The following terms, associated with applied learning, are employed by Missouri Western State University. These definitions are put forth to provide clarity and consistency around our applied learning activities. While many forms of applied learning are identified herein, this list is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather capture the primary forms of applied learning that students may engage in at MWSU.

At Missouri Western we define applied learning as any activity in which students use course content, models, theories, and/or skills in real-world and/or hands-on settings to support career readiness. This includes a myriad of possibilities, such as: field trips, field work, internships, leadership, mentored research, performances, practica, course projects or activities, service learning, and student teaching.”
Missouri Western State University, Master Academic Plan, 2021

A program that combines paid on-the-job training with classroom instruction to prepare workers for highly-skilled careers.  Completion of a Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) should lead to the issuance of an industry recognized credential.
Adapted from US Department of Labor

Civic Engagement is a teaching and learning focus on educating students as citizens. Classes or programs include meaningful civic education and activities for social good. Classes and projects have components of reflection and engagement. These focus on one’s civic responsibilities, including engagement in local politics, voter participation, social action and service to the community.
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Students rotate through a variety of health care agencies with faculty supervision focusing on the healthcare field process, with individual patients or groups reflecting diverse settings, across the lifespan. Emphasis is on mastering theoretical concepts, improving skill competency, and developing clinical reasoning skills with a focus on evidence-based practice.
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Volunteerism and community service performed by students for community benefit. This service can be, but is not necessarily integrated with a particular program of study. This may include structured projects (days of service), smaller group  projects, fund-raising events, or individual volunteerism, which is acknowledged by the campus.
Adapted from:

Creative Works Creative or Arts Focused applied learning includes a range of engagement with the arts that ranges from developing, consuming, performing, producing, and exhibiting artistic or expressive pieces to teaching about artistic or expressive topics. Creative and arts focused approaches can be integrated into any curricular or co-curricular experience and can take many forms including visual, performance, and technical arts, among others.
Adapted from Office of Community Engagement & Applied Learning,UNC Willmington

Students in an entrepreneurship program develop a broad-based entrepreneurial skill relevant to any organization – start-up, established, and for and not-for-profit agency, organization, community or industry. Entrepreneurship involves consistently thinking and acting in ways designed to uncover new  opportunities that are then applied to provide value. Entrepreneurship experiences involve translating an idea into a good or service that creates economic and/or social value. Experiences in this category may be directly tied to business or related academic fields of study, but also include experiences related to social entrepreneurship, among other emphases.
Adapted from: and

The process of learning through experience, and is more narrowly defined as “learning through reflection on doing.” It focuses on the learning process for the individual using the Kolb Experiential Learning Model.
Adapted from: Felicia, Patrick (2011). Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation. p. 1003. ISBN 978-1609604967. Kolb, D.A. (1984): “Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development”

Collection of information outside of an experimental or lab setting. This type of data collection is most often conducted in natural settings or environments and can be designed in a variety of ways for various disciplines. May be mentored, self-directed work, or comprise a full course. The projects include inquiry, design, investigation, discovery and application.
Adapted from:

An applied learning experience that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional or community setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent. The work can be full or part time, on or off campus, paid or unpaid, and may be credit or non-credit bearing. An internship is a legitimate learning experience benefitting the student and not simply an operational work experience that just happens to be conducted by a student. This definition does not include internships that are required components of a registered program leading to licensure or certification (e.g., teacher preparation, nursing, medical laboratory science, and respiratory therapy).
Adapted from definitions found at and

A research area, and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group or organization to “lead”, influence or guide other individuals, teams, and organizations to act toward achieving a common goal.
Adapted from Wikipedia

A period of practical experience undertaken in academic, professional or community settings/agencies/organizations as part of an academic course or program. This approach is grounded in application and practice of theoretical/technical concepts/skills and cultural competency relevant to the course or to a profession.
Adapted from