Experiential Education Explained

Experiential Education (EE) is a pedagogical approach in which students learn through experience. Instructors purposefully engage learners in a direct experience and focused reflection in order to build knowledge and develop skills in a real-world context. Students can engage in experiential education in three main ways:

Classroom Focused: Students are exposed to concrete learning activities in the classroom (physical or virtual, e.g., online) that require them to reflect on what they have experienced in relation to concepts/theories being covered in the course.

Community Focused: Students have the opportunity to connect course material with experiences that occur through interactions with community partners that can take place in the classroom or in the community.

Work Focused: Students have the opportunity to develop competencies and skills and augment the theories/concepts learned in their degree programs by getting hands-on work experience within organizational environments.

Video: Teaching Innovation – Experiential Education at Schulich

EE is an approach to learning that bridges theory and practice by providing students with opportunities for concrete, applied, practical experience and helps them reflect on this experience using theory and what they have learnt in the classroom. Incorporating reflection as a planned activity allows the students to actively reflect on their experiences and critically examine their assumptions.

View this video’s summary page to learn more.

EE Highlights at Schulich


Dr. Minerva Cernea

Associate Director, Professional Development and Experiential Education Office


Dr. Minerva Cernea has over 25 years of leadership experience locally and internationally, including in higher education. Currently Dr. Cernea is the Associate Director, Professional Development and Experiential Education (PDEE), leading the PDEE Office at Schulich School of Business. In this role, Dr. Cernea works on several experiential education (EE) projects focused on increasing awareness about EE activities, streamlining EE processes, sharing of EE information and resources, and creating EE opportunities for Schulich School of Business students. View Dr. Cernea’s LinkedIn profile.