Removing the artificial boundaries between in-class and out-of-class learning experiences further advances Northeastern University’s renowned experiential model. Our goal is to fully harness the breadth and depth of learning opportunities through which students learn and develop. SAIL (formerly known as ISLE) equips students with tools for mapping every experience, in and out of the classroom, to a set of competencies, skills, and abilities. Doing so recognizes that learning happens everywhere and lays a foundation for lifelong learning.


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The Framework

Learning, Growth, Development, & Leadership

SAIL’s holistic, learner-centered approach to learning—grounded in learning science and student development theory—recognizes the importance of supporting multi-dimensional growth to prepare learners for the growing complexity of our global society. The framework outlines five dimensions of learning, growth, development and leadership, and critically important skills within each dimension. These overlapping broad domains of learning and their associated skills are supported by a common set of cognitive core processes.


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Learning Happens Everywhere

SAIL capitalizes on the potential of experiential learning by embracing the notion that learning happens in and out of the classroom. Employment, activities, service, and coursework all contribute to creating a seamless and robust learning experience. Opportunities are mapped to skills and dimensions within the framework, offering a personalized experience.


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Educators and Learners as Co-Creators

Guided by the framework, educators are not only creators of learning opportunities, but also co-creators in learners’ educational journeys. Through their engagement with a multitude of programs and people, learners develop a holistic set of critical skills and consciously connect their experiences to their learning. As they intentionally and dynamically chart a customized course of action, students become self-directed, reflective, and capable learners with the competencies they need to successfully transition from school to work or advanced graduate study.