Opportunities for Students

Experiential Learning at MTSU provides you with incredible opportunities for hands-on experience in your field of interest, valuable networking with business professionals, and exploring career paths.

Learn more about your options...

EXL Classes and Faculty

EXL Scholar Graduation Distinction

  • Receive Tri-color cords for graduation
  • Stand for special recognition at commencement
  • Receive a certificate suitable for framing
  • Earn EXL Scholar notation on transcript

Outstanding EXL Student Award

The outstanding EXL Student Award is given annually to students who hold a distinguished record of service in the EXL Scholars Program.  Up to three awards will be made annually with a value of $500 each.

Information about the Outstanding EXL Student Award

2020 - 2021 Outstanding EXL Student Award Winners

Kendall Basham - Outstanding EXL Student Award Winner 2020-2021

Katelyn Gardner - Outstanding EXL Student Award Winner 2020-2021

Lena Truong - Outstanding EXL Student Award Winner 2020-2021

Past Outstanding EXL Student Award Winners


  • Student Request for EXL Certification  [Word] or [pdf] (This form will need to be saved to your computer and attached to the email)
  • EXL Agreement for External Activity [Word] or [pdf] (Required to receive POD for EXL 4000, only for students who have not completed an external activity as part of a course)
  • Approval of MTSU Internal Activity for EXL Credit [Word] or [pdf(Required to receive POD for EXL 4000, only for students who have not completed an internal activity as part of a course)

  • EXL Award Nomination Form [Word] or [pdf]

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I get involved in EXL?
Experiential Learning will provide you with hands-on experience in and outside the classroom. As an EXL Scholar you will receive cords to wear at graduation, have an EXL designation on your transcript, and will receive an EXL Scholars certificate. And EXL gives you the opportunity to give back something to the community and that experience will benefit you personally and professionally as well as help you gain acceptance for graduate study.

2. Will my participation in the EXL program require me to take more courses to graduate?
Students should be able to select EXL-designated courses from major requirements and general studies requirements to complete the 16 hours of EXL coursework. There is a required 1 credit hour course (EXL 4000) for assessment and completion of the ePortfolio.

3. What is an ePortfolio?
This is a Web site a student creates to show what he/she learned during the EXL Scholars Program experience.

4. What types of MTSU campus activities are required for the MTSU service component?
Students may complete this requirement in one of three ways: participate in a leadership role in a MTSU sponsored charitable activity, volunteer with a campus office to assist other students, or be a campus leader. Some service projects completed by student organizations will also count toward this service. Any verified philanthropic activity completed through a student organization, campus department, or course in which the individual coordinated the event/activity may be counted for EXL credit. Contact the EXL office for additional information.

5. Do I have to have a certain grade point average to enter the program?
Students will need to be in good standing with the university to be in the EXL program.

6. Will I automatically be an EXL Scholar if I take an EXL designated course?
No. Students may take EXL courses and not be in the EXL program. Students must make application to be an EXL Scholar, complete assessment activities, including the 1- credit hour EXL 4000 ePortfolio course, and complete an MTSU service component to receive the designation as an EXL scholar.

7. Do I have to participate in co-op or study abroad to earn the EXL designation?
These programs are good opportunities for completing the external activity and practical experience activity, but these activities are not required. Completing an internship or service-learning project are other ways to complete the external activity that is required for the EXL program.

8. What is service learning?
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Curriculum includes structured field-based “experiential learning” alongside community partners, which reinforces course learning outcomes. Credit-bearing service-learning designated courses are incorporated into general education or college core requirements for a degree program. Students may work with a non-profit organization on some project to benefit the community.

9. Are there EXL prefix classes?
Yes. EXL 4000 is the culminating experience for all EXL Scholars Program participants. Additionally, some courses such as civic engagement, service learning, or leadership studies practicums, internship courses or study-abroad courses may be cross-listed as EXL.

10. Can I take more than 16 hours of EXL courses?
Yes, students may take as many EXL courses as they like.

Other benefits:

  • Sample a career field
  • Hone skills and apply theories
  • Broaden career horizons
  • Network in the field
  • Acquire college credits
  • Gain professional work experience
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Enhance resume
  • Prepare for graduate school
  • Possibly get a job offer!


Past Outstanding EXL Student Award Winners