Experiential Education

The concept of experiential education, learning by doing, is as old as Native communities themselves. Before language came into being, experience was the way education was imparted.

It is part of our DNA.

To enliven and enrich the academic aspects of learning, experiential activities deepen understanding and promote proficiency. With the approval of advisors, internships and apprenticeship are available. They can count as an elective or major credit toward graduation, although they do not count toward general education.

Internships and Apprenticeships

To provide additional opportunities for experiential education, IAIA includes Internships and Apprenticeships in its educational model. Students may enroll in these educational opportunities with the support of their academic advisors. Internships and apprenticeships may count for either elective or major credit to fulfill the requirements for graduation. They do not count toward general education.

For internships and apprenticeships, contracts are written which specify the expectations for both the student and the supervisor or mentor. They list the total number of contact hours which will determine the amount of academic credit awarded. Contracts will state the days, times, and places where the learning will occur. Contracts are signed by the student, the academic advisor or sponsoring faculty member, and the internship supervisor or apprenticeship mentor. Internships and apprenticeships are conducted on a pass/fail or credit/no credit system. Grades are not given for these experiences.

IAIA Journey Home Internship Program

To improve our students’ opportunities to combine experiential learning with service to our Native communities, the IAIA Journey Home Internship provides generous stipends for ten students to intern with tribal organizations during summer sessions beginning in 2015.

“My Museum Studies internship at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City changed my life. I saw the world as I had never seen it before. It inspired me to attend New York University for my graduate program which set me on a successful path for my career.”

Anonymous

IAIA Student

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships place students in a direct one-on-one mentoring relationship with an elder, a master artist, or a cultural expert who is willing to share his or her expertise and experience with a student. The student is to provide assistance to the mentor on a specific project or undertaking. In this way, through observation and direct involvement, students will become familiar with new artistic processes, cultural practices and related approaches.

All students keep a journal to document their learning. Each student will write a final reflective paper. Mentors will complete an evaluation commenting on student learning through this experience.

Over four years, students may enroll in two levels of apprenticeships for variable credit. Students may enroll in 1-6 credit apprenticeships.

  • Apprenticeship I 295
  • Apprenticeship II 495

Apprenticeships are available in the following programs:

  • MUSM295, MUSM 495 Museum Studies for one-on-one learning with an independent curator or related project.
  • ARTS295, ARTS495 Studio Arts for one-on-one learning with a master artist or craftsperson. Any of the following prefixes may be used: CERA, JEWL, PRTM, SCUP, PHOT, PTNG.
  • IDST295, IDST495, Indigenous Studies for one-on-one learning from a tribally-acknowledged expert.
  • NMAD295, NMAD495 New Media Arts for one-on-one learning with an independent media artist or graphic artist.
  • CRWR295, CRWR495 Creative Writing for one-on-one learning with a writer.
Internships

Internships place students within existing organizations to learn directly from fellow employees, volunteers, clients and others. Internships provide valuable hands-on real world opportunities for student learning to deepen and strengthen classroom instruction and prepare students for professional careers in their chosen fields.

Students report to workplace supervisors and fulfill workplace expectations to receive academic credit. All students keep a journal to document their learning. They will write a final reflective paper. Workplace supervisors will complete an evaluation form commenting on student’s learning in the workplace.

Over their four years, students may enroll in two levels of internships for variable credit. Students may enroll in 1 to 6 credit internships.

  • Internship I 290 (Prerequisite: 2nd year standing)
  • Internship II 490 (Prerequisite: 3rd year standing)

Internships are available in the following programs:

  • MUSM290, MUSM490 Museum Studies-for work in galleries or museums

ARTS290, ARTS490 Studio Arts for work in galleries and arts organizations any of the following prefixes may be used:

  • CERA, JEWL, PRTM, SCUP, PHOT, PTNG.
  • IDST290, IDST490 Indigenous Studies for work in tribal organizations and institutions serving Native peoples. ASG officers may choose to receive internship credit for their work.
  • NMAD290, NMAD490 New Media Arts for work in graphic design, web design or moving image media.
  • CRWR290, CRWR490 Creative Writing for work in publications, public relations, publishing, journalism, theater, or performing arts organizations.
Journey Home Internship

Internships place students within existing organizations to learn directly from employees, volunteers, clients, and others. Internships provide valuable hands-on real world opportunities for deepening student learning, and prepare students for professional careers in their chosen fields.

Students report to workplace supervisors and fulfill workplace expectations to receive academic credit. All students keep a journal to document their learning and write a final reflective paper. Workplace supervisors at the host site complete an evaluation form commenting on student’s learning in the workplace.

What makes this internship special?

IAIA Journey Home Interns put their education to work and learn more about how they can serve their communities.

This paid internship provides the selected student with a total of $5,000 for one 3-credit summer internship. The $5,000 stipend includes payment of tuition and fees for the 3-credits of summer enrollment ($558). Travel expenses can be paid in advance out of the stipend and then remaining funds are disbursed at intervals during the internship.

This internship program has a geographic focus; the host site must be a tribal organization or tribal enterprise in one of the following regions:

  • Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska)
  • Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, or South Dakota)
  • Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, or Southern California)

Applications from tribally enrolled students seeking to intern with their own tribal community will receive high priority in the selection process, although ties within the same region are acceptable.

This internship program is designed for students pursuing a BFA in Museum Studies, BFA in Studio Arts, or BA in Indigenous Liberal Studies.

How to Apply

Before applying for the internship, you should identify a tribal organization or tribal enterprise you would like to work with and contact the organization. You should also identify the type of work you would perform during the internship.

The application deadline is Friday, April 1, 2016, at 5 pm (MST)

There are ten internships awarded each summer session. Selection is made by committee. Applicants will be notified by April 22, 2016.

Summer Session Dates: June 6–August 2, 2016.

Interested in becoming a host site for IAIA interns?

For tribal organizations and tribal enterprises in the geographic regions listed above please contact the following people.

Independent Study

An independent study provides an opportunity for an upper level student to work individually in a self-designed study under the guidance and direction of a fulltime faculty member.

A student may not use more than three independent studies or a total of 9 credits toward the completion of a degree.

An independent study does not satisfy general education requirements.

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