Missouri Western State University has been designated by the State of Missouri as the official applied learning institution in the state. Applied learning refers to any activity outside of the classroom in which students use discipline‐specific knowledge, including internships, practica, and student/faculty research. Undergraduate students who engage in applied learning get an education that better prepares them to enter the workforce or pursue graduate study. Because it is a scholarly pursuit for students, applied learning is naturally tied to faculty scholarly activities. In all disciplines, applied learning opportunities arise when students work alongside faculty mentors who are pursuing their own professional scholarship goals.
PORTAL, the Program of Research, Teaching, and Applied Learning, offers opportunities for faculty to engage during the summer in scholarly activities that directly provide credit‐bearing applied learning experiences for students. The program is intended to contribute to the growing reputation of Missouri Western as the Applied Learning University in the state of Missouri. Its goals are to institutionalize summer student research and creative activity, to increase the number and quality of applied learning opportunities for students, and to improve the culture of peer‐reviewed faculty scholarly achievement.
PORTAL will serve as an umbrella for all summer Applied Learning activities at Western, including internships, practica, study away, and faculty/student research and creative projects regardless of the source of funding for those activities.