Explore some of our most frequently asked questions about UWM’s experiential learning opportunities. If you’re an external partner, check out the partners page for related FAQ.
General Experiential Learning Questions
Experiential learning adds a lot of value to a college degree. Students who participate in experiential learning not only build their resumes and increase their chances of getting hired after graduation, they also make connections, gain and refine valuable skills they could only get outside the classroom, and better learn what they want their future careers to look like.
If you’re a prospective UWM student, fill out the experiential learning contact form. If you’re a current UWM student, reach out to your academic advisor and discuss which experiential learning opportunities might work best for your degree and career goals.
Although experiential learning isn’t currently a graduation requirement, about 80% of undergraduate programs at UWM require some form of experiential learning. Check the graduation requirements of your academic program to see what, if any, experiential learning is required.
Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, the main difference between them is the time invested. An internship is usually part-time and can be paid or unpaid. A co-op is a paid, full-time experience. Both internships and co-ops can lead to full-time job offers after graduation.
Curricular experiential learning experiences are opportunities that are incorporated directly into courses or programs. For example, a service-learning project that’s a required part of a course. A co-curricular experience is one that complements a course or program but isn’t required to pass or graduate. For example, an education major who works as a tutor at the UWM Student Success Center isn’t required to do so to graduate but it adds to their program of study.
Current UWM Students
Yes, any student at UWM can participate in experiential learning. Students are encouraged to engage in experiential learning throughout all stages of their time at UWM.
Many paid learning experiences, like internships, can also earn credit. Individual departments may have specific rules on students being paid while also earning credit for the same experience. As a whole, UWM is moving toward credit-bearing internships being eligible for pay.
If an individual thinks what they are engaging in may count as experiential learning, they should contact Ben Trager at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn the process for submitting the experience for review and approval.
For many forms of experiential learning, such as undergraduate research, internships and clinical experiences, students can receive funding.
No, students do not need any special insurance to engage in experiential learning.
All students receive a free Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) bus pass, and students can use the bus to get to many experiential learning opportunities. Staff in the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CCBLLR) can help students learn how to use the MCTS bus system.
No, a criminal record will not exclude you from all experiential learning opportunities. There are opportunities available for individuals with criminal records.
Please contact Ben Trager at email@example.com.
Yes, virtual or remote experiences are available for many forms of experiential learning, such as volunteering, internships and service-learning.
If your program requires experiential learning and you have challenges with scheduling, contact your program director or advisor.