What is Experiential Learning?
Experiential learning refers to a philosophy and methodology focusing on the application of instruction in and out of the classroom. There are objectives and outcomes planned and articulated prior to the learning experience and measured after the experience. Delaware Valley College recognizes the importance of integrating applied classroom learning with real-world experiences and requires all students to participate in the Experiential Learning Program conforming to the standards of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE). Our goal is to inspire students to be actively engaged learners contributing to the greater society.
What is Experiential Learning at Delaware Valley College?
Delaware Valley College’s Experiential Learning Program (ExLP) provides active, hands-on experiences tied to specific academic objectives and outcomes as a requirement for graduation. The program is administered by the Center for Student Professional Development. The program is designed to supplement academic theory and offers students the opportunity to participate in carefully monitored classroom and field-based learning experiences in agency, business, education, and government settings.
Students are given the opportunity to participate in real-world activities as a basis for learning and to develop specific career goals and aspirations. The experience allows students to apply their education and prepare for fulfilling careers. It also satisfies the Experiential Learning Requirement to complete a minimum of two (2) activities prior to graduation. The ExLP requirement can be met through internships, student teaching, career exploration, study abroad, undergraduate research, service-learning, leadership, community service, civic engagement, or other courses with the ExLP designation.
All students will apply and demonstrate what they have learned in their respective field of study, by:
- Being actively involved in the experience;
- Reflecting on the knowledge gained from the experience;
- Using analytic skills to conceptualize the experience; and
- Demonstrating decision-making and problem-solving skills gained from the experience.
The Experiential Learning Program is designed to prepare students for lives of meaningful work and service. By engaging students in opportunities that integrate knowledge and experience, the ExLP fosters an understanding and life-long appreciation for learning. Students engage in a process that includes preparation, action, and reflection to develop the habits required to learn effectively from experience and the commitment to put knowledge into action as socially responsible global citizens.
- Credits and activities needed to participate vary by major
- GPA varies by major and activity
- Completion of departmental prerequisites
- Approval of ExLP Advisor and Department Chairs
Internships-combine career-related work experience with a structured academic learning experience. Work is substantive and supports students’ academic and career goals under faculty supervision to promote critical thinking, observation, and reflection.
Student Teaching-allows students to gain field and professional experience with structured faculty support and supervision of a cooperating teacher. This experience must be a full-time apprenticeship.
Career Exploration Experience- allows students to investigate career options and gain initial experience in related work settings to enhance student skill sets, under professional supervision of Experiential Learning staff and Faculty.
Experiential Learning Courses (Service & Practicum)- allow students to engage in activities that address human and community needs or a one-time work experience together with structured class assignments.
Research- allows students to gain hands-on experiential learning by conducting research in an academic setting. Research must include relevant application to students’ field of study.
Study Abroad- allows students to gain experiential learning abroad in a structured, university-sponsored program with faculty supervision and guidance.
Leadership Program- Leadership involves the need to collaborate with people who work together to create positive change. Ultimately, students in the Experiential Leadership Program will learn that they are responsible for their actions and share the responsibility for the actions of those they can influence. The Leadership Program provides an opportunity to educate students about leadership concepts and theories and also provides learning experiences that allows them to put theory into practice for the sake of their organizations, communities and society.
Community Service- allows students to engage in a formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit and community-based organizations; it is designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or to solve particular problems related to community needs.
Civic Engagement- allows students to engage in an activity that promotes the quality of life in a community through governmental or not-for-profit development of policy and procedure in both political and non-political processes.
The student, in consultation with the ExLP Advisor and Department Chair, completes the Experiential Learning application form, which includes potential tasks, learning objectives, and academic assignments as per department’s requirements. Student, Advisor, Chair and/or Faculty sign the form for the student to complete the registration process on WebAdvisor.
Academic credit is awarded by departments. The total amount of credit varies based upon the nature of the work, the academic projects, and the amount of time spent on the activity. In most cases, a minimum of 40 hours for each credit earned is required.
