To discover more about the EE credit or other courses offered by UNC Summer School, visit summer.unc.edu.
Searching for an opportunity to get your head out of the books and gain some hands-on experience in your major? The EE credit was made for just that.
If you haven’t completed your EE requirement, UNC Summer School is offering students the opportunity to fulfill this credit by enrolling in an immersive course this summer.
What is the EE credit?
EE stands for Experiential Education and is part of the Connections courses required for all degrees at UNC. EE courses provide hands-on experience to help students learn in a real-world context.
The main difference between EE courses and other general education courses is that EE courses are offered for every major, so students can pick a course that aligns with their interests. Students can also branch out and gain real-world experience in a totally unrelated department.
There are a number of ways to earn your EE credit. EE courses range anywhere from academic research to service learning, internships, field work and study abroad programs.
Here’s a look into a few of this summer’s EE course options through Summer School.
Learn about jazz and jam with faculty
The UNC Summer Jazz Workshop is a performing-arts EE course that offers three credits for a five-day workshop. This summer, the workshop is scheduled for Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 21. The class is listed as MUSC 364 in ConnectCarolina.
The course offers two different tracks. The first is the college performance track, which is for students interested in taking master classes, learning combos, improvising, learning new music skills, playing in the final concert and jamming with faculty.
The other track is journalism and jazz history, designed specifically for students who do not play an instrument but have an interest in jazz. These students take introductory piano lessons, learn to read basic music and write blogs about the workshop classes and concerts.
The workshop is also open to anyone in the community in middle school or older. Professor Stephen Anderson, who leads the workshop each summer, describes the interaction with the community as a benefit for undergraduates in the course.
“It’s not just our workshop — it’s the whole community helping with the education and really just the excitement of the love for the music,” Anderson said.
Anderson strongly recommends the course to anyone with an interest in music. Though the course is only five days, he says the workshop is an “intensive immersion” that students can’t get in a semester course.
“It’s that saturation that’s different than the long semester where you go twice a week and see your professor,” Anderson said. “You know, there’s advantages either way, but the Summer Jazz Workshop is special because of that.”
Dig up some history in a real-life excavation
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to perform an excavation, the Public Archaeology Practicum lets you do you just that. Offered in Summer Session I for three credits, this service learning EE course gives students hands-on experience with archaeology tools at an excavation site. This summer, the site is near Hillsborough, where students will excavate an Native American village that was occupied in the 1500s.
The class is listed as ANTH 451 in ConnectCarolina.
Stephen Davis, who teaches the course, said the Department of Anthropology promotes these experiential learning opportunities for students who want to learn what field work is really like.
“It’s kind of the nature of archaeological field work,” Davis said. “You can read a book, but the only way to really learn is by doing it. In the concept of experiential learning, an archaeological field school is an ideal setting for that to take place.”
Students learn how to use different archaeology tools as well as the history of artifacts they find. They work at the excavation site all day, five days a week, which gives them an experience unlike anything offered during the academic year.
“In summer school, that’s where you can get fully immersed in the field experience,” Davis said.
In the past, the class has travelled to other excavation sites in the southeast, including Charlotte, N.C. and parts of Mississippi. With this summer’s site located near Hillsborough, it is more convenient for students who want to stay in the Chapel Hill area.
The course is open to any undergraduate students, regardless of major. Davis especially recommends the course for students studying archaeology, because it will give them the field experience they need to really learn what the field is like.
“I think there’s no better way to learn about a subject than a context that’s hands on,” Davis said. “Certainly there’s a lot you can learn in the classroom but there are things that you really can’t.”
Gain real-world experience in sports administration
Students in Field Experience in Sports Administration learn about sports administration through a summer-long internship of their choice.
Robert Malekoff, who teaches EXSS 493, said its primary purpose is to give students a look into what their job could be like and facilitate networking for potential post-undergraduate jobs.
“We really believe that in addition to the in-the-classroom instruction and activities that really getting out there and doing things is important,” Malekoff said.
Students in the course check in on a weekly basis with their professor to discuss progress and goals related to their internship. They also write blogs about the field and their internship experience, develop a summer-long project that addresses their organization and conduct a series of informational interviews with professionals in the field.
The same course is offered each semester, but the summer course offers a few additional benefits. Malekoff said the biggest difference in the summer is that students are not bound to the same geographic limitations they are during the school year, as students taking other courses cannot have an internship outside of the Triangle area.
Learn the theory behind experiential education
Learning on the Edge: Theories of Experiential Education is a Maymester field work course that teaches students about experiential education and gives them the chance to apply it. It is listed as EDUC 524 in ConnectCarolina.
In the course, students read theories, philosophies and research about different types of experiential education and put them to practice through class trips and activities. Some topics the class typically covers include artspace education, playspace education and wilderness education.
Cheryl Bolick, who teaches the course, said many students take the course to fulfill their EE credit and that it teaches them what experiential education actually means.
“It helps them better understand who they are as a learner and how to apply what they’re learning in the course and in other courses at UNC to their field of study,” Bolick said.
In the past, the class has made trips to the Ackland Art Museum, the Carolina Outdoor Education Center, the Arboretum and the Morehead Planetarium. The course also connects with one K-12 school to allow students to observe experiential education in the classroom.
The course is sometimes offered during the school year, but Bolick said she loves teaching it as a Maymester course because the longer class periods give students more time to participate in activities than typically possible during the fall or spring semesters.
“The students engage in focused learning in a way that is unique compared to my other courses that I teach, or that we offer in the School of Education,” Bolick said.
While it is directed toward education minors and human development and family studies majors, it is open to all undergraduates at UNC.