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Liberal Studies

for the 21st Century

Formative Experience Liberal Studies Course Design

Course Goals and Expectations

Formative Experiences (FE) facilitate students’ engagement in independent experiential learning outside the classroom.

Formative Experiences fall in one of five categories: creative/research; international experience; internship; leadership; and service. Examples of specific experiences that might qualify as a FE include:

  • Honors in the Major theses
  • Lab research
  • Curating an art show
  • Recital or exhibition of creative works
  • Clinical or other practicum
  • Fieldwork
  • Student teaching
  • Structured mentoring
  • Global Scholars
  • Entrepreneurship or innovation
  • Specific program work in Living-Learning Communities (LLCs)
  • Counseling children in an after-school or supplemental program

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives should be tailored to the specific experience at hand.

Students must complete an oral or written reflection on the experience that is the focus of the course such as:

  • The relevance of the experience to past course work or disciplinary training or to life and career goals.
  • Lessons learned (i.e., how the student might approach similar projects or settings differently in the future).
  • A journal.
  • A mock graduate school or job application or interview in which the student articulates the value of the experience.
  • Any other reflection appropriate to the discipline and/or experience.

The student’s performance must be evaluated by qualified faculty or staff.

Formative Experience courses may be offered as zero-credit hour or more.

This course has been approved to meet FSU’s Liberal Studies Formative Experience requirement and develops your ability to develop and use knowledge by engaging in a hands-on experience outside of the classroom.

  1. In order to fulfill this requirement, the student must earn a “C–” or higher or an “S” in the course if taken on an “S/U” basis.

The course syllabus or an attached appendix must outline how students will complete the reflective expectations of the Formative Experience and who will be responsible for assessing those reflections.

(Note: Scholarship in Practice courses and Formative Experience courses differ with regard to the arena in which they take place. Scholarship in Practice courses are classroom-based experiences in which student create an original product. Formative Experiences occur outside of the traditional classroom environment. A course can NOT be designated as both Scholarship in Practice and Formative Experience.)

Note: All syllabi are also required to include the syllabus language statements approved by the FSU Faculty Senate, available at

Liberal Studies for the 21st Century is located in room A3500 on the third floor of University Center A in the stadium


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