facebook twitter flickr you tube pinterest

The 5 Cards

The Five Cards are your opportunity to explore and apply your knowledge. First read the benefits of participating in the Five Cardinal Experiences then, click on each Card to learn more about the Five Cards opportunities.

 Benefits of Five Cards Participation

  • Apply skills in real-world, hands-on settings
  • Consider new possibilities for the future
  • Develop open-mindedness
  • Build confidence
  • Cultivate constructive relationships with faculty & staff
  • Network in the community and connect
  • Understand self and identity
  • Prepare for the professional job market
  • Build an experiential transcript for employers and graduate schools

The Five Cardinal Experiences


Undergraduate Research and Creative Work card Undergraduate Research and Creative Work
Internships and Professional Experience card Internships and Professional Experience
Global and Intercultural Engagement card Global and Intercultural Engagement
Leadership and Citizenship card Leadership and Citizenship
Community Engagement card Community Engagement

Personalized Cardinal Experiences 

Many courses, co-curricular activities, research opportunities, non-credit bearing work, and off-campus experiences can serve as a Personalized Cardinal Experience (PCE). Review the application for each Card to determine if an experience may qualify. Each Personalized Cardinal Experience needs to be sponsored by a faculty or staff member who will help you identify how the experience will meet the criteria for earning a Card. A PCE Checklist should be completed with your sponsor prior to participation. 

Personalized Cardinal Experiences forms:

The Five Cards Card Characteristics

Each Cardinal Experience should exemplify the following characteristics:

C = Concrete Experience: authentic, intentional, real-world, project-oriented activities that take place beyond the classroom for a significant duration of time

A = Active: hands-on application of knowledge and skills, experimentation, creative process with student ownership

R = Reflective: deep reflective thinking about their experiences, sense-making, digging deeper, and abstract conceptualization

D = Dynamic: promotes change in the world, in the scholarship, in the student, is generative, transformational, reshapes a student’s lens, reframes an issue


Melissa Gilbert
Associate Dean Experiential Learning and Community Engagement

Chelsie Lakeman
Five Cards Graduate Assistant

p/ 614.823.1270
e/ 5cards@otterbein.edu