Experiential learning in Costa Rica: A Tale of Two Honors Programs

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Friday


Barbra Sobhani, University of Colorado at Boulder
Meredith Hibit, Red Rocks Community College
Melanie Brandt, Colorado School of Mines
Providing experiential learning opportunities for Honors students is an essential part of programming and can be an excellent tool to strengthen partnerships between two and four year transfer institutions. Trefny Honors at Red Rocks Community College and Thorson Honors at Colorado School of Mines collaborated through study abroad for the first time, bringing together Honors students from both programs to explore conservation and sustainability in Costa Rica. This experience allowed students to see wildlife, culture and reflection through different lenses, while learning to appreciate and understand the diversity represented amongst the students. Much of the trip was spent off the grid at Campanario Biological Station on the Osa peninsula, Costa Rica. Students explored marine and rainforest ecology, biodiversity, sustainable living, animal population studies, Spanish language immersion and the societal challenges of conservation. The partnership between the two schools introduced additional experiential learning opportunities for both faculty and students, as a wide range of majors and life experiences was represented. This shared experience is the groundwork for future collaborations that will strengthen the transfer pathway for Honors students as they move from RRCC to Mines.