Experiential Learning

What is Experiential Learning?

Experiential learning is an important part of St. Thomas University’s model of education that emphasizes relevance and the integration of theory and practice.


“Experiential Learning is a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities.” (Association of Experiential Education)

Certificate in Experiential Learning 

You can complete a Certificate in Experiential Learning and Community Engagement while completing your undergraduate degree here at St. Thomas University. It provides tangible evidence of the hands-on learning and community service completed during your studies. The Certificate is a great resource that can be used to demonstrate community involvement to potential employers or for graduate school applications.

For the specific purpose of this Certificate, courses and volunteering that engage students in off-campus experiential learning activities will be counted towards the certificate. These experience will support students in applying their knowledge and conceptual understanding to real-world problems helping bring theory to life. This can take place in the form of off-campus volunteer engagements or coursework where instructors direct and facilitate learning activities outside the classroom and pair it with reflection and in-class theory.

Looking for more information? Contact us!

Introductory Sessions

To register to take part in the certificate program you must first attend an introductory session. Contact Jessica Hughes, Experiential Learning Manager at jessicah@stu.ca additional information.

2018 Monday sessions:

  • September 10th and 24th – 9:00 am-9:45 am - GMH 301
  • October 22nd – 9:00 am-9:45 am - GMH 301
  • November 5th and 19th – 9:00 am-9:45 am -GMH 301
  • December 3rd and 17th – 9:00 am-9:45 am - GMH 301

2018 Wednesday Sessions:

  • September 19th – 1:30 pm-2:15 pm - GMH 301
  • October 3rd, 17th and 31st – 1:30 pm-2:15 pm - GMH 301
  • November 14th and 28th – 1:30 pm-2:15 pm - GMH 301
  • December 12th – 1:30 pm-2:15 pm - GMH 301

Certificate Requirements

Part 1 Course Based Experiential Learning

(9 credit hours)

For this section, students will need to complete 9 credit hours from the list of academic courses approved by the Registrar. Students must meet the experiential learning component of each course. Course Based Experiential Learning (CBEL) opportunities will use teaching and learning methods that combine academic classroom curriculum, reflection, and learning objectives with meaningful experiential learning activities that take place outside the classroom. Through CBEL there are structured opportunities that link the theory learned in the classroom with learning activities outside the classroom through intentional self-reflection, selfdiscovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content.

Part 2 Community Engaged Service Learning
(30 volunteer hours)

Service Learning takes students out of familiar surroundings and routines and “immerses” them in new ones, helping them apply what they have learned in class to a real world context. In order for the activity and reflective learning to meet the requirements of the Certificate, it must be a non-credit, unpaid and off-campus activity that is facilitated or supported by professional staff and/or faculty members at the University.

Approved Experiential Learning Courses 

Courses approved as part of the Certificate in Experiential Learning are reviewed year to year. 

Approved 2018-2019 Experiential Learning Courses


Benefits of the Certificate

  • Recognizes students for integrating community engagement into their educational experience.
  • Encourages students to simultaneously pursue their interests, meet their educational goals, and make a difference in their community.
  • Provides students with a foundation of analytical, reflective, interpersonal, and leadership skills through coursework and real-world experience.
  • Supports the University’s mission of student engagement in university life inside and outside the classroom.
  • Fosters connections between the University, students, and their community while creating a vibrant academic, social and cultural community to further enhance the "STU experience".


Internships aim to combine academic learning with an opportunity to develop professional skills through paid and/or accredited work placements. These works placements support private, public and non-profit organizations in New Brunswick. Internships will offer St. Thomas Students the opportunity to build connections between their disciplinary and professional experiences, become career ready, and build community connections while completing their undergraduate degree.

We invite organizations and businesses to participate in our unique internship program and gain access to our top students.  Liberal Arts students are uniquely qualified to meet the needs of the profound economic, social and technological changes of the coming workforce, in that they are able to apply their humanity — to be creative, critical and collaborative. These special abilities set them apart from their peers and give them a competitive advantage.

If you are interested in discussing an internship opportunity or have questions, please contact us by email at jessicah@stu.ca

Leadership Training Event

STU Leads! is an energy-packed, one-day event that aims to provide current and emerging student leaders with the opportunity to learn about various leadership topics and styles, while also developing tangible skills. STU Leads! will have inspiring keynotes, interactive workshops, and skills-based training from some of the top leadership talent in our community. Presenters will speak on topics such as the power of networking, conflict resolution, diversity training, public speaking, self-care for leaders and more.

St. Thomas Students:  STU Leads! Event Registration Cost is $10. Registration includes entry to all keynote talks, concurrent sessions and lunch. Please note: the registration fee in non-refundable. Check-in is at 9:00am.