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The Antelope

UNK announces program to provide hands-on learning

Photo by Cassie Brown Students were given T-shirts to promote the Experiential Learning program.

Last week, students flocked to receive free T-shirts at table set up in the Nebraskan Student Union. UNK faculty were excited to unveil and promote UNK’s new Experiential Learning program.

Beth Hinga, assistant to the vice chancellor, is a leader of the new program.

“We think it’s a real enhancement to every degree program because it gets students  actually doing the work that’s typical for that field,” Hinga said. “We think it’s really important for preparing students for what comes next.”

The program gives students the opportunity to “get practical experience, gain new skills, and develop independent, creative and critical thinking.” 

After a long period in the making, the Experiential Learning program is designed to give students a hands-on learning experience by learning by doing. This way, students are given the opportunity to “get practical experience, gain new skills, and develop independent, creative and critical thinking.” 

The purpose of the program is that, with the skills and knowledge gained by participating in Experiential Learning courses, students will be confident in their expertise when going into the workplace. Students may also have the upper hand when applying for jobs for which they already have experience due to experiential learning.

For the 2020-21 catalogue year and afterward, all undergraduate students will be required to complete one Experiential Learning course before graduation.  

Hinga hopes that by the end of the year, all programs will designate courses to fill the new requirements.

For students that began studying at UNK prior to the 2020-21 catalogue year, an Experiential Learning course will not be required to graduate. Hinga said those students will not miss out on the opportunity. Most departments will be tweaking existing courses to make them more hands-on, and it is likely that many undergraduate students will encounter those courses whether or not their degree program requires an experiential learning aspect. 

For more information on the Experiential Learning program, visit

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