Experiential hands-on learning is a cornerstone of many of ALEC’s courses. These courses incorporate high impact practices which require substantial time and effort from students as they actively collaborate, reflect, and interact with communities in real-world situations. ALEC offers several undergraduate courses, special programs, and internships that are purposely designed for undergraduates to apply lessons learned the classroom out in real-world situations, including service-learning placements.
Undergraduate research is another component of ALEC’s HIE program. Several undergraduate courses, both on-campus and study abroad, are purposely designed as comprehensive research-based courses. These courses give undergraduates the tools to ask and answer their own research questions.
This program allows agricultural communications and journalism students and other agriculture students to work for the Show’s marketing department, events and attractions, and in the executive office during its three-week run every March.
ALEC 380: Experience Agriculture
This on-campus course integrates a two week field trip meant to expose students to the different agricultural practices, industries, and institutions found in the United States. Reflection is a cornerstone of the course; students are expected to keep a journal of their experiences, and regular discussions before and after the trip, help build frame the experience.
ALED 301: Topics in Agricultural Leadership & Communications
This course helps students gain insights into their persona leadership strengths, motivations, and values by engaging in self-assessment, reflection, and a culminating Service-Learning Growth Project (SLGP). Students have the opportunity to use their existing skills, and develop new skills, during their service-learning project with community organizations.