Environmental Stewardship
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Campus Living

Hands-On Learning

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So hands-on or experiential learning are words that are thrown around at a lot of different places these days. And truly, we have pioneered it and been doing it for a long time. It is in our very heart and soul of what we do, and we do it in so many different ways.

A really great example that Paul Smith's recreation students have, in terms of having some very hands-on experiences, is our expedition planning course. Students spend a portion of the semester planning an itinerary, planning the food, planning all the logistics, and then we go on that trip during spring break in that term. We've gone to Death Valley, Northern Florida on a paddling trap, we've explored Zion National Park-- so all over the United States-- planning the trip, doing the trip, and then coming back, and reflecting, and debriefing on the experience.

For forestry students, they got this program, and it's six weeks. You get two weeks of hands-on surveying, two weeks of hands-on timber harvest-- so cutting trees down, and two weeks of hands-on forest mensuration. And that was just the most hands-on experience you're ever going to get here.

The moment that I graduate from here, I have innate experience-- that I can go and say, "I have done this, this, and this." Which I think is going to open a lot of doors for me. And that is something that is super rewarding to me or to any other student at Paul Smith's College.

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