Career readiness

The National Association of Colleges and Employers has identified a set of competencies associated with career readiness. Engaged learning produces several of these skills, benefiting students beyond graduation and into the workforce. It does this by developing students' critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and intercultural fluency—all skills that employers want.

Jerry Daday, executive director of the Institute for Engaged Learning, explained how these competencies prepare students for a variety of paths after graduation. "We're not just talking about getting a job, when you're exchanging your labor for a wage," Daday said. "Let's say you want to work in a nonprofit, or you want to do some work in a civil society; these are the same competencies that people are looking for."

Engaged learning produces career competencies such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication, and intercultural fluency.

Personal growth

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of engaged learning is that it helps students grow into well-rounded individuals. Students who engage in active learning demonstrate increases in social, racial, and ethnic tolerance. They also experience improved cognitive and emotional health and are better able to handle new challenges.

These long-term benefits show that engaged learning is more than just memorizing facts and figures. It's about creating thoughtful students whose curiosity drives them to act. Engaged students use their education to answer the hard questions, meet needs in their communities, and build a better future for everyone.

Get engaged

Inspired to get engaged? Whether you are an IUPUI student wanting to pursue engaged learning or a faculty member looking to incorporate hands-on experiences into your class, the Institute for Engaged Learning can provide resources and support. By connecting you to service organizations, helping you develop a research project, creating opportunities for study abroad, and more, the Institute for Engaged Learning can help make your goals a reality.

Check out last month’s article from this three-part series to learn about the many engaged learning opportunities available through the Institute for Engaged Learning.


Miller, R. L., Rycek, R. F., & Fritson, K. (2011). The effects of high impact learning experiences on student engagement. Procedia–Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 53-59. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2011.03.050

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