As part of The Lewis Experience, Experiential Learning helps students connect the liberal and the professional education they receive at Lewis with real-world, hands on experiences that lead to a Meaningful Professional Life toward A Better World.

At Lewis University, Experiential Learning (EL) is broadly defined as active engagement with, and meaningful reflection on, a learning experience.

We believe that active engagement can take place in a variety of contexts – from the classroom to the community; from the lab to the recreation center; from internships and study abroad to pilgrimages and performances – and that meaningful reflection can take a variety of forms.

The Lasallian Connection

As a Catholic and Lasallian university, Lewis University is committed to the pedagogical approach taken by the founder of Lasallian education, St. John Baptist de La Salle, who insisted that his 17th century students engage with their learning experiences in very practical ways in order to improve their lives and contribute to society. For over 300 years, the Christian Brothers have continued the work of De La Salle, emphasizing pragmatic, high-quality education. At Lewis University, we recognize that experiential learning goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to Lasallian pedagogy, and that the broad implementation of experiential learning practices can provide Lewis University students with transformative, relevant and distinctive educational opportunities.


Experiential learning provides student-centered, interactive education in multiple settings that recognizes diverse forms of knowledge and that meets the needs of a changing, pluralistic society. EL offers values-based and relevant education by promoting active engagement and regular reflection that helps students integrate, deepen, and personalize their learning through forging connections, developing personal responses to experiences, and providing means for students to apply what they have learned.

Experiential Learning Resources for Faculty and Staff

As part of our desire to foster “a community committed to exploring and understanding… ourselves and others through sharing, study, reflection, and encounter” all Lewis University students will engage in experiential learning across the campus and beyond. To this end, Lewis University staff and faculty will be supported in intentionally integrating experiential learning throughout the University to create a distinctive and relevant student experience.

For more information about The Experiential Learning Program and The Lewis Experience, please contact the Office of Community Engaged Learning at (815) 836-5848 or contact Laura Wilmarth Tyna, Director of Community Engaged Learning at wilmarla@lewisu.edu. Email inquiries can also be sent to EL@Lewisu.Edu.

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