How do we do experiential, collaborative work in a hybrid program?

The low-residency EXA program is an invitation for students to reach beyond the walls of the classroom into making personal meaning of the learning process as a clinician-in-training.

We use an andragogical model which puts the student at the center of their own learning.  Andragogy is the art of adult teaching & learning which is rooted in four assumptions:

  1. Over time individuals develop a heightened ability to become more self-directed in their learning
  2. Experience accumulated through the life process is a valuable foundation for learning
  3. As students develop, their experiences expand their capacity to more effectively respond to their increasingly complex social roles.
  4. This change in ability to respond to social complexity inspires students to become more responsive by immediately applying their gained knowledge toward solutions in their environments.


Our program draws upon some of the foundational concepts of the "University Without Walls" educational paradigm. For example, we use a diverse range of resources and approaches to teaching and learning, applied both in and out of the classroom.  This is based on the idea that adult students consolidate their learning through applying theory to practice in their lives beyond the classroom walls.

We integrate the arts deeply into all aspects of teaching and learning including in online classrooms and video conferences. Each student will also build their own expressive arts toolkits and regularly engage in arts-based homework assignments. This will include engagement in individual arts responses, for example creating an "aesthetic response" to a specific reading, being asked to try out a particular expressive arts activity alone or in conjunction with others in one's home community.Action learning and continuous self-assessment will be designed around personalized learning goals. Students will articulate their specific goals for each semester, discuss them with peers and faculty advisers, and then solidify them in Individual Learning Contracts.

Action learning and continuous self-assessment will be designed around personalized learning goals. Students will articulate their specific goals for each semester, discuss them with peers and faculty advisers, and then solidify them in Individual Learning Contracts.

Hands-on training occurs in classes and weeklong, intensive residential seminars held in SF once per semester for students and faculty in both programs. New theoretical, experiential and expressive arts skills are then integrated into the student's work and in their home communities, whilst engaging in online dialogue with fellow students and professors. Additionally, they will be visiting and interviewing practitioners in their home communities.

According to research, collaboration among students and faculty within a strong learning community is central to student success in blended learning programs. This is highly congruent with the emphasis that the Expressive Arts Therapy program places on community building through the arts. Faculty use our skills as arts-based educators, experienced in both face to face and online learning environments, to facilitate collaborative learning across distance. Canvas, the CIIS Learning Management System, is the vehicle we use for collaborative learning. Canvas has cutting edge tools to facilitate "real-time" and asynchronous small group work via conferencing software, space for gallery displays as well as individualized portfolio spaces where multimedia presentations can be curated together with academic papers. Peer to peer support is threaded throughout all three years of the program.

Please note the following information regarding the Intensive Residential Seminar:
- Location: The Whitcomb Hotel, Market Street, San Francisco.
- Residency fee is $300 per student
- Lunch for each day is included.
- Room & Board is not included. Discounted rates are available for students at The Whitcomb Hotel and there is an online community forum to encouraged collaboration and shared housing arrangements such as AirBnB.

Considering the EXA program? Got questions? Please contact our admissions counselor:

Skylar Hall
415.575.6155
shall@ciis.edu



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