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Student & Faculty Testimonials

The Personal and Professional Impact of Experiential Learning

Experiential learning has a big impact on everyone—students, faculty, and community organizations. Below are a few testimonials of how experiential learning has changed people's lives.

From a student who helped to organize a community read event at a local library:

"I learned that I am a person that is in a position to help others and really wanted to, I just was not quite sure how to get involved. Davenport makes it very simple to get involved with the community, and it expands the views of the students beyond just our campus...I will continue to participate in Davenport Community events as well as looking for other opportunities in the community outside of class projects to help out in. I was really impressed with the accomplishments of the group project. The meeting at the Kentwood [Michigan] Public Library was set up very nicely! Also getting to see Rebecca Skloot was an awesome opportunity, she was a great speaker and a joy to listen to. I also really enjoyed working with my group in class and out in the community. I will miss coming to this class!!"

From another student who discovered a passion for community service:

"As I was helping others by completing this project, this project was helping me. I am new to the Grand Rapids area, and this project opened my eyes to the social injustices that are present here. Working with an entire class in order to benefit our community (and other communities as well), we educated many people and it was a practical experience...working with people to create a large event directly relates to my major (Sports Marketing). Furthermore, I had the privilege of working with a tremendous class who genuinely cared about this project, and served as an excellent knowledge-base. As my expectations of the class I worked with were exceeded, the final outcome of the project was as well."

From Dr. Terri Tomaszek, Instructor HUMN 101: Arts & Culture, on the benefits of academic service learning:

"Since its beginning, Davenport has given students opportunities for Experiential Learning which develop the skills and abilities, as M.E. Davenport wrote, to "Make a Living. Make a Life. Make a Contribution."  Upon entering their professions, our graduates will have demonstrated the skills that place them at the competitive edge in the workplace; and, by performing academic service-learning, they will show themselves to be responsible, valued citizens. Davenport’s emphasis on EL provides opportunities for leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and the other components of the Excellence System. By tying together course learning outcomes, the Excellence System, and Experiential Learning, DU students develop the skills and abilities to live and work successfully in a global, diverse, and technological society."