Experimental Learning

Please respond to the following discussion questions:

Discussion #2

Kettering University/Experiential Learning:

Kettering University founded in 1919, is a private institution that is currently ranked 31 in the 2017 edition of Best Colleges.  Kettering has been accredited since 1962 by the Higher Learning Commission and is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.  At Kettering University their mission reads, “Our mission at Kettering University is to prepare students for lives of extraordinary leadership and service by linking transformative experiential learning opportunities to rigorous academic programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and business.”

Kettering University added a fifth-year thesis requirement and became a degree-granting college with a continuing commitment to cooperative education.  KU current model runs 13:1, every Kettering student alternates between school terms and work (co-op) terms.  While in the classroom, the student to faculty ration is 13:1.  This unique cooperative education model, also known as experiential education, is taken to a higher level at KU.  This exclusive ideal is what helps the university prepare their students for extraordinary leadership skills!

Competitive Advantage:

Experiential learning has set Kettering apart from its competitors as it equips the students with hands on decision making and critical thinking experience in the workplace starting as early as their first year in college.  This thought process is an example of the critical lessons that are learned beyond a lecture hall, it provides students with a set of abilities that cannot be taught by reading a textbook or listening to a lecture.  Students attending other institutions are learning about the work place and the successes and failures where Kettering University students are experiencing it in real-life and in a real work setting.


As a cooperative education student, you are working as part of your rotation for your degree.  Based on a co-op wage and benefits survey in December of 2015, Kettering Employee Partners are paying:

Freshman Engineering Students:                                           $14.95/hour on average

Freshman Business Management Students:                          $14.00/hour on average

Freshman Computer Science Students:                                 $14.71/hour on average

Freshman Applied Science Students:                                     $14.30/hour on average

Senior Engineering Students:                                                  $18.28/hour on average

Senior Business Management Students:                                 $17.43/hour on average

Senior Computer Science Students:                                        $17.86/hour on average

Senior Applied Science Students:                                            $17.55/hour on average

Kettering University’s most recent graduation rate is currently 62.9% by year 8, and retention rate is at 79.3% at year 4.  KU’s retention rate is slightly under the national average retention rate of 75.5%, where the graduation rate is above the national average of 66% (National).

Kettering has adopted their model and have held strong to back this model for 70+ years, their retention and graduation rate hands around the average and their students employability is up there with other institutions.  Their mission to create leaders has been proven with its graduates.


National center for Education Statistics (n.d.) Retrieved on December 13th, 2016 from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=40

Kettering University. (n.d). A Kettering Built World.  Retrieved on December 4, 2016, from https://www.kettering.edu/.

Discussion #2

The institutions I researched were University of Michigan (UoM) and Sam Houston State University (SHSU).  My reasoning for using both in my assignment and this posting were that both models had something to offer.  I strongly believe they could be combined to create a powerful, effective education model.

Starting off with UoM, they use a model called competency-based education (CBE) for their healthcare programs.  This model is defined as “a framework for designing and implementing education that focuses on the desired performance characteristics of health care professionals … by establishing observable and measureable metrics that learners are expected to accomplish” (Gruppen, Mangrulkar, & Kolars, 2012, p. 1).

Next, SHSU, uses project-based learning (PBL) school-wide.  It is described as

“begin[ning] with content-rich ideas and offer[ing] students, through a systematic method, the opportunity to learn through inquiry and discovery. These activities are generally collaborative as student groups move toward a specific learning purpose. Mastery of content must be demonstrated as students can direct their own learning through a series of decisions which creates a path to their end product” (SHSU, Center for Project Based Learning, para. 1)

Obviously, these initiatives can’t just be started on a whim.  They need planning and approval from stakeholders, including project sponsors.  For both institutions, approval would be needed by at least the following stakeholders: Board of Trustees, President, Provost, and Dean.  The odd man out seems at first to be the Board of Trustees, since they aren’t educators.  However, since these initiatives are major changes, and they control the overall direction of the university, their approval is required.

Considering how much change (along with everything else that goes with that) is needed to produce these initiatives, why go through the trouble in the first place?  A major reason implementing these changes is competitive advantage.  Both models show potential employers that graduates can perform the job duties they would be assigned.  In the healthcare field, CBE will ensure that nurses and doctors are experts in the knowledge they need to care for individuals.  This will raise the reputation of both the education institution and the healthcare facility.  The same goes for PBL, yet with a slight twist in that PBL gives students real world experience so they don’t just know how to perform a task, they’ve actually done it.  Since employers are usually wanting experience in addition to education, PBL would complete the equation, so to speak, with CBE.

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