Students evaluate their work experience by examining structure, value, meaning, relation to coursework, and impact on career goals through ExLP forms and via online surveys. Faculty will evaluate and grade student experiential learning activities through academic assignments.
Enrollment Status/Class Status
Students are considered to be full-time if they carry 12 or more credits per semester. Only full-time students taking 12 semester credits or more may live on campus. Full-time students are ordinarily limited to an 18-credit schedule each semester. Students in good academic standing may petition the department chairperson for permission to carry additional credits beyond that limit. Students who wish to register for 21 or more credits must have a minimum GPA of 2.8 and must obtain approval from their department chairperson and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students are ranked in classes according to the schedule of successfully completed credits indicated below.
||92 and higher
The College’s policy is to schedule a final exam for every credited course at the end of each semester in both day and evening classes. The final exam period is utilized to bring closure to courses by evaluating, documenting and/or summarizing the learning experience. Some courses do not lend themselves to a traditional final exam (e.g. speech, techniques, design, and seminar). In these courses the final exam period will be utilized to bring an end to the educational experience using student presentations, individual student conferences or other appropriate educational activities. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by both the Department Chair and area Dean. Final exam periods are 2 hours in length, and can be on Monday through Saturday during final exam week.
Midterm grades are submitted by faculty in accordance with the academic calendar. Final grades are submitted by the faculty at the end of each semester. Midterm and final grade reports are not mailed. Grades are available to students through WebAdvisor at www.delval@edu. The Registrar’s Office will not report grades to students over the telephone or by email. Students must contact instructors with questions about course grades. All grade challenges must be completed within one year from the time the final grade is issued. Students who require a midterm or final grade report from the Registrar’s Office must request the report in writing.
Graduation and Degree Requirements
Students who plan to graduate must file an application for graduation with the Registrar’s Office. Failure to do so will preclude participation in Commencement.
For May graduation - filing date is February 15.
For December graduation-filing date is October 1.
The Registrar’s Office must be notified of any changes in Graduation plans and students must re-file the application if they fail to meet the requirements for that semester.
The course requirements for each of the degrees the College offers are summarized in the description of each Department’s program (see Graduate Degree Programs ). All baccalaureate degree programs require satisfactory completion of the coursework specified for the program, including electives, plus 4 credits earned for successful completion of the Experiential Learning Program. The requirements for each degree are the same for all students seeking that degree, regardless of whether they initially enrolled at Delaware Valley College or transferred credits from another institution of higher education.
Students are subject to the academic requirements and policies contained in the catalog in effect during the semester in which the student is first registered as a matriculated student. If that first semester or term is during the summer, the student is subject to the catalog requirements for the following Fall. Students who change majors, minors, and specializations are subject to the catalog in effect at time of declaration. Students who have been inactive for a period of four consecutive semesters will be subject to the effective catalog at time of re-entry.
Evening College students who have applied for degree candidacy through the Department of Continuing Education are not required to take LA 1020 Skills for College Success and PE 1109/1209 Physical Education I/II. The 3 credits for these courses are made up as general electives. Evening College students must consult their program advisors regarding Experiential Learning requirements.
The ultimate responsibility for meeting graduation requirements rests with the individual student. Faculty advisors and the Registrar’s Office make every effort to assist the student so that college work may be completed within the desired time period. The College cannot, however, assume responsibility for ensuring that the right courses are taken at the right time. Students shall obtain a Program Evaluation from WebAdvisor or request it from the Registrar’s Office to determine their academic status and progress. Deficiencies are noted on the Program Evaluation. It is the student’s responsibility to provide missing transcripts, make schedule changes and, if necessary and appropriate, obtain approved course substitutions to complete the program requirements for graduation.
