From criminal justice agencies to elementary schools to non-profit agencies and beyond, Social Ecology students have the opportunity to take what they learn in the classroom out into the community, effectively serving our communities and enhancing the value of their education. The Field Study program is a unique experiential-learning program for undergraduates in Social Ecology and a key element of the School's commitment to training future leaders. The general goal of Field Study is to integrate academic and experiential learning. This approach is based on evidence that learning is maximized when it is active, when students are engaged and when theories and research are informed by their application to "real world" problems. Having students reflect on how to apply what they learn in the classroom to addressing societal challenges facilitates personal and professional growth and deepens understanding of linkages between theory and experience, producing more informed and engaged civic leaders.

Year in and year out, over 800 Social Ecology undergraduate majors complete a minimum of 100 hours of field-based learning in more than 225 participating organizations and corporations. These organizations are the School's partners in a collaborative effort to enable students to apply classroom-based learning to real-world problem-solving and to develop our students as community leaders. This first-hand community interaction gives students an opportunity to examine social problems, evaluate the merit of classroom ideas and conduct naturalistic observations or investigations. The benefit to the community is immense-students complete at least 100 hours of community Field Study work. Last year, more than 81,300 hours were completed, which is equivalent to more than 17 full-time positions in the public-sector agencies and 16 full-time positions in nonprofit agencies.

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For additional information, please contact:
Doug Colby
Senior Director of Development
(949) 824-0383
dccolby@uci.edu