In order to succeed in the competitive job market of the twenty-first century, college graduates must begin their careers with not only a solid academic foundation, but with a variety of relevant work experiences as well. With the adoption of the “Student-as-Practitioner” concept as a curricular philosophy, Lakeland College has made significant strides to ensure that its graduates have the knowledge and skills required to contribute in an increasingly diverse work environment. Endorsed by Lakeland faculty in Fall 2001 and adopted as a brand identity by the Board of Trustees in January 2004, the Student-as-Practitioner concept supports both the mission and the academic expectations of the College by emphasizing the application of content skills and knowledge in real-world settings. Distinct from but related to service learning, Student-as-Practitioner experiences (also called “S-A-P”) extend the boundaries of the traditional classroom so that students confront, while still in college, many of the work-related challenges that they will encounter early in their careers, particularly the sorts of professional assignments, situations, and questions that are sure to arise in the workplace during their first years out of college.
In 2003, the faculty of Lakeland College determined that Student-as-Practitioner enrichments were to be developed according to the following guidelines: