Experiential Learning Center for Entrepreneurship & Civic Engagement
OUR GOAL: To enable students to emerge as civically engaged, skilled and adaptable leaders, ready to take on real-world challenges. More.
STUDENTS: SIGN UP FOR ONE OF OUR...
UNCLASSES: Experiential learning classes with community-engagement themes
How to sign up
You can sign up for one of these classes either under the ST (Special Topics) numbers, you may need to contact the professor for permission. You can also take the class by signing up for an independent study (IS) in your own or another department (see specific department for IS guidelines), or for Honor Project credit (with the approval from your Honors advisor).
Contact Carolyn Behrman at the EXL Center (email@example.com) or the faculty members above to learn more, or for assistance in getting involved.
Overview of EX[L] activity
Through Faculty-Driven Initiatives, a dozen faculty from as many disciplines delivering innovative experiential learning opportunities in five classes this Fall. These initiatives are the foundation for multiple grant proposals (NSF, Clark Morgan Foundation, GAR Foundation, and Knight Foundation) and serve as launch opportunities for future student research. See EXL activity related to Experiential Learning since our Launch in March 2016.
- Faculty-Driven Initiatives (3 interdisciplinary initiatives involving 12 faculty, 6 courses)
- Experiential learning for UA students on the Pine Ridge Reservation with Lakota teenagers (15-20 undergraduates and 3 graduate students)
- Experiential learning for UA students in cross-disciplinary classes with community partners (3 classes of undergraduates and 2 graduate students)
- Experiential learning in the context of an ongoing research project for 2 classes and 6-8 graduate students)
- EXL Summer Scholars - 9 transcripted community-based internships
- The Currency of Compassion academic conference and product development
- Monthly Faculty Advisory Council, Community Advisory Council and Student Advisory Council (20-30 members per council)
- Faculty Fellows Program (6)
- The creation of our Resilient Communities Working Group with students and faculty from UA and Kent in engineering and the social sciences
Faculty, students and staff from UA intensified and expanded our capacity to support productive problem solving conversations in NE Ohio, including intensive outreach and recruitment efforts touching hundreds of the best High School students in the region and beyond.
- What’s Your Problem? Immersion Week (5 Public/Private High Schools Participate), co-sponsored by the Maynard Family Foundation & Roger and Judith Read
- FAIL SAFE 24-hour Hackathon, co-sponsored by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (grant support through Spring 2017)
- EXL leadership and students partnering with BRAIN Program in Akron Public Schools
- Summit County Executive Russ Pry, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan & Akron City Council President Marilyn Keith speak at New Leadership and Vision in a 21stCentury Akron
- EXL leadership and 4 Summer Scholars partnering with community organization for the Middlebury Better Block
- Ongoing collaboration with the Akron Public Schools (APS/IIA Middle School Summer Debate Camp; White House initiative (see Entrepreneurship))
Building on existing, expanding, and deepening UA partnerships with industry and social entrepreneurs through Hack-A-Thons, White House and UN recognition, and trainings like the Entrepreneurship Learning Initiative that involved twenty faculty and staff, because EX[L] leadership chose to create the center in an entrepreneurial way—focusing on collaborative problem solving.
- Spring Training (25 Faculty from 6 different UA academic colleges participate over three full days with the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
- Presidential Proclamation at the White House National Week of Making recognizing EX[L] (1 of 50 programs recognized nationwide)
- United Nations Global Entrepreneurship Program Director Jeff Hoffman introduces EX[L] to140 Nations at International Forum
- EXL Leadership presentations and subsequent partnership with Akron Council of Engineering and Scientific Societies
- EXL partnership with city and county in TechHire grant proposal development
- BLUprints to EX[L] monthly community leadership gatherings
Highlights from our Innovation Awards ceremony in July
FAIL SAFE 24-hour Hackathon
A Problem-Solving Revolution Led by Akron’s HIPSTERS, HUSTLERS, HACKERS & WILD CARDS
On Friday, April 15, we invited Akron’s hipsters, hustlers, hackers and wild cards to come together for 24 hours, to crack away at the best ideas brought to the table and to compete for $3,000 cash, prizes, office space, professional development and mentoring from some of Northeast Ohio’s most respected business minds.
The FAIL SAFE 24-hour Hackathon was co-sponsored by the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and hosted by EXL Founding Director Jeff Hoffman.
Recap of EXL's 24-hour Hackathon
THANK YOU FOR YOUR 'COMMUNITY CLIMATE CHANGE' IDEAS
WE ASKED YOU to come up with ideas to help address the challenges and opportunities of our times.
We received many great ideas, and now faculty members are working with department chairs to convert some of them into “Unclasses”—experiential learning opportunities focused on finding local solutions to globally relevant problems.
Akron Beacon Journal: UA’s EXL program gets kudos from President Obama
Akron Beacon Journal:High school students tackle community problems at EXL Center at University of Akron
Akron Beacon Journal: University of Akron launches Experiential Learning Center
Crain's Cleveland Business (subscription): University of Akron's new EXL Center will help match students to hands-on work experiences
Buchtelite: EXL's 'Launch Week'
Get to know how the EXL Center can help you. Contact Ian Schwarber at IanP@uakron.edu to today.
Review of experiential learning at UA
The EXL Center is new to UA, but experiential learning has a long, deep history!
If you have an example you’d like to add, send a PowerPoint slide like one of these to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
LET’S HEAR IT
Tell us how we're doing: email@example.com.
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Jeff Hoffman, Founding Director and Executive-in-Residence | Bio
Carolyn Behrman, Faculty Director of Collaboration | Bio
Ian Schwarber, Resource Director | Bio
Creative Communications Assistant
Sarah is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in Women's Studies. She is a local from the Akron area. Sarah is working to develop and coordinate programs for experiential learning and problem solving and writing content for the EXL Center.
Shilpa Pai Kalsank
Communications and Data Assistant
Shilpa is a graduate student in Information Systems Management. She is an international student from Bangalore, India. There, she received her Bachelor of Computer Science from the Global Academy of Technology. Shilpa is working on the EXL Center's database and managing communications and marketing.
Akhil Tej Reddy Dandu
Akhil is a graduate student in Information Systems Management. He is an international student from Hyderabad, India. He received his degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Technology. Akhil is working towards gathering and analyzing data on experiential learning to better assist students and faculty.
John is an undergraduate student in Biomedical Engineering. He is from Garrettsville, Ohio. He is a Student Liaison as well as working to gather data for the EXL Center, and coordinate leadership opportunities for students in experiential learning programs.
Three locations to serve students and faculty
ONE: Career/EXL supports students in their development of resumes and interview skills, and connects students to internships, co-ops and a wide array of potential employers.
TWO: Create/EXL supports faculty efforts to give students course-based and co-curricular experiences in teamwork, critical thinking, leadership, data analysis and more.
THREE: Connect/EXL seeks to be deliberately collaborative, opening immersion opportunities for students and future community partnerships.