Experiential Term (E-Term)

E-Term at Ferrum College is your opportunity for hands-on learning experiences.

What is E-Term at Ferrum College?

Experiential Term (E-Term) is a three week term in the month of May, which offers a variety experiential courses for all students enrolled at Ferrum College. Courses offered in E-Term reflect the breadth of our curriculum, and cover a number of general education and major requirements. The intensity of the E-Term allows students and faculty an opportunity to take a hands-on, experiential approach to learning, and to break the mold of the traditional classroom course.

Every Ferrum College student is required to take at least one E-Term course, and many take more than one. Our offerings change each year, so explore this year’s courses and find the one that fits you best!

E-Term courses offer students various opportunities:

  • intensive research
  • travel
  • resume building
  • service learning projects

E-Term Courses

Below are a list E-Term courses that are currently offered.

AGS-228: Intro Equine Activities & Therapy

Instructor: Nancy Brubaker

Credits: 6 hrs

This course is designed to offer the student a focused experience in the Equine Industry and to allow the student to experience the range of diversity in occupation that the Equine Industry offers. While the course focuses on the EAAT, the broader discussion of career prospects in the Equine Industry will welcome students studying in many departments and majors. Students will earn up to 120 contact hours that can be applied toward certifications for EAGALA, EAL, QMHP, CHA, and USHJA Instructor. Riding will be a small part of this course, however any level rider is welcome.

AGS-299: Elem Mechanics & Applied Tech

Instructor: Jason Powell

Credits: 6 hrs

This experiential course provides instruction and training in mechanics and technology. Students are exposed to set up, safe operation, and repair of a wide variety of equipment and tools. Properties of metals and other materials used in the construction of tools and other equipment will be explored. Students will work with metal, lumber, and other material through soldering, welding, carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work in the laboratory portion of the course. Students will be prepared for and have opportunity to complete a safety certification as a result of completing this course. Six hours, four credits.

CJU 375 Crime Scene Photography

Instructor: Dr. David Nicholson

Credits: 3 hrs.

Cost: $1,600.00

The class covers the basic elements of photography as well as how photographs can be properly used as evidence in court. The focus of the course is on preparing visual images that accurately depict the subject, including photographing documents, accidents, fingerprints, tire tracks, and other trace evidence with attention to ultraviolet, fluorescent, and infrared photography.

ENG 210: World Folktales and Literature

Instructor: Dr. Tina Hanlon

Pre-requisite: ENG 102 with a grade of “C” or higher     Credits: 3 hrs

Cost: $95.00     Travel: Local

This course examines the literary, cultural and social significance of folktales and their influence on other forms of literature. Common themes and images in folktales that link different cultures within Appalachia, America and the world are studied along with selections of classic literature. Topics include animal tales; quest stories; tricksters, rogues, and tall tale heroes; Sleeping Beauties, Cinderellas, and other heroines; magical, malicious, and monstrous encounters; Beauty and the Beast and other transformations; and humorous and satiric tales from the Middle Ages to the present.

This course is designated as a sophomore literature course and meets the literature requirement in the Ferrum College Liberal Arts Core. It can fulfill three hours of the writing intensive requirement for graduation from Ferrum College, for students who take this course as their second sophomore literature course and earn a grade of C or higher in the course. Students cannot earn a grade of C or higher in this course unless they earn a C or better on the writing assignments required by the course.

Rather than surveying literature from a particular time period or geographic region, we will focus on common themes and motifs in folktales that link different cultures within America and around the world. Folktales will be examined as important reflections of human nature and social values. We will explore how individual authors in different times and places have rewritten and adapted folktales and incorporated folk motifs into other literary modes. The interplay between realism and elements of fantasy or magic will be emphasized. This course provides the opportunity to explore traditions and types of literature that are often neglected in college English courses, such as oral traditions, children’s literature, and fantasy.

EPD-202 Intro Environ Plan & Develop (4 Credits)

Instructor: Delia Heck

Credits: 6

An introduction to Environmental Planning and Development, with a particular emphasis on economic and environmental issues pertaining to sustainable development. This year’s focus is on building a riparian buffer at Adams Lake and an amphitheater in the campus Arboretum.  These projects will demonstrate how to control erosion, run-off and sedimentation as well create spaces for education, informal gatherings, offering new types of events and generating potential tourism and revenue streams. Moderate physical activity will be required for this course. ALL students will be expected to participate in the construction phases of the projects outside, physically distanced, appropriately masked, and following best practices relative to the pandemic.

