With access to the City of Columbus, our regional and national partners, and a community invested in your goals, your possibilities for realizing Otterbein's Five Cardinal Experiences are limitless!

The Five Cardinal Experiences Program

A Cardinal Experience is an active and authentic concrete experience that engages students in real-world opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the classroom. A Cardinal Experience may occur in the community, on campus, or across the globe. Both curricular and co-curricular experiences can serve as Cardinal Experiences

How do I Earn a Card?

Step 1: Participate in a designated Cardinal Experience.

Step 2: Secure a faculty/staff sponsor for the CARD.

Step 3: Complete the application process.

Step 4: Submit the application.

Step 5: Showcase your experience.

For more details on each of these steps, go to the 5 Cards website: https://otterbein.digication.com/5-cards-website/how-to-apply

Community Engagement Card

Learning Outcomes for this Card:

  • Students will explain causes and complexities of social problems and systematic oppression.
  • Students will examine communities from multiple perspectives.
  • Students will act on community-identified needs/problems/issues.
  • Students will practice civic and social responsibility (e.g., organize a food drive, commit to two hours of volunteer work each week) to achieve self-efficacy.
  • Students will demonstrate resourcefulness in community settings (e.g., meet with community stakeholders to address an issue or need, seek information from literature about the identified issue or need).

About the Community Engagement Card:

Otterbein students are engaged in the community through service-learning courses, community-based research, and direct volunteerism at local and global schools, non-profits and government agencies. Community engagement provides intentional hands-on opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills to real world issues while reflecting on their identity, self-efficacy, citizenship, social responsibility, and knowledge of the field. Students explore theoretical models and methodologies from the disciplines while participating in community service opportunities. Otterbein supports over 20 student-led service organizations and 60 service-learning courses where students can make a difference in the community.

Global & Intercultural Engagement Card

Learning Outcomes for this Card:

  • Students will interpret and act on intercultural experiences, demonstrating an understanding of multiple worldviews.
  • Students will develop a global/intercultural mindset (integrate and apply concepts and practices across cognitive, affective, academic, and cultural boundaries).
  • Students will initiate and develop interactions/relationships with culturally different others.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of elements important to members of other cultures in relation to history, values, politics, communication styles, economy, or beliefs and practices.
  • Students will recognize difference and ambiguity as opportunities for learning about self and others.

About the Global & Intercultural Engagement Card:

Students have the opportunity at Otterbein to study abroad and to participate in local and regional cultural immersion programs. Through intercultural experiences, students gain a deeper knowledge of and respect for another culture’s worldview, its values, customs, and traditions. They may develop greater linguistic proficiency in another language and the ability to engage in meaningful communication with people in another culture. Students also develop global and cross-cultural competencies as they gain a deeper appreciation for diversity.

Internships & Professional Experience Card

Learning Outcomes for this Card:

  • Students will integrate knowledge within their discipline toward complex problems or contexts.
  • Students will use appropriate strategies and tools to present and analyze information.
  • Students will utilize creativity in approaching new problems or situations.
  • Students will understand the ethical implications of scholarly work within their chosen field.
  • Students will show the ability to acquire, interpret, and organize new knowledge.

About the Internships & Professional Experience Card:

Internships (credit-bearing) and professional experiences (non-credit bearing) are experiential learning opportunities that help students synthesize, integrate, and apply academic knowledge in work settings and solidify career and life goals. Through internships and professional experiences learning becomes deeper, more meaningful, and ultimately more useful because students are putting theory into practice. These opportunities expose students to the reality of the work place and are integral in helping them prepare for the transition from student to professional.

Leadership & Citizenship Card

Learning Outcomes for this Card:

  • Students will develop additional knowledge (or refine their existing knowledge) of leadership theories, frameworks, principles, and practices. (For example, a deeper understanding of transformational leadership, group dynamics, principles of change management, etc. This can be accomplished via pre-experience training or reading, guided reflection and reading, etc.)
  • Students will develop and/or apply practical skills and tools for leadership and citizenship. (For example, skills in managing change, engaging others in constructive dialogue, developing reasoned discourse, and analysis of others and situations.)
  • Students will practice leadership and citizenship through active participation in groups, organizations, and communities.
  • Students will develop increased self-confidence and an awareness of their ideals, beliefs and values and how these shape their leadership and/or citizenship.
  • Students will develop an interest in learning more about leadership and/or citizenship.

About the Leadership & Citizenship Card:

Otterbein offers a variety of opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills inside and outside of the classroom. By participating in leadership development programs, holding an office in one of our many student organizations, or assuming positions of responsibility and involvement within the university community, students are able to promote positive change while enhancing their ability to lead. Students explore the ethics of leadership and various models of leadership (e.g., leadership for social change, situational leadership, action-centered leadership) to develop their own commitment to a leadership style.

Undergraduate Research & Creative Work Card

Learning Outcomes for this Card:

  • Students will integrate knowledge within their discipline toward complex problems or contexts.
  • Students will use appropriate strategies and tools to present and analyze information.
  • Students will utilize creativity in approaching new problems or situations.
  • Students will understand the ethical implications of scholarly work within their chosen field.
  • Students will show the ability to acquire, interpret, and organize new knowledge.

About the Undergraduate Research & Creative Work Card:

Undergraduate research currently plays an important role in the life of the college student. Students conduct research and creative work within their disciplines, through honors and distinction programs, and as part of the Vernon L. Pack Society for Community-Based Research. In each of these programs, students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty members to pose meaningful theoretical questions, design research programs, and prepare scholarly presentations and publications. These experiences take students on a journey of intellectual inquiry that culminates in an original contribution to a body of knowledge and/or creative works in the student’s discipline.