There are some professors at Hanover who will give you a syllabus at the beginning of the semester and tell you exactly what you will learn. There are other professors who give you a syllabus they say is flexible and will be more than happy to incorporate whatever the class would like to learn into it.
Similar to the professors at Hanover that take this approach, I get to tailor some of my learning objectives to my own interests while I am at The Philadelphia Center.
I spend the majority of my time here at the internship that gives me two academic credits. Since I get credit for my internship, there has to be proof that I am actually learning. This is where the Learning Plan comes into play and the opportunities within this plan are endless.
As it says in the handbook, “The Learning Plan is the primary instrument used to identify, organize, define and document your learning from your experiences in Philadelphia.” For the past two weeks I have worked on writing and editing my Learning Plan in order to ensure that I meet all my goals and expectations (and more!) while I am here. Though the learning plan seemed intimidating at first, The Philadelphia Center staff already had it well laid out, so I knew exactly what I needed to do.
The Learning Plan that each student at TPC formulates must consist of at least six objectives that concentrate on three areas: knowledge, skill and attitude/value. The objectives must satisfy the discipline/field, organizational, skill, project-based, attitude/value, and city requirements.
I have to provide the rationale for choosing the objective, the means through which I’ll accomplish the goal and then give evidence that proves I have satisfied all the requirements.
At the end of the semester, I will gather all of my evidence for my objectives and create a portfolio that will reflect everything I have learned throughout my three months in Philadelphia. My faculty advisor and I, along with any other people that played a large role in helping me accomplish my objectives will review it.
I have really enjoyed making my Learning Plan as it has allowed me to get creative and think hard about what I want to get out of my experience in Philadelphia. I have been able to incorporate things such as gaining specialized knowledge about corporate event planning, understanding the functions of non-profit organization and using photographs in order to learn more about different neighborhoods and cultures in Philadelphia through analysis and critique. Nowhere else would I be able to receive this type of specialized education.