Scientist in lab coat pointing at laptop explaining something to two students

How to Find a College With the Best Experiential Learning Opportunities

Experience is coveted by employers, so you’ll want a college with resources to help you succeed. Here's how to find the best school for hands-on learning.

Searching for a college that fits what you’re looking for academically and socially can be a bit of a tedious process. Every school has unique characteristics that make up its academic environment, but at most colleges, this includes various hands-on experiential learning opportunities. If quality and abundant hands-on learning is important to you, here are some ways you can make your search for colleges with these types of opportunities a bit easier.

Note your interests

One thing to do before researching colleges is finding out what you most want to get involved in. This can include a whole range of opportunities that may spark your interest depending on your intended major or career field. Perhaps you want to be an Art major; you might look for schools that allow you to express your creativity through various projects and showcases throughout the academic year. If you’re looking forward to a career in health care, you could choose a university that’s known for their published research or engaging labs. Whatever it may be, make sure you first have a good idea of your goals and aspirations so you know what opportunities you’re searching for when it comes to choosing a college. 

Related: College Options for Students With Multiple Major Interests 

Get to know your potential options

Really getting to know a school can take some time. Whether you surf through their website, chat with admission counselors, read reviews, or something else, devoting time to better understand a college’s academic environment can only benefit you. Attending information sessions is especially helpful, as they can inform you of facts about the school you may not already know. Oftentimes, a school’s academic reputation can also give you a hint as to what departments may have the most funding for up-to-date equipment and resources to provide you with exciting and unique learning experiences.

You can also check out what schools advertise on public platforms; this can give you an idea of the programs they’re recruiting students for, which are often the programs that offer the richest experiences. For example, if the college you’re looking at is well known for their Health Care programs or draws special attention to them (some popular majors being Nursing, Psychology, Kinesiology, etc.), then you can expect those programs to have various engaging learning opportunities for you. Health Care in particular usually requires hands-on experience for graduation, but you’ll find plenty of it with other programs of study too, such as Theater, Fashion Design, and more.

Meet with faculty and alumni

Another important step in your research is talking to professors, advisors, and other campus faculty members. Professors and advisors know how courses are structured and the learning and participation that’ll be required in them. Connect with a professor or academic advisor in your department of interest to schedule a time to discuss what you can expect and ask any questions you may have. Certain professors implement interactive activities that involve the whole class, while others may have you work independently on projects and other hands-on assignments. Let them know what your desired level of hands-on learning is, and they can help determine if their school is what you’re looking for.

Along with college faculty, alumni can be of great assistance too. Having graduated from the school you’re researching, they can go into further detail concerning the opportunities they were provided. Ask current college employees if there are any alumni looking to connect with prospective students, or you can take the first step and connect with them through professional platforms such as LinkedIn or Handshake.

Related: How to Network With Your College's Alumni on LinkedIn

Many universities have distinctive experiential opportunities that allow you to advance your learning inside and outside the classroom. Take time to find the right school for you and advantage of the experiences you’re offered when you get there. Hands-on experiences in college are not only enjoyable to partake in, but they can also shape your academic and professional journey for the better.

Ready to find a college with unique opportunities for students? Check out the schools on this list of Colleges With Innovative Academic Programs.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Lianna Jacob

Lianna Jacob is an undergraduate student who has gone through the college admission process and wants to share her experience with others! She enjoys learning more about her Christian faith and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Fabiola Rodriguez

Fabiola Rodriguez

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me on my journey to get to the school of my first choice by showing me all the options I have. I didn’t know of the College of Southern Nevada until I went on this website, and it helped me look for other choices and compare what colleges would be right for me.

Josiah Kegg

Josiah Kegg

High School Class of 2021

I want to sincerely thank you all for this amazing website that's legitimately helped me find so many different scholarship opportunities. I've been stressing out for the longest time about paying for college since I would rather stay out of debt and have been working days trying to find any scholarship opportunity. When I found CollegeXpress, I discovered many easy scholarships that have given me hope for the future. Thank you and God bless!

Ruth Aguilar

Ruth Aguilar

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me by providing me with many scholarship opportunities and information about universities I want to attend. What I love about CollgeXpress is how it provides a variety of information, and as the first child attending a university next year, it has been very essential and helpful. I’m so grateful for this because the information provided by CollegeXpress has also helped me see that there are so many college opportunities, and it always informs me by email. In other words, CollegeXpress has been like a guide for me as a future college student.

Jeff Parsons

Jeff Parsons

Counselor

Thank you so much for this valuable information about these opportunities. I truly appreciate the CollegeXpress communications and use them to keep my high school seniors informed about their opportunities!

Ida Akoto-Wiafe

Ida Akoto-Wiafe

High School Class of 2022

I wanted a school that wasn't too far away from home and could provide me with a full-ride scholarship. CollegeXpress helped me put into perspective the money I had to pay to attend those schools, which ultimately drove me to choose to attend a community college first to get used to being in college before transferring to the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, one of the colleges I was able to research further on CollegeXpress.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

High Point University

High Point, NC

Belmont University

Nashville, TN

Goldey-Beacom College

Wilmington, DE