Graduation honors are awarded to undergraduate students who have the appropriate grade point average as follows:
||Cumulative Academic Average
|Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)
|Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)
|Cum Laude (with honors)
Students recognized for this academic achievement are awarded an honor cord to be worn in addition to their academic regalia at Commencement. Students achieving Summa Cum Laude wear maize and forest green cords; students achieving Magna Cum Laude wear maize and white cords; students achieving Cum Laude wear a forest green and white cords. Students must complete all academic program requirements prior to Commencement to be recognized for their achievement.
Commencement: Walking with Outstanding Requirements
Students who are missing no more than eight credits of required courses and/or electives may be permitted to walk at Commencement without receiving a diploma. Students requesting this privilege must have:
- No more than 8 outstanding credits of required courses and/or electives
- At least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average
- Completed the Experiential Learning Program
- Completed Skills for College Success or Analytical Thinking
- Completed Student Teaching (if applicable)
- Fulfilled all other obligations (financial, etc.) to the institution
- Submit this request at least 10 calendar days prior to Commencement.
Students granted this privilege will walk across the stage and have their names read with the rest of the graduating class, and their names will have an asterisk ( * ) in the Commencement program noting that the degree will be awarded when all outstanding requirements are completed.
The Honors Program is an educational enrichment program designed to enhance the educational opportunities and experiences of students admitted to the program by virtue of their exceptional promise (as newly admitted students) or their exceptional performance (as students already enrolled at the College).
The program consists of an Honors Colloquium offered to first- and second-year students followed by independent study programs in the third and fourth years. The Honors Colloquium is a discussion or seminar group that is focused on a broad theme of interest to society. It features guest lecturers, field trips and both faculty- and student-led discussions.
Students who satisfactorily complete all elements of the Honors Program will earn at least seven elective credits during their participation and will have the Honors designation placed on their official record. Their participation in the program is guided by the Honors Council, which oversees the program as a whole, and the specially selected Honors Faculty, who present the program elements.
Inquiries concerning the Honors Program may be forwarded to the Director of Admissions.
Matriculated students who have completed 92 or more credits in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher) may request to complete up to two courses by directed independent study. This alternative approach is a faculty supervised, self-paced student learning experience. Students should regard an independent study course as being at least as demanding as a regularly scheduled course and allocate the necessary resources of time and energy. Not all courses are available in an independent study format. Students must first make application to the Office of the Registrar within five business days of the start of a semester. A course syllabus, from the instructor of record, must be submitted to the Registrar before final approval is granted to begin the independent study. A copy of the syllabus will be forwarded to the appropriate department chairperson. The independent study must be completed and graded within the semester in which it is registered. In cases where a student is seeking an independent study to complete a graduation requirement, a student must pursue all other options in conjunction with the academic advisor to complete the requirement to obtain approval. Alternative options include, but are not limited to, DVC evening courses, course substitution, transferring an approved course from another institution, and deferring a course to a future semester. Independent study fees are not included in regular full-time tuition charges. Independent studies are charged by the credit and will be processed by the Bursar’s Office once all necessary approvals are obtained by the student.
International Baccalaureate Organization
Students who have completed International Baccalaureate (IB) courses at either the “Higher Level” (HL) or “Standard Level” (SL) and have successfully completed the corresponding IB examinations and obtained a score of 5 or higher on the Higher Level (HL) or a 7 or higher on Standard Level (SL) examinations may be entitled to credit at Delaware Valley College. Students should have official exam scores sent from IBO to Delaware Valley College. Review of exam scores and determination of credits awarded will be made by the appropriate department chairperson.
Leave of Absence (Hiatus)
Students may request an official leave of absence by providing a written, signed and dated request for a leave of absence to the Registrar. The request must include the reason for and dates of the absence and the expected date of return. Approval for the leave of absence will take into consideration the reason for the absence and that there is a reasonable expectation that the student will return to Delaware Valley College. The total number of days of the student’s combined approved leave of absence cannot exceed 180 days in a 12-month period. If a student fails to return from an approved leave of absence, the student will be withdrawn from the institution. The last date of attendance will be the date of withdrawal.
