Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is the backbone of the Citizen Scholars program.

Putting students in touch with the world beyond the classroom – putting them in the world beyond the classroom – grounds many of our program’s objectives and allows students to engage in impactful interactions and achieve practical as well as intellectual understanding. Many of our Core and Option courses emphasize experiential or service learning, as a way to allow students to put their learning to work and experience the tangible applications of Arts and Letters skills, knowledge, and attitudes. By cultivating a commitment to the community, we intend our program to foster reciprocal knowledge and skills building, mutual benefits, and positive transformations for all parties and participants. Beyond this, experiential learning leaves students better-equipped to see their own potential, to take their place in the world, and to spearhead endeavors and interactions aimed at positive change.

Learning Opportunities

Our 110 and 210 courses use experiential learning as a cornerstone of their approach, asking you to connect with others beyond your classroom and to consider how those connections impact your understanding of yourself and the world. Similarly, through the CS badging system, you are guided toward a range of experiences and interactions, and asked to reflect on them in relation to the larger program goals of supporting your high academic achievement, enriching your cultural understanding and engagement, and training you as leaders who will forge a more just, more inclusive, more equitable society.

The experiential learning you undergo in the initial phase of the program intensifies during your study abroad or study away experience, which becomes available when you can effectively articulate how this experience will contribute to your development and the achievement of your self-defined plans and goals. The blog during and reflection on this experience offer an ongoing and culminating opportunity to recognize the effects of your experience as it unfolds and in retrospect.

Finally, in the last phase of the program, as you complete your major and your CS achievements, you have greater opportunities to put your experience and skills to work to help others in the program, to give back to the program to the college and to the university, and to solidify your plans for the future by reflecting on what you have come through in your academic work and in your broader experiences, and where you hope to get to from here.