Experiential Learning is an opportunity for students to apply knowledge and information acquired from their academic program and is valuable for development and career marketability.
When Experience Matters Most: Learn by Doing
Experiential learning means gaining active, hands-on experience in the real world as part of your academic field of study and career development. UWF offers the following types of experiential learning opportunities.
Spend a half day, full day, or several days shadowing a professional by participating in the Job Shadowing Program. This opportunity is designed to help you gain valuable exposure to a career you want to pursue.
We also offer Job Shadow Week once a semester, which is a great opportunity to connect with mentors who can provide you with insight about your field in an already structured program.
Service Learning & Field Study Programs
When you participate in Service Learning or a Field Study, you can apply what you learned in the classroom to the real world of work. While performing community service for a particular class or in a work environment directly related to your major, you also earn academic credit. Both academic-based volunteer opportunities require establishing learning objectives, an action plan to accomplish those objectives, and reflection about the experience.
Please log service hours into ArgoPulse. Contact Student Involvement via the contact information below if you have questions about logging your service hours.
Community Work Study Program
If you are a Federal Work Study student, you are allowed to work off-campus with local nonprofit organizations and receive financial aid work study funding for hours worked. Community Work Study students are encouraged to choose positions related to their major or interest area as a way to participate in real world work experiences.
Corporate Work Study
UWF’s Corporate Work Study program provides students with an opportunity to work part-time while attending UWF. The program establishes a mutually beneficial agreement with corporate partners, students, and UWF. As a pathway to employment, students who participate may come from all majors. Students work with a mentor and enter a talent pipeline with partner companies. This program allows students an opportunity to build a professional network and develop crucial professional readiness skills.
Requirements & Application Process
- Must be a Florida resident for tuition purposes.
- Must be able to work 12 hours per week during the academic term.
- Complete the FAFSA and elect to participate in work study.
- Once you have received your award letter from the Financial Aid office, you will be given access to the job database.
- You must apply for the position and go through the interview process.
For students interested in the program, please contact the Financial Aid office's website to learn about eligibility criteria.
An internship is most often a one-semester experience that may or may not be for academic credit. It may also be paid or unpaid, but employers should comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Students typically seek internships in their junior and senior years in college. If seeking credit, you should meet with your academic advisor to discover if you are eligible to pursue an internship.
Cooperative Education (Co-op)
Cooperative education programs (Co-ops) are multi-semester experiences that are always for course credit and always paid. There are two forms of Co-ops: parallel or alternating. A parallel Co-op student works and goes to school at least 3 semesters in a row, averaging 15-25 hours a week at work and 9-12 academic credits. An alternating Co-op student alternates between workplace and school semester by semester, working 40 hours a week during work terms and going to school full time during academic terms.
To become Co-op eligible, click the button to schedule a Co-op Information Appointment with Career Development and Community Engagement.
Meet with an individual who currently works in your field of interest to ask questions about his or her career path, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace.
Experiential Learning Scholarships and Awards
Students participating in an internship or Co-op are eligible for the Experiential Learning Student of the Year Scholarship and Award and will be honored at the Student Leadership Awards Banquet in the Spring. The following additional awards and recognitions exist for students completing the experiences listed in previous section.
- Cooperative Education Student of the Year
- Intern of the Year
- Job Shadow Students of the Year
- Students are also eligible for poster awards to be presented at the HIP/EL Showcase