Schedule an ‘un-class’ with EXL


Photo by Diontez Ross

John Zogby, renowned political pollster, spoke at an event last week as part of EXL’s Launch Week.

By Grant Morgan, Managing Editor

In the print version of this article, Ian Schwarber was incorrectly quoted as writing “best rest assured,” when really he wrote “but rest assured.”  

After a successful opening week, UA’s new Experiential Learning [EXL] Center is taking submissions for its next initiative, the “un-class.”

Put simply, un-classes will gather together an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty to study and perhaps devise solutions for some topical and global problems, such as climate change, sustainability, healthcare, education, inequality, and the like.

Students and faculty, however, will be able to choose the topic on which the un-class will focus.

EXL is now requesting ideas for un-classes, which can be submitted on its website at They must relate to the theme of “Community Climate Change,” and can be typed into the online submission form along with the submitting student’s name, major, email, and phone number.

The deadline for submissions is next Monday, March 14, at midnight. Then, on Wednesday, two open sessions will be held in Create/EXL on the main floor of Bierce Library for students and faculty to discuss and debate the submitted ideas. The first session on Wednesday is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; the second, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

By the end of next week, EXL will announce what topics have been selected for next fall’s un-classes, which students will be able to sign up for at the same time as they sign up for traditional classes.

Ian Schwarber, EXL’s resource director, said he is aiming for three un-classes next fall, each of which would count for three credits – the typical credit count for introductory courses, or independent studies. Students of any major within any department could take them.

“This is the first step into the exciting waters of enhanced experiential learning at The University of Akron,” Schwarber wrote in an emailed statement. “As this is a brand new initiative, we are going to be very flexible…but rest assured, the powers that be throughout the campus will make sure that everyone who wants to be in an un-class gets to.”

The EXL Center’s launch week events of last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were “phenomenal,” according to Schwarber. Each event gathered about 40-50 people, with the most-attended event on Wednesday evening drawing in about 150.