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Center of Experiential Learning

You don't have to wait until you graduate to put your knowledge to work. Through experiential learning, you can collaborate with local high schools, conduct research with community partners and solve operations issues for organizations.

Contact Information

Emily Johnson
Center for Experiential Learning

Center for Experiential Learning
College Center, 2nd Floor

CEL Links

Center for Experiential Learning

Get real-world career experience in college

You don't have to wait until you graduate to put your knowledge to work. Through experiential learning, you can collaborate with local high schools, conduct research with community partners and solve operations issues for organizations.

What is experiential learning?

  • Experiential learning is a process through which students develop knowledge, skills and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting.
  • Experiential learning encompasses a variety of activities including internships, community-based learning, and other creative and professional work experiences.
  • Well-planned, supervised and assessed experiential learning programs can stimulate academic inquiry by promoting interdisciplinary learning, civic engagement, career development, cultural awareness, leadership, and other professional and intellectual skills.


Students will gain a rich variety of meaningful learning experiences that will enable them to contribute to their community, be professionals in the workplace and value lifelong learning.


The Center for Experiential Learning empowers students through collaboration with campus, community and industry partners to promote, develop and implement experiential learning through community-based learning, volunteerism, academic internships, career exploration and preparation, and other engaged learning experiences.

What you'll do...

  • Apply classroom knowledge to learning experiences outside the classroom
  • Cultivate experiences related to your career goals and area of study that employers expect when hiring
  • Determine if a career field is the right choice for you through exposure to the field and its professionals
  • Establish a network of professional contacts, mentors and references
  • Have an impact on your community and make a contribution through projects, products, presentations or service
  • Develop job-search and professional skills needed in the work world
  • Take responsibility for your own education and create a more rewarding, hands-on college experience

Core services

Career Services

Career Services helps you explore careers and industry to determine if your major is the right choice for you by providing opportunities to gain exposure and develop your career and professional self through connections with professionals, tours, industry networking events and speakers .

Career Services prepares you to gain employment and internship experiences related to your major through resume and interview preparation, portfolio development, networking and our online job posting system College Central Network.

College Central Network (CCN) Services

CCN Services provides a hub for students and alumni to connect with employers. Career Services staff can help you set up a CCN Services account so you can access the job-posting system as well as resources for creating a résumé or writing a cover letter. Learn more by visiting CCN Services or contacting Career Services at 651-450-3683.


Gain off-campus, structured, work experiences that directly relate to your major field of study. Internships will help you apply your learning, receive direct supervision and feedback, develop references, build mentoring relationships, and clarify your career and personal goals.

How we help...

  • Identify internship site options
  • Prepare you to apply for an internship through cover letters, resumes and interviewing
  • Educate you on the process and getting the most out of an internship

Community-Based Learning

Apply what you're learning in the classroom to a real-world setting. Through your work in and with the community, you'll be able to see how the skills you are learning apply in a real-life context. And you'll be working to create real change in schools, cities, government and nonprofit agencies in our area.

Here’s what Inver Hills students are doing:

  • Nursing students work with local social services agencies to provide assistance with food distribution, foot-care clinics, and health and wellness education for clients.
  • Art students paint murals for local schools, adding to a school’s mission and beauty while reinforcing concepts like perspective and color matching.
  • Anatomy and Physiology students dissect sheep brains with 8th graders from local middle schools to teach them the parts and functions of the brain while sparking their interest in college.

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