Major: Declaring a Major
Students must declare a major prior to the registration period following their successful completion of 36 credits. A student with more than 36 completed credits may not be Undeclared (Day students) or listed as No Program (Continuing Education students). Day students must complete a Declaration of Major form (available at the Registrar’s Office). The approved form must be returned to the Registrar’s Office for the change to go into effect. Continuing Education students must complete an Application for Degree Candidacy form, which is available from the Continuing Education Office. Requirements for the completion of the degree are determined by the program requirements that are in effect on the date of the declaration.
Minor: Declaring a Minor
Students who wish to fulfill requirements for a minor must complete all credits before graduating from Delaware Valley College. Students may minor in any subject outside his/her academic major. The following applies:
- the minor will consist of a minimum of 15 credits;
- a minimum of 9 credits must be taken at Delaware Valley College;
- approval by major and minor department chair or program director is required;
- courses required for the major cannot be used to satisfy minor requirements.
Students may earn credits toward their degree via a variety of nontraditional strategies. Credit may be earned for successful completion of Advanced Placement Examinations (score of 3 or better) administered to high school students by the College Entrance Examination Board. Students who have acquired proficiency in a subject may elect to gain credit for that proficiency by satisfactorily completing either the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or the DANTES program, both of which are administered by the Educational Testing Service. Credits earned through these programs are treated as transfer credits. Delaware Valley College’s Department of Continuing Education is an approved site at which CLEP tests may be taken. Contact the Department of Continuing Education for information.
Online courses are college level courses taught over the internet. Delaware Valley College offers a number of courses online each semester. Online student requirements are:
- Be a disciplined, self-motivated student
- Pay a mandatory distance learning fee
In order to use Blackboard, the college’s online course platform, the following minimum system requirements must be met:
Platform: Windows95 or later or MACOSX 10.3 or later.
Modem: 56 k modem (Cable, DSL or faster connection is highly recommended)
Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 5 G of free disk space.
Software: Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Students who have withdrawn from the College may apply for Readmission through the Office of the Registrar. Application for readmission to the College must be received by the Registrar’s Office no later than 30 days prior to the semester start date. Students who have had two years of inactivity (four consecutive semesters) may be required to satisfy the program requirements in effect at the time of readmission. The department Chairperson in consultation with the Registrar will evaluate the completed courses and determine the requirements that must be satisfied for graduation.
Remedial Coursework/Institutional Credit
College preparation courses that are remedial or developmental (College Reading, Learning Strategies, Career Explorations, Fundamentals of Algebra, English Essentials and CHOICES Seminar) do not count toward graduation requirements. The grades for these courses are not counted in the cumulative GPA, and they are not counted as electives. Remedial or developmental courses are counted during the semester in which they are being taken for enrollment and financial aid purposes, but are not included in the completed credits. For instance, a student takes 15 credits in his freshman year, 6 of those credits are for remedial courses. The student is considered full time in that semester, but will have only 9 completed credits at the end of that semester. This could have an effect on the student’s eligibility for financial aid in his/her sophomore year. Remedial courses taken at other institutions will not be placed on the Delaware Valley College transcript.
Courses may be repeated an unlimited number of times. Although the course will appear with a grade each time it is taken, only the highest grade is calculated in the GPA and credit is received only once. The grade for a course repeated after graduation is replaced; however, the original grade remains in the graduation GPA. Courses may be repeated at another institution; see Transfer Credits from Regionally Accredited Institutions for policy on transfer credits.
Three-plus-One Program: Early Professional School Admission
Students wishing to apply for early admission to professional school may apply for the Three-plus- One Program. Applications for this program must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before May 1 of the sophomore year. For more specific details, contact the appropriate Department Chairperson (Animal Science, Biology or Dairy Science), in the department this program is offered. Applications are available at the Registrar’s Office.
