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EXL changed to one-course requirement

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The Faculty Senate decided undergraduate students would be required to have one experiential learning course at the Faculty Senate meeting on May 5. Geoffrey Schultz, chair of the Senate, says there are still concerns about quality and funding but expects full closure by September.

Prior to unification, Purdue University Calumet started EXL with two-course requirement after a $1.7 million grant from the Federal Department of Education, which funded it in 2005. In 2011, the grant ran out and funding stopped. Purdue North Central had a similar program to EXL called Education Service Learning, but questioned the quality of EXL without the appropriate funding.

“The two main issues with EXL are funding loss and the quality of it. The curriculum chair from Westville thinks if we can’t do EXL correctly, then we shouldn’t do it at all,” Schultz said. “One faculty member said that it’s one thing to have a quality program and another to put it online to gain students.”

There are further concerns with EXL. Currently, English 105 is an EXL course and a required course for graduation. It fulfills the EXL requirement and leaves the question if EXL is beneficial outside the English department. Schultz said, however, that the deans and department heads from other departments can add their own EXL requirements.

“Some colleges work better for EXL, as seen through the Education department where students are trained to teach at schools,” Schultz said. Can the same be said for the physics department?”

EXL will be supported through Academic Affairs. Schultz hopes this will relieve the concerns but says resolutions are still needed.

“There needs to be an office director who oversees EXL and where students can go for guidance. There should be places where EXL gives the right experiences for students, Schultz said. “There is real value with EXL if it is done properly.”

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