11 individuals from Defiance College wearing all different and brightly colored shirts with backpacks. They are gathered together to smile at the camera, standing in front of a school in Belize.Hands-On Learning

Defiance College supports students in developing a successful path toward a professional future. A DC education provides students with the ability to make real change in the world. The foundation of our education is not simply grounded in theory, but more so, in practice; our focus is not simply personal income generation, but the greater good for a society that makes lives better for all.


Defiance College is a national leader in community-based research. A core feature of this research is that students with specific skill sets conduct research projects to address the needs of communities around the world. Community-based research at DC is housed within the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. Students work under the supervision of a team of faculty in locations internationally and locally. Student costs are limited to the purchase of a passport, spending money on site, and any necessary immunizations. Defiance College is proud to say that 100% of the students who participate in a McMaster School project graduate in 4 years.
A man assisting young students with crafts
Learn more about our community-based research projects.


Academic service learning synthesizes theory and community-based projects resulting in a rich experience and deep reflection by students. Many courses at Defiance College utilize service learning to solidify relevant knowledge, skill, and attitudes for success while making a positive impact in many communities.


Internships are supervised experiences where students apply learning for course credit. Supervised by professionals in the field and our faculty, students get invaluable, applied experiences allowing for their development in future careers. All majors may take advantage of internships. The process is overseen by the Institute for Career Readiness and Lifelong Learning.

10 individuals from Defiance College smiling in front of a grey conrete wall. The words Center on Halsted are on the wall.A few recent internship sites include:

Battle Creek Bombers
Central Mutual Insurance
Cleveland Clinic
Credit Adjustments
Defiance Area YMCA
First Federal Bank
Fulton County Economic Development Corporation
Keller Logistics
Mercy Health Partners
Michigan Paving and Materials Co
Ohio Auditor of State
Planet Fitness
State Bank and Trust Company
Tahoe City Public Utility Parks and Recreation Department
Toledo Police Forensic Lab
Westerville Police Department

Field experiences allow students to immerse themselves through observation in locations of potential future employment. Field experiences involve reflection on observations and are supervised by faculty. Majors using field experiences include: criminal justice, sports management, and exercise science, among others.


Reacting to the Past (RTTP) is a simulation hands-on learning experience immersing students into historical situations where they assume the point of view of a character and debate the concept with a team. This type of learning develops research, speaking, and writing skills - all key skills desired by employers for future hires. DC students have debated the founding of Democracy in Greece and the establishing of the US Constitution, among other topics.


This form of hands-on learning is pervasive in majors at DC. Usually one-day experiences, trips connect course concepts with off-campus locales designed for deeper connection with the material. Examples of experiential learning trips include: Detroit Institute of Art, the Fort Wayne Synagogue, and annual criminal justice trips to Washington DC, Chicago, and Detroit.


All majors have capstone experiences where students demonstrate the development of their knowledge and skills in their field of study. Usually, this occurs in the senior year and involves a final project presented in writing and/or verbally under the supervision of faculty. Additionally, most majors include many research opportunities in courses to develop depth of understanding in an area of interest. In the natural sciences, this includes close mentorship in experiments and use of our 250-acre Thoreau Wildlife Sanctuary. Student presenters are supported for conference presentation travel through the Mikula-Frey Travel Endowment.

Female presenting research on fluctuations in local pond


DC students may create, implement, and lead entrepreneurial ventures aligned with our service-oriented mission as a college. They change the world while developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes for success.


Defiance College offers an online newspaper open to any and all interested students. Supervised by faculty but led by student editors, The Defender keeps campus up-to-date on important campus, local, national, and international news.

Progeny is DC's semi-annual literary and photography magazine. It provides opportunities for publication of poetry, short-stories, personal essays, and photographs.


Outside of class, students may engage individual interests in their own or other academic disciplines. The following are a few examples of opportunities for students: