An Investigation of Experiential Learning: A Program Evaluation of the William & Mary D.C. Summer Institutes
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Pamela L. Eddy
The principal purpose of this program evaluation was to determine how the 2010–2019 alumni of the William & Mary (W&M) D.C. Summer Institutes (DCSI) perceived their participation helped them achieve career readiness. Existing literature on experiential learning methods and practices has suggested great value in such opportunities, but less information existed about the outcomes of internship programs in higher education. As leaders consider what their institutional operations look like following the COVID-19 global pandemic and demand for quality internships rises, research on what works in high-impact programs, such as DCSI, offer valuable data for faculty, administrators, and students. A total of 449 DCSI alumni spanning the first 10 years of the program were invited to participate in an electronic survey, followed by the option to interview to discuss the topic and their experiences in more detail. I analyzed the resulting quantitative and qualitative data to determine if DCSI outcomes aligned with program intentions. The findings suggested overall, DCSI alumni perceived an increase in their career readiness as a result of their participation, with the biggest increase in their professionalism. Women and students of color perceived higher levels of readiness overall and in multiple career competencies than their male and White counterparts. This evaluation highlighted the need for universities to increase access to internship programs for all students, especially women and students of color. First-generation and low-income students in particular would benefit by participating in internship opportunities, which may be especially effective for increasing career readiness.
© The Author
Adler Hickey, Roxane O., "An Investigation of Experiential Learning: A Program Evaluation of the William & Mary D.C. Summer Institutes" (2022). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1681950294.