Learning by Doing: Experiential Learning a Key Part of the Holy Cross Experience

College aims for 100 percent student participation in outside-the-classroom programs
April 19th, 2018 by 

Loren Cass, dean of experiential learning and student success speaks before a class of students.
Loren Cass, dean of experiential learning and student success, says the goal is clear: 100% student participation in real-world experiences that will chart a path toward a career. Photo by Tom Rettig

Loren Cass, Holy Cross dean of experiential learning and student success, has a goal for students: Get involved early.

In this newly established role, Cass oversees no shortage of opportunities for students. In addition to the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World, Cass is responsible for helming everything from academic, career development and advising programs to study abroad, curricular and co-curricular programs, such as health professions, and more.

“We’re trying to connect students to the experiences that are going to be the most relevant to them,” he says. “Our goal is to try to get every student engaged, to try to get them to understand the full range of opportunities that are available, to coordinate better across our programs and to really meet our students where they are.”

Support from Bob and Mickey Atchinson P05, 07 and the Power family has helped create opportunities for every student on Mount St. James. Part of a recent $2 million gift from the Atchinson family will support a career exploration structure that provides resources and tools to aid students’ career discernment, first through senior year. Included in those tools are Gallup’s CliftonStrengths for Students, an assessment tool that helps students identify their strengths in order to best utilize their talents and explore careers based on their skill sets, and E-Portfolios, a digitized portfolio of student work and skills that can be presented to prospective employers.

The Power and Atchinson families have a long history of helping the College shape its vision of experiential learning and career preparation. The Atchinsons saw firsthand the benefits of internship experience through their son’s Holy Cross experience. In 2007, they established a fund to provide financial support for students who intern at nonprofit agencies. Similarly, the Power family created the J.D. Power Worcester Internship Fund to support students interning in the Greater Worcester area.

“Get out there. Try these things out,” Cass says of the College’s myriad experiential learning offerings. “See what you like; explore your passions and abilities. Hopefully, these experiences will allow our students to chart a path toward the lives of meaning and purpose that we desire for them. We’re really talking about cultural change: Experiential learning should be a part of every student experience at Holy Cross.”

Cass expects 100 percent participation in experiential learning programs, up from about 60 percent this year, which, if achieved, will push students into new challenges.

“There are going to be failures,” he says. “But we want to speed the process up. We want students experiencing more in their first year so they have more time and more information to pursue appropriate experiential learning opportunities in subsequent years.”

And, in Cass’ estimation, any setbacks are temporary and worth the potential upside. He’s seen students return to campus after an internship or a semester away completely transformed.

“Their outlook on life is different,” he says. “Their understanding of their education and how their education connects to what they want to do is different. It’s pretty amazing to see the changes in students when they engage in some of these opportunities; they have the potential to be life transforming.”

Learn more about the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World and its dynamic offerings below:

Written by Christopher Amenta ’06 for the Spring 2018 issue of Holy Cross Magazine.


About Holy Cross Magazine

Holy Cross Magazine (HCM) is the quarterly alumni publication of the College of the Holy Cross. The award-winning publication is mailed to alumni and friends of the College and includes intriguing profiles, make-you-think features, alumni news, exclusive photos and more. Visit magazine.holycross.edu/about to contact HCM, submit alumni class notes, milestones, or letters to the editor.

Related Information

| More

Comments are closed.

06/24/19 World Premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s ‘Falling Out of Time’ on Oct. 31 at College of the Holy Cross
06/24/19 Holy Cross Professors Celebrated for Outstanding Scholarship and Student Advising
06/20/19 Holy Cross Professor Quoted in The New York Times on Antitrust Lessons From the Gilded Age
06/20/19 Why Do People Love ‘Dark Tourism’? Holy Cross Professor Shares Insight With BBC 5 Radio
See All

AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/25/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(07)
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/25/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/25/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/26/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/26/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/26/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/27/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/27/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
Open to the Public
See More >>


AJCU Service Learning Professionals Conference
6/27/2019
J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B/C - 4th Fl
Open to the Public
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/26/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/26/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite C - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/27/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/27/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite C - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/27/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/27/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite B - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/27/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(09)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MPE Training
8/28/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/29/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(09)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MPE Training
8/29/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/30/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Odyssey 2023 Program Workshop
8/30/2019
Odyssey
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(07)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


MPE Training
8/30/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
9/4/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Handshake on the Hoval
9/4/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 3
Stop by the Hoval to meet Handshake, the new career platform...
See More >>


Handshake on the Hoval
9/4/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 2
Stop by the Hoval to meet Handshake, the new career platform...
See More >>


Handshake on the Hoval - Rain Location
9/4/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Lobby Table 1
Stop by the Hoval to meet Handshake, the new career platform...
See More >>


Handshake on the Hoval
9/4/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Outdoor Oval
Stop by the Hoval to meet Handshake, the new career platform...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/9/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
9/10/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/11/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
9/11/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


LibFest
9/12/2019
Holy Cross Libraries
Kimball Hall Kimball Quad
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


LibFest Rain Location
9/12/2019
Holy Cross Libraries
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Crossroads Lounge
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/16/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
9/17/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/18/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
9/18/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/23/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


GE Meet & Greet Session
9/23/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406
Students selected to interview with GE will be invited to attend this...
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
9/24/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/25/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
9/25/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(07)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


3rd Festival of the Arts at Holy Cross
9/27/2019
Music
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Outdoor Oval
Open to the Public
See More >>


Holy Cross Chapel Artist Series-Ezequiel Menendez
9/29/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
September 29th, 3:00 pmDr. Ezequiel MenendezHoly Cross' Organ...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
9/30/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Luncheon with Lauren Markham
9/30/2019
Latin American and Latino Studies
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
10/1/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/2/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
10/2/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/7/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
10/8/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/9/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
10/9/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/16/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
10/16/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/21/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
10/22/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/23/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
10/23/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/28/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
10/29/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Holy Cross Chapel Artist Series Halloween Concert with Matt Luca and Michelle Sacco
10/29/2019
Features
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
A Hallowe'en ConcertHoly Cross' Organ Scholars Matt Luca...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
10/30/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
10/30/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Poverty Simulation Workshop
10/30/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Ballroom & Dunn
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
11/4/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
11/5/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
11/6/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
11/6/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
11/11/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
11/12/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 407(08)
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Resume Writing Workshop with Deloitte and the Center for Career Development
11/12/2019
Center for Career Development
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to all students! Create a resume the write way!Come hear from...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
11/13/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
11/13/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Into the Deep: My Journey from Feminism to Catholicism
11/14/2019
Featured
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Suite A - 4th Fl
Professor Abigail Favale, Director of the William Penn...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
11/18/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
11/19/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 409
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Holy Cross Chapel Artist Series - Olivier Latry
11/19/2019
Music
St Joseph Memorial Chapel St Joseph Chapel
November 19th, 7:30 pm Olivier Latry, Titular Organist at...
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
11/20/2019
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
11/20/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
12/3/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 409
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


RHA Weekly Meeting
12/4/2019
Residence Life & Housing
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 406(08)
RHA weekly meeting in which all hall councils are invited to share...
See More >>


Holy Cross Concert Band Concert
12/8/2019
Music
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center Ballroom & 328
Open to the Public
See More >>


Eta Sigma Phi Weekly Meeting
12/10/2019
Classics
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 409
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
1/27/2020
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Multicultural Peer Educators Meeting
1/27/2020
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 320
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>


Latinidad Identidad
1/29/2020
Office of Multicultural Education
Henry M. Hogan Campus Center 401
Open to Campus Community Only
See More >>

See All