Applied Learning Program at Grace College an Astounding Success

Pictured is Grace College freshman and Applied learning student, Savannah Balluch

Grace College continues to prioritize and pursue innovative educational experiences for its students. One of their widely successful initiatives is the Applied Learning program, launched in January of 2011. The program has since allowed 205 students to gain earned credit through hands-on experiences in a variety of settings and positions including work with a great number of churches, business, and institutions in the local community. This spring semester, 58 students are earning such credit, the largest number to date.

The program emphasizes commitment to analytic inquiry, active learning, real-world problem solving, and innovation.  Students may experience applied learning through both traditional and non-traditional assignments.  The goal is to link knowledge and/or skills acquired in work, community, and/or research activities with knowledge acquired in the classroom and through traditional schoolwork.

“Applied Learning is making a difference for our students,” said Randy Polston, program director. “We have had students hired by a number of different companies after they logged hours to earn applied learning credit. Applied Learning experiences also provide employers the opportunity to observe students while on the job.  Students are sharing with me that experiences within the AL program are helping them see what God has planned for them and their careers.”

As of March 5, 2014, Grace College now offers 163 applied learning experiences for their students. “Businesses, agencies, and churches are welcoming our students with open arms,” explained Polston.  “Many are now contacting me to ask, ‘How can we be a part of this program?’”

“I am so impressed with and blessed by the Applied Learning program,” said Savannah Balluch, a freshman studying communications and psychology at Grace. “I think it is so crucial for students to spend time learning hands-on in their career of choice. I think it is amazing that Grace has taken the time to make so many of these opportunities available. It is so clear that the program cares personally for each student and wants to work to make sure students are comfortable in these environments.”

If you are a business or organization that would like to become involved in the Applied Learning program, please contact Randy Polston at or by phone 574.372.5100 ext. 6416.

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