Globe’s Point – Experiential or intellectual learning?


Written By Globe Editorial Staff

Point Park doesn’t pretend to hide its passion for experiential learning. From COPA to communications, students are taught by professionals that are still thriving in their fields. We are given the opportunity to network and build a resume with internships and experiences that matter, relatively early on in our college experience.

But what about a more “academic” perspective? Not necessarily a traditional perspective, but one that challenges our thought process more. Our lives are not simply defined by a career, but also in our ability to become critical thinkers.

Don’t get us wrong, career preparation is why we’re paying a hefty tuition cost. But to be frank, students don’t have  an incredible amount of avenues here that challenge our philosophical views or critical thought processes. The fundamentals of academia – to explore humanity through history, prose, science – to challenge our ways of thinking through lecture, experience and otherwise, aren’t exactly present here at the corner of real and world, despite our “liberal arts” labeled education.

Present American thought can often see purely intellectual pursuits in a classroom setting with a suspicious eye. Engaged learning (the real world experience Point Park is known for) is looked at more favorably as the price of education rises, competition in the job-market intensifies and students want more opportunity for the money they are spending.

We can’t reject the value of critical thought and classroom learning in pursuit of more “active” endeavors at every turn. A balanced education provides greater benefits. What happens when you find yourself reaching the end of your college career, sans foundational learning?

If we’ve focused extensively on foundational learning, when we do pursue those “real-world experiences,” we will be able to complete tasks with a deeper understanding and challenge ourselves, our co-workers and our superiors to accomplish higher goals.