Our goal is to substantively increase Trinity’s overall experiential learning offerings – across all departments and programs – within both major courses and general education offerings. Trinity will become a place where all students have numerous opportunities to learn about themselves and other industries from powerful experiences such as internships, client projects, off-site travel, independent research, artistic and cultural programming, and volunteerism. In the next ten years, Trinity will seek to improve the quantity and quality of experiential learning in all academic programs by increasing the number of participating faculty, students, and alumni.
As part of Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program, Meredith Goshell ’18, a communication major, worked for San Antonio’s Battered Women and Children Shelter (BWCS) as part of Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program, where she got a first-hand look at how her communication skills can do good on a human level.
The BWCS provides schooling, counseling, shelter, and other support services to victims of domestic abuse. This nonprofit, according to Trinity assistant director for Experiential Learning Scott Brown, was one of a handful of nonprofits that Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program partnered with as part of a pilot program in spring 2018. Through this innovative take on work-study, Tigers can work with the University to use federal funding for work study at off-campus partners, such as Goshell did with the BWCS.
“This program gives students a chance to get real-world experience, and it isn’t just an internship,” Brown says. “Students are able to apply their knowledge and skills learned at Trinity to nonprofit organizations in the San Antonio community.”
Brown, along with team members from Student Financial Services and Risk Management and Insurance, has spearheaded the development of Trinity’s community-based Federal Work-Study program over the past year, with big plans for the program’s future. In spring 2018, the program saw Trinity students partner with the BWCS, San Antonio Youth Literacy, KIPP Academy, and Multi-Level Youth Educational Outreach.
“This fall, we’re expanding that group of partners to 15 or 20,” Brown adds.
As for students, the work-study position provides another experiential benefit:
“When you get to your first job interview, you can talk about your classes as much as you want, but what employers want to see is your experience,” Goshell says. “They’ll ask you, ‘What have you done in the real world?’”