If you're looking to gain new knowledge that will put you ahead in your career field, your best option could be experiential learning. This educational path provides you with hands-on college course experience, which you can use to your advantage once you start applying for jobs.
The following programs range from various fields and career paths. They are an excellent place to begin your journey into the future.
1. Writing for Social Media
Social media has become one of the most significant factors of businesses across the world. This course from the University of California, Berkeley, provides you with an introduction to writing for social media. You may be familiar with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, but this course takes those platforms and shows you how to use them to create helpful content.
You'll examine the writer's role, how the audiences respond and how words can make or break a post. You can start this introductory-level course at any time. It's free, but you can add a verified certificate for an extra cost.
2. Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America offers several different programs that serve as hands-on college courses. On the institute's campuses in New York, California or Texas, you can get your hands-on learning in cafes or restaurants.
In New York, you can understand the dynamics of farm-to-table at the American Bounty Restaurant. At the Bakery Cafe in California, you can bake pastries and make soups, salads and sandwiches. In Texas, the restaurant, Savor, is a place to work with others and use ingredients from all over the world to create dishes.
These are only half of the options that the Culinary Institute offers. If you're looking to get into the food industry, here is a good place to start.
3. Semester in Silicon Valley
Draper University has partnered with Arizona State University to create an immersive educational program in Silicon Valley, California. For four months, you can take part in this college semester experience.
Its purpose is to help individuals who are interested in entrepreneurship on the technical, business and leadership ends of the field. You'll be able to meet and work with various experts and established entrepreneurs as well.
You can earn up to 15 college credits with this program — the experience will be invaluable. From mobile and web programming to entrepreneurship skills to 3D printing, you'll be able to do it all.
4. Digital Learnings to Leaders
Georgia State University has rolled out a virtual edition of its digital learning program. Here, you can immerse yourself in learning digital skills while developing your portfolio. You'll be able to work with tech professionals as well as improve upon your academic achievements.
The learning doesn't stay completely virtual, though. There are additional extracurricular and leadership development activities and responsibilities that you can fulfill. This program can improve your management skills and collaboration abilities. If you're interested in tech or digital education, Georgia State's program is a helpful place to begin.
5. Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education Program
From Brevard College, this program offers a unique change of scenery. If you're the outdoorsy type, this experience is for you. Alongside faculty, peers and mentors, you'll be able to have fun experiences outdoors while still receiving a proper education.
With activities like kayaking, day trips, overnight stays in the field and a 21-day wilderness expedition, this program will challenge you personally and academically. You'll learn about biodiversity, conversation, natural resources and more. This program isn't just an adventure, it's a career path.
With it, you'll be able to turn your passion into a reality, starting in Western North Carolina.
6. University of Puget Sound Research Grants
If you're more focused on research, rest assured. These research grants from the University of Puget Sound can kickstart your hands-on college learning. From this university, there are two scholar awards — the Agricola Scholar Award and the McCormick Scholar Award.
If you receive one of these grants, you'll also gain a stipend for funding, materials and living. The research grants can incorporate different fields like science, social sciences or humanities. You'll be able to assist with a research project and gain experience for the future.
7. Newton Summer Internship
Medical school is becoming an increasingly popular option for many undergraduate and graduate students. If you're considering medical school, the Newton Summer Internship Program could be the right choice for you.
You'll be able to learn on the go and experience first-hand how medical industries and practices operate. You'll shadow various medical professionals in their designated fields. As you learn from more people, you'll be able to see which area is right for you.
You can also speak with your college about receiving credits for this internship.
8. Global Citizen Program
If you're interested in experiential learning that can happen internationally, the Global Citizen Program from Wellesley University could be a life-changing opportunity for you. With this program, you'll be able to immerse yourself in another country, community and culture. You'll engage yourself and learn about different societies and customs.
This engaging program also comes with a stipend. Whether you're studying arts and culture in North Africa or political systems and governance in Latin American, you'll be able to learn and explore at the same time.
As you consider which program to look into, also take into account your interest, field and resources. These opportunities only scratch the surface of everything available for hands-on college courses. When you invest, you are taking a step towards your future career.