Editorial – Real experiences enhance learning

Some Pitt-Johnstown professors offer opportunities for students in their classes to get real-world experience.

This is one quality that sets some classes apart from others.  It also is something that every professor should consider.

Students enrolled in the engineering program must complete a senior project that correlates to their field of engineering.

For example, mechanical engineers might work on a wind turbine or a Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system.

Education majors are assigned to local schools where they student-teach classes of their specialty.

Students who take the Marketing Management class get set up with a client and present a marketing plan.

Nursing students get to observe and even perform procedures on patients.

Some say experience is the best teacher.  By going into environments where they will one day be working, students get a dose of reality while learning more about their career paths.

So we can ask why all classes do not offer some type of real-world application of their subject.

Perhaps it is difficult for some professors to find these types of experiences for students.

It’s true that it would be difficult to accommodate a general education class of about 60 students.

But is seems that when professors get creative and offer these types of experiences as part of the class, students and others can benefit.

Some psychology professors have students sit in on experiments as part of the test group.

In the History of Christianity class, students attend different religious services in order to better understand certain religious aspects.

Student organizations also help deliver that real-world experience.  For example, Habitat for Humanity takes trips to build houses for people in need.

The real-life activities that are part of some classes have the potential to help students win a job by providing knowledge, experience and skills.

Not only do these experiences make the class interesting and beneficial, but they help to set UPJ apart while giving students something that they can list on their resumes.