Experiential Learning Essays

The Experiential Learning Essay is an option by which students may petition to receive credit for college-level learning gained through adult experiences which have occurred outside of the formal classroom.


The 8-12 page essay demonstrates acquired theoretical knowledge and its practical application as measured against a parallel college course.

Essays are assessed on campus by content-area, expert evaluators, who also are instructors for the parallel course. Students provide letters of validation for their experience and demonstrate in essay form the learning acquired in keeping with the Kolb Model for Experiential Learning. The Kolb’s Model requires students to identify their concrete experiences, make observations and reflections, identify college-level theory and principles from the literature, and explain evidence of application or transfer of learning.

Before composing the essay, students will need to obtain authorization from their academic counselor, the director of prior learning assessment, and a faculty evaluator. You may download a copy of that form below. Direct any questions you have regarding the approval process to the Director of Prior Learning Assessment at (414) 410-4092 or chead@stritch.edu.

For information about assessment standards, documentation requirements, writing instructions, PLA fees and due dates, download the Experiential Learning Essay Institutional Handbook.

Experiential Essay Permission Form