History and Development of the EYE Program
In the spring of 2009 Lander University implemented the first student activities in a new campus-wide experiential education program based on best practices in experiential education and assessment of student learning. Lander University defines student learning within the EYE program as the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that promote success in solving real-world challenges and enable the student to engage in professional growth. The program provides a framework for designing new experiential learning opportunities and aligning existing opportunities that support a common set of student learning outcomes. Students are expected to develop problem solving skills, communication skills, collaboration skills, professionalism, career understanding, reflection, and professional development. All of these learning outcomes are evaluated using three rubrics completed by the student, the employer, and the faculty mentor. Contextual learning is delivered through activities such as internships, cooperative education, service learning, study abroad, and course embedded projects. Each activity requires the student to produce a deliverable product allowing assessment of these outcomes through the application of the rubrics. The deliverable products can include research papers, posters, oral presentations, portfolios, performances, or other products specific to a particular discipline. Students earn EYE Program credit for each activity completed and are eligible for an award, the Golden EYE Award, at graduation.
The success of the program is providing elegant opportunities to showcase the learning opportunities available to students during their education as well as enhance the reputation of graduates who will be better equipped to compete in the marketplace for their chosen careers. The EYE Program is the result of a committed cadre of faculty, staff, students, and community members who have collectively conceived a vision for an innovative experiential education program that seeks to transform the academic culture of Lander University and to encourage students to develop useful professional skills. The Program has been encouraged and supported philosophically and fiscally since its inception by Dr. Dan Ball, President of Lander University. In October 2010, the EYE Program at Lander University was recognized with the Experiential Education Program of the Year Award by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).