Biomedical Sciences Major Experiential Learning Component (ELC)

The Experiential Learning Component (ELC) for the Biomedical Sciences major provides students with experience relevant to their particular career goal and challenges them to apply skills learned in the classroom and develop new skills that enable them to move beyond theory to practice.

ELC experiences may or may not be credit-bearing and may take place outside of St. Lawrence University.  Students should discuss possible options with their advisors as early as their first year, in order to best utilize their time during the academic year and during summers.  While it is not required, students are STRONGLY encouraged to have their experience pre-approved by the BMS major advisory group.  This can be accomplished by contacting the chair of the advisory group, Dr. Heckman, by e-mail ( at least one month prior to the proposed experience.

* Please note that students wishing to complete the BMS major AND a major/minor in Public Health may not use the same experience to fulfill the ELC requirements for both.

To fulfill the ELC requirement, the student must complete one of the following:

Credit-bearing Experiences:

Verified by passing grades on transcript and completion of Verification Form Part A (described below; includes 500-1000 word reflection)
  • BIOL 304 and 305 Health Coaches with CBL (total: 1 unit)
  • BIOL/NRSCI/BIOCHEM/PSYCH/PHYS/CHEM 489/490 Senior Year Experience: Research (total: 1 unit)

Non-credit bearing Experiences:

Certification Experiences: Verified by submission of copy of state certification or licensure as described below and completion of Verification Form Part A (described below; includes 500-1000 word reflection)

  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training

  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training

Students who have completed emergency medical technician (EMT) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) training must arrange for the Biology Department Secretary, Shanda Beamer (phone: 315-229-5294;, to scan their certification or licensure document for our records. The BMS advisory committee will verify your ELC once a copy of your certificate or licensure has been received and you have submitted a reflection on your experience (Verification Form A).  When completing Verification Form A, you will be asked to enter the date (DD/MM/YYYY) when you submitted proof of your licensure or certification to Shanda Beamer for scanning.

Non-certification Experiences: Verified by completion of BOTH Verification Forms A and B (described below)

  • Hospice Training and Volunteering 

  • McNair Fellowship (biomedical sciences focused project)

  • CSTEP Fellowship (biomedical sciences focused project)

  • St. Lawrence University Fellowship (biomedical sciences focused project)

  • St. Lawrence University Public Interest Corps (PIC) (biomedical sciences focused project)

  • Approved external research

  • Approved external internship

  • Approved volunteer or paid position in a research laboratory (guided experience with mentorship, including skill development)

  • Approved volunteer or paid position in a hospital or clinical setting (guided experience with mentorship, including skill development)

Minimum requirements for these Non-certification, Non-Credit Bearing Experiences:

These experiences must be at least 6 weeks in length and include at least 100 hours of supervised work.  The BMS major advisory group is particularly looking for students to acquire new skills and accomplish guided/mentored tasks during these experiences.

Verification Forms

Verification Form A:

Students are recommended to keep a journal/log of their hours and tasks during their experience in order to facilitate accurate reporting on this form at the end of the experience.  Completion of this form involves submitting a 500-1000 word Reflection Statement.  Please read about the goal and expectations of this Reflection Statement BEFORE beginning to complete Verification Form A.  This form must be submitted within one month of completion of the experience.  

Verification Form B:

For students completing non-certificate, non-credit bearing experiences, the ELC supervisor must indicate that the student has satisfactorily completed their experience by completing Verification Form B.  When completing Verification Form A, students will be asked to provide the mentor/supervisor’s name and e-mail address.  Once the student has submitted Verification Form A, a link to Verification Form B will be sent to the mentor/supervisor for completion. We suggest that students discuss this process with the mentor during the final week of the experience and that students complete Verification Form A (including Reflection Statement) promptly following the experience to make this process as efficient as possible for their mentor/supervisor. 

In Verification Form B, mentors/supervisors will be asked to state the student’s hours (i.e., 20 hours per week for 8 weeks) and to briefly summarize the student’s tasks. Verification Form B must be submitted by the mentor/supervisor within one month of completion of the experience, and it is the responsibility of the student to follow up with their supervisor/mentor to ensure completion of this form. Students, please ensure that you enter the correct email address for your mentor/supervisor in Verification Form A, as failure to provide accurate contact information will jeopardize the verification of your experiential learning component.

Experiences that will NOT fulfill the ELC requirement: job shadowing, volunteer experiences without training/new skill acquisition, volunteer experiences without guided experience or mentorship