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January 12, 2017
Knox College has long valued the importance of experiential learning—applying what you learn in the classroom to hands-on, real-world situations. Now, students who enter Knox in fall 2017 will be eligible for a grant to support an experiential learning opportunity. The new Power of Experience Grant provides each incoming student with $2,000 during their junior or senior year to support experiences like research or creative work, internships, community-based service, or study abroad, all of which help prepare students for success after Knox.
Today’s graduates need to be able to think critically and creatively, to communicate clearly, to adapt to new technologies, and to navigate today’s interdependent and interconnected world. Such skills are gained through experiential learning opportunities and are widely valued by employers.
In a 2015 survey of employers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 80 percent of employers said that the ability to apply learning in real-world settings was very important in the hiring of recent college graduates. Sixty percent believe that all college students should be expected to complete a significant applied learning project before they graduate.
While a valuable component of a Knox education for decades—Knox can trace the pursuit of student-initiated original research to the 1920s—experiential learning was made an official part of Knox's academic program with the introduction of a new curriculum 15 years ago. "The Power of Experience Grant bolsters a component of Knox education for which the College is known and respected," said Paul Steenis, vice president for enrollment. "Thanks to these opportunities, our students leave Knox with the skills needed to find professional and personal success."
The College's four centers that focus on experiential learning—the Bastian Family Career Center, Kleine Center for Community Service, Stellyes Center for Global Studies, and Vovis Center for Research and Advanced Study—will support students in utilizing the grant. The $2,000 can be used to help fund the additional expenses that are often associated with research or creative work, internships, community-based service, or study abroad, such as travel, housing, or supplies.
The creation of the Power of Experience Grant is part of the Knox 2018 strategic plan, which calls on Knox to advance its distinct approach to liberal learning and to engage its diverse, vibrant campus community. It is made possible, in part, through a $2.8 million bequest from Ann Asplund, an honorary member of the Knox Fifty Year Club, College volunteer and supporter of the College. Funding is also being secured through the Above & Beyond Initiatives, fundraising projects and priorities that build on Knox's historic strengths and invest in a transformative, 21st-century education. More information on the Power of Experience Grant can be found at www.knox.edu/power.
The Power of Experience Grant bolsters a component of Knox education for which the College is known and respected.—Paul Steenis, Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admission
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