ESC 390: Herpetology

Instructor: Dr. Todd Fredericksen

Credits: 6 hrs.

This course provides a comprehensive study of the biology, ecology, conservation and natural history of amphibians and reptiles.  We will spend much of this course in the field learning species-habitat relationships and becoming familiar with common species in southwestern Virginia.  We will also become familiar with different sampling and capture techniques used in herpetology research.
HHP 332: Strength and Conditioning

Instructor: Karen Carpenter

Credits: 3 hrs.

This experiential course will introduce students to strength training with a variety of modes.  Application in the form of workouts will allow students to experience several types of strength training techniques as well as the ancillary cardio and nutrition information needed for effective strength training improvements.  Class will take place in the Ferrum College Fitness Center and utilize free weights, weight machines, cardio equipment, studio cycles, outdoor workout options such as biking, hiking, or meditation, and several group fitness applications.  Exercise science principles will be discussed throughout.
HIS-304 Civil War Battlefield Tour

Instructor: Nicole Greer Golda

Credits: 3 hrs.

North vs. South. Brother vs. Brother. Slavery vs. Freedom. A House Divided. This course will explore the drama and the tragedy of the American Civil War and its legacy. What led to such fracture? How was the war fought and how was this the first “modern war”? What happened after the emancipation of 4 million slaves? How should the war be remembered today? Although we will not be travelling, students will work to answer these questions by engaging with film clips, soldier’s letters, women’s nursing artifacts, virtual battlefield tours, and hands-on activities. Our goal is to create a nuanced understanding of the Civil War and its legacy. No travel expense fee or cost associated with this course.

MTH-106 Math Manipulatives

Instructor: Bryan Faulkner

Credits:  3 hrs.

This three-week course offers students a “hands on” approach to mathematics. Different areas of mathematics will be examined including, but not limited to, algebra, geometry, and calculus. Students’ understanding will be demonstrated through presentations and/or demonstrations.

PSY-298 Pre-Professional Placement


Credits:  3 hrs.

In the field of psychology, and other related helping professions, students who are to compete for jobs upon graduation, or even for graduate school placement, are finding that they need to build professional skills through direct experience.  Although many Ferrum College majors have successful internship programs this course will offer students an opportunity to gain experience, possibly enrich their major, and “check out” the field in which they hope to be employed. This placement will require a minimum of 36 hours in the field and/or comparable virtual interaction with professionals should a placement be not possible due to the pandemic.  Students must provide their own transportation to placements.  The fee includes a stipend to help cover food and gas during placement travel. Students will be involved in a community setting observing physical therapists, social workers, personnel managers, teachers, school principals, behavior analysts, parole officers, counselors and/or other professionals in their work. If, due to the pandemic, students are unable to secure placements in their particular area of interest, students will engage virtually with professionals in their chosen field to gain a broader understanding of their chosen field.

PSY-355 Science of Sleep

Instructor: Megan St. Peters

Credits: 3 hrs.

Description: We spend nearly a third of our life sleeping. It affects most aspects of our lives (e.g., emotions, behaviors, cognition, reaction time). This course will cover concepts from biology (circadian rhythms, sleep patterns across species), psychology (effects on the mind and body, history, cultural attitudes, changes across the lifespan), and neuroscience (sleep physiology, sleep/wake regulation, sleep disorders). This course is intended for those who want to learn about the field of sleep science and to personally improve sleep hygiene.

SWK 299: Introduction to Community Service

Instructor: Prof. Jennie West

Prerequisites: SWK 201 and SWK 297.   Credit Hours: 3

Cost: $50

Participation in a structured community setting including 75 hrs of volunteer service within the local social welfare delivery system. Classroom seminar accompanies this initial experience in the field.

THA-205/305/405: Applied Summer Theatre 

Instructor: Prof. Rebecca Crocker

Credit Hours: 3

Cost: $500

Intensive experience in one or more areas of productions in summer theatre. The emphasis will be placed on practical and sound approaches to theatre technique characterized by a short rehearsal time

Most courses offered do not require pre-requisites and are appropriate for students entering their second or third year of college. Ferrum College students are required to take, and pass, one E-Term course in order to graduate. There are no additional tuition or room/board costs attached to E-Term. If a student wishes to take more than two E-Term courses, tuition and room/board costs will be applicable. Any costs for travel, lab cost, etc. in an E-Term course will be listed with the course description during spring registration.