IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

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 (see Credit Hours below). 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.