What is Applied Learning?

Applied learning integrates classroom learning with real-world situations. The opportunities found on this Portal:

  • Involve “learning by doing”;
  • Have learning objectives relevant to academic or career pursuits;
  • Build one or more real-world skill; and,
  • Include a mechanism to evaluate learning.

What are some examples of applied learning?

As described below, different types of applied learning experiences exist. To see available opportunities please visit the Opportunities page.

  • Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: Whether in science, technology, or social context, innovation is the process of translating an idea or invention into a product, service, or strategy that is of value to a customer or to society.  Entrepreneurship is the process of creating businesses or organizations. Many campus centers and institutes support student-led innovation and entrepreneurship activities.
  • International: Opportunities to expand cross-cultural skills, perspectives, and knowledge, to re-evaluate personal and professional goals through study, work, internships, or volunteer opportunities around the world.
  • Internship: A temporary position in a professional work setting with an emphasis on learning. Internships may be full-time, part-time, academic, paid, unpaid, on-campus, and/or off-campus.
  • Leadership: The ability to inspire or influence others to accomplish a common goal. Leadership opportunities involve strategic thinking, working in groups, problem solving, effective communication, decision-making, and more.
  • Research: A systematic inquiry that investigates hypotheses, suggests new interpretations of data or texts, and poses new questions for future research to explore. Research can be conducted on-campus with faculty and research staff or off-campus with industries, research institutes, government agencies, non-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and more.
  • Service Learning: Participation in a service activity that meets identified community needs, while emphasizing student learning and civic engagement.  Service learning opportunities may be one-time, short-term, or long-term projects connected to credit-bearing courses, or structured co-curricular programs.
  • Tutoring: Teaching and assisting other students with academic work. The campus has various tutoring programs for students to teach, counsel, and mentor peers or K-12 students in the San Diego region.

What are the benefits of applied learning?

Participating in applied learning opportunities helps you:

  • Translate classroom knowledge to real-world situations;
  • Develop a deeper understanding of course materials; 
  • Gain real-world skills that are valued by potential employers and graduate programs;
  • Explore career pathways; and,
  • Build a network.