The College of Arts Experiential Learning Fellowship | College of Arts

The College of Arts Experiential Learning Fellowship

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The Experiential Learning Fellowship (ELF)

The COA ELF supports the development of curricular experiential learning opportunities within the College of Arts. It provides up to $6,000 for field schools and up to $3,000 for other experiential initiatives or innovative pedagogies. The fellowship may be used for travel, accommodation, support personnel , experiential learning and teaching conference presentations or participation, and other cost associated with EL initiatives. Students’ costs (e.g. travel to a field school or workplace) and teaching costs (e.g. course buyouts, paid overload) are not eligible. Please note that initiatives emphasizing recruitment, networking, and other tangentially related experiences may be considered on a case-by-case basis but generally are considered ineligible. 

Currently the goal of ELF is to increase curricular experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students in the College of Arts, meeting the University of Guelph's strategic priorities supoorting student learning. Projects involving graduate students will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Grant must be expended by April 2025 or the funds will be rescinded. The application process is competitive, and new initiatives may be given priority. Eligible applicants: COA faculty members and, in exceptional cases, sessional instructors, on a case-by-case basis.

Applications are currently closed for the COA Experiential Learning Fellowship.

Featured ELF Recipients

Kim McLeod | THST*3190 & 4190 

Students staged devised work alongside a set of micro plays by professional playwrights as part of the bi-annual Climate Change Theatre Action worldwide festival. Read more here!

Ania Wroblewski | FREN*6020 Topics in French Literature

Partnered with the Centre for Creative Photography to create an exposition presented at the 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium in Tucson, Arizona

Check out more ELF recipients here!

Frequently Asked Questions 

Experiential Learning Criteria

The University of Guelph defines experiential learning as a pedagogical practice whereby students gain new knowledge, skills and abilities by intentionally applying their classroom learning in a workplace or simulated workplace setting. Experiential learning opportunities are grounded in an intentional learning cycle with clearly defined learning outcomes. They engage students actively in creating knowledge and critically reflecting on their experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of how they can utilize what they have learned and the skills they have developed in future endeavours. 

In 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) identified six criteria that must be met in order for an activity to be considered experiential learning [1]

The student must be in a workplace or a simulated workplace[2].

The student must be exposed to authentic demands[3] that improve their employability, interpersonal skills, and transition to the workforce.

The experience should be structured with purposeful and meaningful activities.

The student must apply university or college program knowledge and/or essential employability skills[4].

The experience should include student self‐assessment and evaluation of the students’ performance and learning outcomes by the employer and/or university/college.

The experience should count towards course credit or credential completion or be formally recognized by the college or university as meeting the five criteria above.

[1] Alongside the above-mentioned criteria, the (EL) environment must be accessible and in compliance with all laws and regulations.
[2] “Simulated workplace” is defined as a learning environment that models or emulates a professional workplace in function, equipment or operation, wherein a student engages in activities reflecting real work experience.
[3] “Authentic demands” are defined as work contexts, processes or practical experiences, with real-world application.
[4] The Skill Development Through Experiential Learning working group is currently aligning University of Guelph Learning Outcomes with essential employability skills, to which all experiential learning activities will be mapped

ELF Application Requirements 

Project description: Provide a summary of your project. Please include a breakdown of how your project meets all six (6) of the EL criteria (defined above) and how funding this project will enhance student learning. You may also indicate how you will share your experience/learning with other COA stakeholders. Indicate if you have received ELF funding before, how it was applied, and if you disseminated your experiences etc. at a conference or other workshops and meetings. (400-word maximum)

Learning Outcomes: Provide expected learning outcomes of the project, for students and/or faculty.

Course Grades: Provide grade breakdown, if offered as a for-credit course.

Impact: Describe the overall impact of this project. Please include the number of students who will take part in the EL components (e.g. enrollment). (250-word maximum)

Benefit: Beyond benefit to student participants, indicate who and how others will benefit from the project Please include an outline of plans for knowledge dissemination by students or faculty. (250-word maximum)

Budget: Include a detailed budget of planned expenses (adhering to the university’s rules and regulations). Please itemize costs (e.g., accommodation, travel, personnel, professional services, materials, honoraria, etc.) and include a justification for each item. Preference will be given to proposals with specific, well-justified budgets.

Important! Please ask for what you need so we can maximize the reach of ELF! Preference will be given to projects that are specific, intentional, and detailed in their budget rationale. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How much is an appropriate amount for honoraria?

Answer: Normal honoraria are $200 - $300 with exceptions made in special circumstances considering EDI contexts and industry standards. If your honoraria expenses are predicted to be above $300/guest, please contact us ahead of time to discuss price estimates and rationale. 

Question: Are the budget lines fixed or is there flexibility in how the funds are used once awarded?

Answer: ELF awards the specific budget that has been reviewed and approved. If you have changes or would like to explore redistribution, please contact us. Keep in mind that redistribution may not be approved, in which case the budget item approval may be redacted. 

Question: I have a project, but I'm not sure about some of the expenses yet. Should I just ask for the full amount?

Answer: Please ask for what you need. If you want to discuss your budget, common EL expenses, or your rationale, please contact us. The goal here should be to ask only for as much is absolutely required, not to maximize the amount, so that the limited fund can be expended as widely and efficiently as possible. 

Additional Financial Support: Statement from director/chair of financial support from the applicant’s units.Applicants should seek additional funding sources, incl. from CIP for international projects. Please include funding commitments or a list of all sources to which you have applied.

Successful applicants are expected to disseminate their experiences within and outside of the COA. Venues for such sharing might be COA working groups and brown bag lunch meetings, one-on-one meetings with colleagues interested in creating EL opportunities for students. The U of G’s Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference, April/May each year, might be an appropriate local venue. If such dissemination does not occur, future applications to ELF may not be considered. 

Submission: Submit your completed application using the link to the form below

Important! It is strongly recommended that you consult with the COA Experiential Learning developer before submitting your proposal to ensure that it meets the criteria and has a well-justified budget! Please contact Megan De Roover at to book an application review session. 


Apply Here!