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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Special Projects

Learning By Doing: Assessing the Relationship Between Liberal Learning and Experiential Learning at Two Liberal Arts

Comprehensive Institutions

In this three-year study, Belmont University and Wagner College seek to assess liberal education outcomes achieved through experiential education requirements that are embedded in each institution’s liberal arts general education core. Both institutions have innovative vertical, interdisciplinary general education curricula with key courses at freshmen through senior levels and specific liberal learning goals including critical thinking, writing, ethical reflection, and breadth of knowledge in the arts and sciences. Belmont University and Wagner College have in place some common assessment measures and seek to enrich our assessment strategies for our signature core courses. The collaborative will establish criteria for assessing the value-added by experiential learning within liberal arts courses for general education programs, identify direct and indirect measures that provide evidence of student learning that may be used widely on each campus, and establish an enduring dialogue between the institutions regarding assessment practices that will continue beyond the scope of the grant period. Finally, the collaborative offers both institutions the opportunity to disseminate our assessment practices to other universities, particularly the 24 members of the The New American Colleges and Universities (, of which both Belmont and Wagner are members.

About the Teagle Foundation

The Teagle Foundation provides leadership for liberal education, marshalling the intellectual and financial resources necessary to ensure that today's students have access to challenging, wide-ranging, and enriching college educations. We believe that the benefits of such learning last for a lifetime and are best achieved when colleges develop broad and intellectually stimulating curricula, engage their students in active learning, explore questions of deep social and personal significance, set clear goals, and—crucially—systematically measure progress toward them.

The Foundation's commitment to such education includes its long-established scholarship program for employees of ExxonMobil and their children, and more recent work with organizations helping disadvantaged young people in New York City win admission to college and succeed once there. Finally, the Foundation is committed to disseminate widely the results of its work through out the higher education community, understanding that the knowledge generated by our grantees—rather than the funding that enabled their work—is at the heart of our philanthropy.

For more information about the Teagle Foundation, visit their Web site: