Individualized Learning Experiences


Through the Individualized Learning Experiences program, departments and programs at Webster can respond to a wide variety of student requests for individualized learning options. These opportunities include both prior learning assessment and new sponsored experiential learning

Prior Learning Assessment 

Many adult students have already gained college-level learning through their work experiences and training on the job, volunteer activities, civic involvement, travel, or in other nonacademic settings. Webster University recognizes the value of such learning and offers students the opportunity to evaluate their learning for possible credit as part of a college degree program. This process is called prior learning assessment.

When a student anticipates earning 12 or more credit hours for prior learning and the learning will be assessed in more than one department, he or she will work with the Coordinator of Experiential Learning.

Credit by Portfolio

LearningCounts.org is an opportunity for undergraduate university students who have had prior life experiences that might demonstrate college-level learning. To begin the process, students should contact the Coordinator of Experiential Learning at 314-246-8054, or meet with their campus advisor.

LearningCounts.org offers a six-week online portfolio course (3 credits) for $500 that begins anew every two weeks. Credit from this course is considered transfer credit. The instructors are carefully selected from university faculty nationwide and assessors are monitored by the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) for inter-rater reliability. Webster University is a member of CAEL and enthusiastically endorses LearningCounts.org.

In the LearningCounts.org course, students create a portfolio that demonstrates their college level learning from life experience. Subsequent portfolios can be submitted and, if approved, transcripted as transfer credit, $250 for every 1-12 credits. Courses to be considered can be at any level, any university subject, and the results for the assessments are guaranteed in two weeks after submission. Because not all departments will opt to accept LearningCounts.org credit for their majors, interested students should check with the individual departments. LearningCounts.org credit is considered to be transfer credit, and therefore cannot be applied during the last 30-36 credit hours at Webster University.



Sponsored Experiential Learning

Students may choose to design individualized learning experiences as part of their degree programs. These opportunities may include independent study, fieldwork (practicum), internship, and sabbatical experiences. A faculty member serves as mentor and assumes responsibility for awarding credit. An evaluator (sometimes the faculty mentor, sometimes an outside expert) works closely with the student and submits a written evaluation of the student's work. Students register for an Individualized Learning Experience (INDZ) with their academic advisors.

EDUC 1500 Webster 101 (1)

Prerequisite: first time freshman status. Webster 101 is designed as an introduction to college life and is intended for first year students. This course will help the first year student make the most of his/her career at Webster University. Using various assessments and exercises, each student will develop a deeper understanding of him/herself and use that understanding to learn adaptation strategies, such as goal setting, values clarification, time management, money management, and stress management skills that will work for each student in and out of the classroom. Each student will also learn how to use the many resources Webster provides to support students in meeting both academic and social challenges. All freshmen are invited but not required to enroll. See also: Student Affairs.

INDZ 2000 Practicum (Freshmen or Sophomores) (1-12)

On-the-job experience, an internship, fieldwork, an apprenticeship, and direct participation in community or professional activity are all possible within the framework of a practicum. Evaluation is usually based on the quality of the student’s performance in the chosen practicum setting and on reflective analysis of the experiential learning. Practica are arranged with the appropriate department or program.May be repeated for credit if content differs.

INDZ 2500 Independent Study (Freshmen or Sophomores) (1-12)

May be repeated for credit if content differs.

EDUC 2750 Student Leadership Development (1-12)

A semester-long course in leadership skills assessment, leadership theory, interpersonal communications, leading in a diverse community, teamwork, ethical decision making, motivation, organizational dynamics, goal setting, and promotion. May be taken as part of the leadership certificate program or separately. Prerequisite: permission of the coordinator of the leadership program, Student Affairs Office, 314-968-6980. See also: Special Study Opportunities.

INDZ 3000 Practicum (Juniors or Seniors) (1-12)

On-the-job experience, an internship, fieldwork, an apprenticeship, and direct participation in community or professional activity are all possible within the framework of a practicum. Evaluation is usually based on the quality of the student's performance in the chosen practicum setting and on reflective analysis of the experiential learning. Practica are arranged with the appropriate department or program. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

INDZ 3500 Independent Study (Juniors or Seniors) (1-12)

Independent study involves research work on a specialized subject or project, artistic work, or study of an interdisciplinary nature. In contrast to a practicum, the emphasis in an independent study is usually on individual pursuit of a specific content area. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

INDZ 4000 Sabbatical (12-16)

In a sabbatical, a student conducts research or participates in a special learning situation on a full-time basis. There may be no concurrent additional registration while a student pursues a sabbatical.

International Experience

Students may choose to design international individualized learning experiences as part of their degree programs. Before undertaking any international study students must consult with the University's Office of Study Abroad. No INDZ course may be used for study abroad unless the student applies to and is admitted to a Webster University study abroad program.

Cooperative Education

The cooperative education program at Webster University allows students to integrate their major program of study with a systematically planned sequence of relevant work experience and courses. Qualified students may earn up to 32 credit hours for professional work experience. Employers offer students supervision and a progression of responsibilities over time. Because of the progression of responsibility, students and employers are asked to commit for an extended period of time.

Depending on the employer, the experience usually requires a two-year commitment. Employers pay students for the work performed. Freshmen and sophomores should apply for cooperative education as early as possible. Opportunities may require certain course prerequisites and/or other qualifications.

INDZ 3750 Cooperative Education I (1-16)

Placement in a planned and supervised work experience related to the student's academic coursework. Faculty advisors and work supervisors assist the student in developing goals and objectives to integrate academic studies with practical experiences in educational, vocational, or cultural learning situations outside of the classroom.

A maximum of 32 credit hours in cooperative education may be applied as elective credit toward a baccalaureate degree. Pass/fail grades only. Prerequisites: approval of the coordinator of experiential education, 3.0 GPA, and coursework related to work experience. May be repeated for credit up to 16 credit hours.

INDZ 4750 Cooperative Education II (1-16)

Continuation of INDZ 3750. Pass/fail grades only. Prerequisites: INDZ 3750, approval of the coordinator of experiential education, 3.0 GPA, and coursework related to work experience. May be repeated for credit up to 16 credit hours.

Credit by Examination

Departmental Credit by Examination

Individual departments have policies and procedures for assessing prior college-level learning within their disciplines. Contact the appropriate department chair for specific information. Credit by examination may not duplicate credit earned previously through coursework or examination and is recorded on the student's transcript as "pass;" no letter grades are assigned. Credit by examination does not apply toward the major unless approved by the department. Students seeking credit by examination in a particular discipline must submit a written request to the appropriate department. The request outlines the material to be covered in the examination and specifies the number of credit hours the student is seeking. Only degree-seeking students may apply for credit by examination for college-level learning.

Current students seeking credit by examination for prior learning that is multidisciplinary or is likely to be evaluated for more than 11 credit hours of college credit should contact the Coordinator of Experiential Learning for information regarding prior learning assessment through the portfolio process.

Prospective students should contact the coordinator of transfer and adult admissions in the Office of Ad-mission.

External Credit by Examination

Webster University accepts certain standardized tests conducted external to Webster. See Transfer Credit section for details.

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