Imagine a lecture, a textbook reading, and /or a classroom discussion in 3-D! Experiential learning does just that! Biola’s Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement provides the opportunity for students to make meaning of their classroom involvement with direct field experience while studying abroad, studying in the USA, or participating in academic service learning in Los Angeles and neighboring cities. Experiential learning is a process through which students develop knowledge, skills, and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting, all the while engaging cross-culturally.
I recently visited Quito, Ecuador where Biola students were studying various levels of Spanish, Intercultural Communication, Cultural Anthropology, and Biblical Studies. Not only were these students satisfying their language, major and/or elective requirements, they were immersed in experiential learning while engaging culturally and participating in internships. Students spend time in homestays, further living out the culture of the country in which they are studying.
The concept of learning outside the classroom was made popular by education theorist David A. Kolb, who developed the 'experiential learning theory,' which is based on the idea that learning is a process whereby knowledge is created through transformation of experience. It is based on four main elements which operate in a continuous cycle during the learning experience:
• Concrete Experience
• Reflective Observation
• Abstract Conceptualization
• Active Experimentation
Since summer 2013, Biola faculty who have participated in “Faculty Fellows Engaging Community” (FFEC), have postured their passion to engage with diverse others into practical methods of pedagogical teaching. FFEC’s primary purpose is for faculty to better understand cultural competency and to integrate cross-cultural engagement and academic service learning into a selected course curriculum and learning outcomes. In 2013-2014, seven faculty spanning five disciplines participated. Combining classroom instruction with reciprocal experiential learning, engagement, and personal reflection, resulted in approximately 185 Biola students who engaged cross-culturally. This year Fellows include five faculty from Business, Modern Languages, Christian Education, English, and Intercultural Studies. The significance of FFEC as it relates to the growth of our students is phenomenal!
Added value and effectiveness -- that’s what Biola provides. Impacting others for the Lord Jesus Christ -- learning beyond the classroom and developing self through international, national, and local engagement. We are blessed, as we bless others.
Dr. Gail F. Buck
Director, Center for Cross-Cultural Engagement
*To learn more about our Off-Campus Programs for experiential learning, visit our website.
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Biola University at 9:40 a.m. last Thursday morning – at least hypothetically. Biola hosted a full-scale mass casualty exercise in partnership with the city of La Mirada for the 7th annual Great ShakeOut, a worldwide earthquake drill. More than 110 volunteers including 70 students, campus safety officers, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and local fire department came together for an extensive drill.
Biola’s drill was selected by the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as this year’s featured drill, meaning agencies and news outlets from across Southern California participated in the exercise. Biola’s campus safety led the response effort after the mock earthquake struck. Students acted as victims in the drill, complete with mock injuries. The Los Angeles County Fire Department and CERT led the search and rescue effort to recover the injured victims. Nursing students assisted with triage alongside Biola’s health center. For full coverage of the story, visit Biola news.
Biola University has numerous opportunities for our community to learn from the “Best of the Best.” One such opportunity is the MBA Distinguished Lecture Series. If you’re interested in hearing how a company startup – Clarient – grew from zero revenue to over $120 million in five years, building its business on servant leadership skills, check out the video of the panel discussion with Clarient’s top four leaders on Creating a High Performance Culture.
Over 30 years ago a small group of parents gathered with former President Richard Chase and listened intently as he shared his growing concern for student affordability at Biola. In response, four families vowed to pray for him and committed $1,000 a year to support Biola student scholarships. This was the beginning of the President’s Circle.
This past year, the President’s Circle crossed the 1,000 member mark for the first time. And in addition to parents, it now includes alumni, faculty and staff, students and friends of Biola. Together these individuals stand with President Corey as they pray for Biola, annually support student scholarships, and actively engage with the University throughout the year.
The need for student scholarship support continues to be great. Eight-four percent of all Biola students receive some form of Biola provided aid. In a recent letter to the President’s Circle, President Corey shared his gratitude for the partners. “Your gifts have helped us help students. Many are here or are able to stay because of the faithful giving from our President’s Circle partners.”
“It is our hope that the President’s Circle will continue to grow,” says Heidy Hartley, President’s Circle Manager, “We want to make more scholarship dollars available to help our students.” And that is why the President’s Circle, often referred to as PC, engages in recognizing and appreciating those who give annually at the $1,000+ level to support Biola’s scholarship funds, most notably the Biola Fund. In addition to a welcome gift, PC partners receive a quarterly newsletter with a message from the President, bi-annual presidential video greeting, two certificates for the Café, and invitations to special events hosted throughout the year. PC Parent partners are also honored in a special way by receiving a gift card each fall to use at one of the campus dining venues so they can enjoy time with their student.
Bob and Barbara Mancini joined the President’s Circle this past year. “As a parent of two current Biola students, I am happy to partner with Biola in this way,” says Bob. “We recognize that many students need financial aid to attend Biola. And gifts to the Biola Fund help make scholarship monies available to these students.”
Currently there are 124 President Circle Parent partners. Let’s keep the Circle growing with those who first had the vision to get it started — parents. For more information, visit biola.edu/pc.
Christian Community Credit Union has formed an alliance with Biola University to help support Biola scholarships. Starting with a $40,000 donation, Christian Community Credit Union has made a commitment to give Biola $240,000 toward student scholarships over the next five years. Additionally, coming this November, the Credit Union will be offering the Biola Visa card—an affinity credit card that will generate thousands of dollars toward Biola student scholarships. Details to follow.
Students have just a few more weeks to participate in our fall game. To enter, students should like our Facebook page at Facebook.com/BeCashSmart and watch for the question of the week. Answers can be found at BIOLA.EDU/CASHSMART. Each correct answer brought weekly to the Be Cash Smart table is worth one ticket/entry into the grand prize drawing for four cash prizes of $100 each!!
The Be Cash Smart Table will be near the Bell Tower from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the following days in November:
Wednesday, November 5
Thursday, November 13
Wednesday, November 19
Grand Finale: On Wednesday, December 3, from 11:30 to 1:30, we will have refreshments and will announce the four winners of the $100 cash prizes!! Please encourage your student to participate in our game this fall!