Applied Experience

Hands-on experience in an educational setting

BEDUC 495: Applied Experience

This course is designed to:

  • integrate the knowledge and skills you’ve cultivated in the required Educational Studies courses
  • a hands-on experience in an educational setting
  • collaborative self-reflection on the challenges and opportunities of education in diverse settings.

Course themes & learning goals

As an academic experiential course, the central objective of the applied experience is the linking of educational concepts and theories to practice-based learning that could occur in a range of formal and informal educational settings.  This central objective aligns with the five themes of the Educational Studies degree and culminating capstone project.


All students in the Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies program must build a portfolio that showcases students’ critical reflection and learning related to major themes in the degree.

  • Education & Equity: Investigation of historic and contemporary struggles over issues of equity in the U.S. Education system and evaluation of positions of various stakeholders and identification of strategies which have been used to move towards equity in U.S. education.
  • Theories of Learning, Culture, and Identity: Consideration of influential theories of learning, from those based in psychology and child development, to those influenced by anthropology and social justice and ways that these learning theories have been applied to teaching or assessment practices and educational policies, both historically and in current educational contexts.
  • Teaching & Learning in a Multicultural Society: Understanding of how critical elements in our multicultural society contribute to students’ school experiences. Exploration of ways in which race and ethnicity intersect with other factors including class, gender, sexual orientation, language, disability, and citizenship to influence students’ school experiences and provide important insights for culturally relevant teaching. Also, examination of complex social, cultural, political and economic issues that impact the communities where students live and consider the ways in which those factors are implicated in systems of power and privilege that influence students’ educational opportunities.
  • Research & Educational Knowledge: Focus on how we “know” what we “know” (epistemology), the political implications of such knowing, the positionality of who conducts and writes about educational research, and how educational research is used publicly in the political arena.
  • Area of Personal Significance: Identification of area of growth meaningful to you in your pursuit of life-long learning and/or professional expertise relating to educational studies. This area may be a deepening of knowledge from one of the above four program themes or another area (e.g., in the arts, technology, ethics, philosophy, psychology, sciences.)

Site & hours

Your applied experience placement may be in a formal or informal learning environment (may be coordinated with the Office of Community Based Learning and Research); this setting needs to allow you to examine the SES themes listed above and also to represent diversity (ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious, gender, socioeconomic status). Possible applied experience settings include:

  • UWB MATCH program
  • Neighborhood community centers
  • After-school programs (YMCA, Boys & Girls Club)
  • Public or private school programs
  • Alternative educational settings such as home-school networks, juvenile detention, or social service agencies
  • Museums
  • Educational research projects
  • Experimental teaching in STEM or other professional fields
  • Nonprofit organization with a teaching/learning/professional development component
  • Union or advocacy organization

The requirement for the Applied Experience is 5 credits which translates into 12 – 14 hours a week of hands on experience.  We have designed the course so students can extend the required hours across 3 quarters so there is not such an extensive time requirement each week.  Students have the flexibility to work with their faculty and site supervisor as to what time commitments will be the best for their particular placement.