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Center for Experiential Learning

RequCEL takes student learning to a higher level by engaging students in the full “experiential learning” process:  Research and Conceptualizing, Experimenting, Experiencing, Reflecting, Reconceptualizing (Kolb). 

This process, however, is not new. It is reflected in various business-related disciplines: 

  • Design Thinking: Empathizing, defining, Ideating, prototyping, testing, and empathizing again (Stanford).
  • Entrepreneurship: Building, measuring, learning (Ries).
  • Management: Planning, organizing, leading, controlling, and planning again (Fayol).

What is new is that CEL strives to engage students in the entire process and continuously repeat it, giving students the opportunity to collect data and learn from their decisions – like a computer simulation, only live. This is the experience students have with Rocky’s, CEL’s student-run coffee shop. But CEL students don’t start there; rather, first (1) they participate in emotional intelligence and business communication seminars and as project team members, then (2) they serve as project team leaders and business managers, while subject matter experts coach them. The project team leaders/business managers also serve on the CEL Cabinet, where they advise the faculty lead.

By engaging students on project teams, CEL also helps students prepare for internships. By engaging students as project leaders/business managers, CEL helps students further discern, develop, and employ their gifts and calling. In short, CEL gives them the opportunity to try out their business, particularly management, degrees before they graduate. For 1st and 2nd year students in particular, CEL provides experiences which will help business students secure required internships. 

CEL Vision

To change higher education from the bottom up.

CEL wishes to be a leader, not a follower. It also wishes to lead from the bottom, a mustard seed growing in a garden of weeds. Higher education is selling out to pre-packaged courses in the name of efficiency. Instead, CEL engages students in the messy learning of complex projects and business experiences, effective at helping students understand the nuances of business culture, thus enhancing students’ emotional and cultural intelligence and NACE competencies, thus making them career ready. In the long run, this is a better way to educate undergraduates. In doing this, CEL will be a leader. But CEL will be a leader in another way: the vision is for CEL to serve customers and clients so well that it becomes self-sustaining and able to subsidize other programs, such as student study abroad trips.


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