Applied Learning at SUNY
SUNY has developed a primer meant as an introduction and a guide to help SUNY’s partners identify and navigate the legal issues that may arise when they participate in educational programs with SUNY campuses.
Today’s high-tech, global economy is fast-paced and moving forward every day, and we have to ensure that, above all else, we are preparing our students to be a part of it. At SUNY, we believe in the power of learning by doing. That’s why we are working to ensure that every SUNY student will have access to an applied learning opportunity, even those attending online, including opportunities from clinical placements and cooperative education to service learning, volunteerism, student research, international opportunities, and field study.
Applied learning refers to an educational approach whereby students learn by engaging in direct application of skills, theories and models. Students apply knowledge and skills gained from traditional classroom learning to hands-on and/or real-world settings, creative projects or independent or directed research, and in turn apply what is gained from the applied experience to academic learning. The applied learning activity can occur outside of the traditional classroom experience and/or be embedded as part of a course.
Every SUNY campus has an Applied Learning Team. Varying from campus to campus, these teams include faculty, professional staff, students and administrators working together to develop formal Applied Learning Campus plans and to celebrate the long-standing tradition of offering all types of Applied Learning Opportunities to SUNY students.
The Applied Learning Guidance to Campuses Document was created by the SUNY Applied Learning Steering Committee in response to the SUNY Board of Trustees Resolution on Experiential and Applied Learning. The document outlines the Criteria for Campus-Approved Applied Learning Activities, a time line of campus work and answers to frequently-asked questions.
Applied learning opportunities at SUNY include:
- Cooperative Education
- Co-op & Clinical Placements
Clinical placements, in which more than 20,000 SUNY students are enrolled; and co-operative education programs, in which SUNY faculty and area employers have jointly developed curricula that integrate classroom instruction and on-the-job experience. Approximately 1,740 students are currently enrolled in co-op across SUNY.
- Community service
- Civic Engagement
More than 30,000 SUNY students are currently engaged in formal service-learning programs for which students earn college credit, while tens of thousands more participate in community service and volunteer locally, nationally, and around the globe.
- Field Study
- Experiences Abroad
- Creative Works
While SUNY research has historically resulted in breakthrough discoveries, inventions, and startups, increased focus on applied learning has led to an unprecedented level of collaboration between SUNY students, faculty, and industry experts to enable commercialization of the best ideas and innovations born on SUNY campuses.