Transcript of Academic Record
The transcript of a student’s academic record is available in both unofficial and official form. The unofficial transcript is available to students through WebAdvisor for his or her own private use. Unofficial and official copies of a student’s academic transcript are available from the Registrar’s Office. The official academic transcript is printed on safety transcript paper, bears the College seal and the Registrar’s signature.
In accordance with FERPA regulations, no student’s academic record will be released to a third party without the student’s written permission.
The request for a copy of the academic transcript, unofficial or official, must be made by the student in writing, and must include the student’s signature, student ID number, name and dates of attendance at Delaware Valley College. Requests for copies of academic transcripts are fulfilled by the Registrar’s Office within three to five business days. There is a fee for an official transcript. The College will withhold the official transcript if financial obligations to the College have not been met.
Students transferring to Delaware Valley College from other regionally or nationally accredited institutions of higher education as baccalaureate candidates must complete at least 48 credits of coursework at Delaware Valley College, including at least 15 credits in the major. The maximum number of credits accepted for transfer will be 78. Only credits for courses in which a grade of “C” or better has been earned are accepted for transfer and only the credits (not the grades or quality points) are transferred. A grade of “D” will be accepted when the course is the first in a two-course sequence and the second course grade was a “C” or better. A grade of “D” will also be accepted when it is part of a completed higher education degree (associate degree). Prospective, full-time undergraduate transfer students should make application to DelVal by contacting the Admissions office. The Admissions Office will evaluate transfers interested in full-time undergraduate study. Continuing education students should contact the Continuing Education office for admissions criteria and transcript evaluation.
Transfer Policy for Experiential Learning:
- Students who transfer 27 or more credits to DVC must complete the Employment Program as part of the graduation requirement.
- 27 credits-59credits must complete 500 hours of related work experience
- 60 credits and above must complete 250 hours of related work experience
- Students who transfer less than 27 credits must complete the Experiential Learning Program as outlined in the academic program requirements.
- Continuing Education students should contact that office to determine if current (and previous) work experience will satisfy the Experiential Learning program.
Evaluation of Credits for Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students who come to Delaware Valley College for a second degree who have an earned baccalaureate degree from another accredited institution will have the baccalaureate transcript evaluated by the respective department chairperson to determine the required coursework to complete the second degree. A grade of “D” will be accepted when it is part of a completed higher education degree (associate degree). Students must complete at least 48 credits at DelVal with a minimum of 15 credits in the major, and also complete one credited activity of the Experiential Learning Program.
Internal Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students that have previously earned a bachelor’s degree at Delaware Valley College must complete a minimum additional 30 credits of coursework. The Core curriculum classes from the initial bachelor’s will be applied to the second degree. Students must complete all major program courses as outlined by the college catalog. The second degree student will be subject to the current catalog in place upon the student’s return for the second degree. Second degree candidates should consult their advisors about Experiential Learning Requirements. Students can not use general or restricted electives that were applied to the initial bachelor’s degree.
Withdrawal from the College
The College defines “official withdrawal” as a systematic process whereby the student notifies the Registrar’s Office of his or her intent to withdraw from all classes at the College.
Non-attendance of classes is not an official withdrawal from the College. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the official withdrawal form or contact the Registrar’s Office, either in person (preferred) or by telephone. If a student simply stops attending classes, but has not notified the Registrar of his or her intention to withdraw from the College, that student will receive the grade of “FA” for all classes.
Additionally, federal law requires that students on financial aid must have an exit interview with the Financial Aid Office upon withdrawal from the College. Failure to comply with this federal regulation may adversely affect future financial aid.
When a student withdraws from the College during the semester, the authorized date of withdrawal will be recorded in the student’s permanent file and reported to the National Student Clearinghouse. If a student withdraws from the College by the last day of classes, the student will receive the grade of “W” for every course. The grade of “W” carries neither credit nor penalty. If the student withdraws from the College after the last day of classes (i.e. during final exam week), the student will receive the grade that was earned for every class.