Resource Spotlight: The Association for Experiential Education

Trail Trampers Delight

Internship. When you use the word, most if not all people know what you’re talking about…or at least they have a general idea of what you’re talking about. However, an internship is only one way to gain experience as a student. There are other kinds of programs and experiences that fall into an area known as Experiential Education:

  • Experiential Education refers to “work-education” programs in which a student’s academic studies are combined with career-related experience. Such programs “enable students to work in their chosen fields under the mentorship of professional practitioners.” (NACE)

But did you know that experiential education is also a career field in and of itself? Experiential educators can include teachers, camp counselors, challenge course guides, environmental educators, and coaches.

Since I just returned from my annual fall camping trip, I found it only fitting to highlight the Association for Experiential Education (AEE).

This international organization brings together experiential educators who work as adventure educators, professors, camp counselors, students, teachers, facilitators, risk managers, ropes course instructors, guides and others. They coordinate their own Jobs Clearinghouse where you can find postings for camp, field staff/guide, instructor, and intern positions – perfect for Education majors seeking experience BEFORE the formal student teaching experience.

The AEE has partnerships with the following organizations who also have volunteer and/or career opportunities of their own:

Whether you’re into the outdoors, environmental issues, or education, this could be a field worth exploring.

Related Posts:

Over the course of the year, I’ll write in more detail about all Experiential Education programs to both inform you and help you identify the experience best suited for your career path. This includes internship, “co-op,” practicum, field study, student teaching, service learning, and undergraduate research experiences.

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