From students in the Resort & Hospitality Management program who play a part in bringing the World Cup to life, students who travel to Iceland to help with reforestation efforts, and students who complete internships in our local community, opportunities for real-world, hands-on learning are a critical piece of a Castleton education.
Nearly 460 Castleton students completed an experiential learning opportunity during the spring semester. This includes internships, clinical placements, student teaching, practicums, field experience, research, and co-ops. For the year, Castleton students engaged in more than 970 experiential learning engagements.
“We are so proud of Castleton students for their hard work and astute efforts. These students are engaged, learning, and making a difference in their own lives, and the lives of those around them,” said Director of Experiential Learning and Workplace Readiness Jessica Duncan. “We have Castleton students doing crime analysis for the Rutland City Police Department, student teaching at our local schools, interning at our local municipalities, researching topics that support and enhance our environmental sustainability, using 3D technology to grow archaeology in Vermont, and using their minds and hands to create real change and opportunity right here in our community and beyond.”
Experiential learning is beneficial to students for a variety of reasons, including allowing them to engage in high-impact learning opportunities that enhance their classroom learning and providing connections between local businesses and community leaders who may be looking for new talent.
This experience also gives students a boost upon graduation, as data suggests that students who have participated in experiential learning are 35% more likely to get at least one job offer after graduating than those without experience. Additionally, 70% of students who complete internships are hired at the same company they interned with following their experience (Zippia).
“We are so thankful for the wonderful relationships we have with our partner organizations. It is this solid relationship and ongoing development that continues to support local job engagement and recruitment efforts, strong ties between our academic and business communities, and allows Castleton students to see into professional worlds that they may not otherwise get a chance to experience prior to launching into the workforce,” Duncan said.
Castleton students completed internships at a variety of regional employers this semester, including:
O’Brien Shortle Reynolds & Sabotka
Poultney Mettowee Natural Resources Conservation District
Chamber & Economic Development of the Rutland Region
Rutland Regional Medical Center
Rutland Young Professionals
Killington/PicoSki Resort Partners, LLC
Casella Waste Systems
Addison Home Health and Hospice
Bennington Fish Hatchery
Rutland City Police Department
Castleton Police Department
Castleton University’s Pathway to Graduation program support efforts to increase experiential learning opportunities for all students. One goal of this program is that all students graduating from Castleton University will have an experiential learning opportunity prior to graduation.