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Madison Metropolitan School District

Experiential Learning

Students holding brains for a science class

One of the many goals of education is to prepare students to be college, career, and community ready.  By narrowing the gap between theory and practice, experiential learning (ExpL) creates meaning for students.  ExpL provides opportunities for students to learn a variety of skills through rigorous academic and technical preparation with hands-on, authentic experiences.

Students seek clear connections between their current class work and their future academic and career plans.  ExpL activities are about awareness, exploration, preparation and training through relevant, real-life experiences.  Students gain insight into what skills are needed, how knowledge learned in school is put into action in the workplace, and develops a student's understanding of many post secondary and career options and pathways in a particular field.

MMSD Experiential Learning continuum includes, but is not limited to, guest/career speakers in the classroom, job shadowing (1/2 - 1 day opportunities), internships, cooperative skill standards experiences, and youth apprenticeship opportunities.

MMSD currently provides the following options for students:

  • Schools Make A Difference (1/2 day career expo in MMSD middle schools)
  • Work/Volunteer Experiences
  • Internships 
  • Youth Apprenticeships

How do I earn credit?

Do you currently have a job, have a volunteer experience, or take care of your siblings or other children?  If so, any of these can earn you work credit and potentially the Wisconsin Employability Skills Certificate (paid work experience) or the Wisconsin Youth Leadership Certificate.

How much credit can you earn?  You can earn .25 credit for every 45 hours of verified time up to 5 credits.  For child care or home care, you can earn up to .5 credits each semester.

During COVID, MMSD is doubling the credits per hour (child or home care remains .5 credit per semester).  Here is a chart showing credit options during COVID:

Up to 23 hours: .25 credit

23-45 hours: .50 credit

46-68 hours: 75 credit

69-90 hours:  1 credit

If you would like to earn credit for your work or volunteer position, follow these steps: 

  • Obtain an approved work or volunteer position.
  • Connect with your school counselor AND school-based experiential learning liaison (see below)to complete required paperwork and enroll in the related course.
  • Track your work hours and complete coursework.

We're Here to Help

School-based Experiential Learning Liaisons

The School-Based Experiential Learning Liaison is an on-site contact for students to support increased student achievement. The School-Based Experiential Learning Liaison will be the connection between students and the District Experiential Learning Coordinator.


  • East High School - (see your counselor)
  • La Follette High School - Jaime Alvis
  • Memorial High School - Trina Menges
  • West High School - Lianne Davis
  • Capital High - Jovan Radicevic
  • Shabazz City High - Elizabeth Long

Get Involved!

If you are interested in hosting a student, from job shadowing to youth apprenticeships, contact our Experiential Learning Coordinator,  Annie Johnston,, (608) 663-5384.