Experiential Learning Institute

Experiential learning provides learners real world and hands-on opportunities preparing them for an ever-changing and diverse world. The purpose of experiential learning is to actively engage the learner through relevant and ongoing experience, critical problem solving and reflective practices. Learners who engage in experiential learning are more likely to persist through their college experience, graduate, and become lifelong, self-directed learners.

The Experiential Learning Institute (ELI) exists to expand experiential learning college-wide. The Institute collaborates with both on-campus and community stakeholders to engage students and the community, locally, nationally and globally. This connects the community and NMC by seeking creative partnerships, serving ongoing community needs, and preparing learners for future employment.

The Strategic Plan has been approved by the NMC Board of Trustees and the ELI's goal is that every credential-seeking student will benefit from at least one ELO (Experiential Learning Opportunity) by September, 2024. ELOs can occur in courses, internships, apprenticeships, community research, service learning, international services, cocurricular/extracurricular activities and other campus activities.

Experiential Learning Institute Newsletters

The links below open in new browser windows.

Registration Announcement — Experiential Learning Designated Courses in the Searchable Schedule

Latest Edition - June 2024 Reflection Edition

SPRING 2024 Experiential Learning Events

  • Lunch & Learn: Study Smart, Finish Strong was Monday, April 8 from Noon–1 p.m. in the TJNIC 103.
  • Lunch & Learn with Ken Scott on Transformation Coaching was held Thursday, Feb. 22 from 1–2 p.m. in Parsons-Stulen Room 226 on NMC's Aero Park campus. All NMC students and employees were welcome to attend.
  • LinkedIn Webinar with Chaim Shapiro was held on Thursday, Feb. 29 from 1–2 p.m.
  • NMC Career and Employment Fair was held Thursday, March 7. Find more career fair information here.
  • Student Connect International Tea Time March 6 and April 10 at 9:15 a.m. in Osterlin.
  • Big Little Hero Race by BUS 231 Kristy McDonald's course on Saturday, April 20. Register at biglittleherorace.com.
  • The 3rd Annual NMC ELI Learning Symposium began Monday, April 29.

NMC Student Activities Calendar

Fall 2023 Experiential Learning Events

  • Coffee & Careers Chat with Amy Burns-Bailey on the last Wednesday of each month from 9–10 a.m. in the Experiential Learning Institute (TJNIC Room 103).
  • Thanks-for-Giving with BUS 231 course on Monday, Nov. 20 in the afternoon, handing out free Thanksgiving meals to those who sign up. If you'd like to donate, please visit Give : NMC Foundation at Northwestern Michigan College (designate your gift to "other" and write in "Thanks For Giving").
  • Walk for Health and Housing took place on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. meeting at the Great Lakes Campus then walking through downtown Traverse City.
  • National Apprenticeship Week was November 13–19 with multiple celebrations at NMC.

Past Events (2022–23)

  • National Apprenticeship Week: November 14–20
  • Walk for Health and Housing: November 16
  • Food for Thought Thanks-for Giving Project: November 21
  • Study Abroad Poster Contest Winner Displays: November 30
  • Rotaract Holiday Card Decorating: December 1
  • Baja Event: December 6 and January 28
  • Student Connect International Tea: December 7
  • Rotaract Monthly Meeting: December 7 & February 1
  • Navigating the Career Fair: February 27 & 28
  • Career Fair: March 2
  • Holi Lunch and Learn: March 8
  • Free Professional Headshots: March 9
  • LinkedIn Sessions with Chaim Shapiro: March 16
  • Service Learning Smaller Modules: March 17
  • Student Connect International Tea: March 22
  • Big Little Hero Race: April 22
  • 2nd Annual NMC ELI Learning Symposium: May 1–4

ELI Co-director

Kristy Berak McDonald
Business Academic Area Faculty
Northwestern Michigan College
(231) 995-1059
Kristy McDonald, Co-Director

ELI Co-director

Brandon Everest
Sociology Instructor
NMC Faculty Association, President
Northwestern Michigan College
231) 995-1985
Brandon Everest, Co-Director

EL Champions

NMC psychology student in an experiential learning class
Experiential Learning Flips Classroom Scripts

Since late 2016, a core group of faculty have been working to take EL to critical mass campus-wide.