Individualized Learning Experiences


2016-2017 UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES CATALOG

Effective 1 June 2016 through 31 May 2017

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.



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

Prior Leaning Assessment (PLA) is the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of college-level knowledge and skills that an individual has learned outside of the classroom or from non-college instructional programs.  The knowledge and skills may have been learned through work experience, military service or training, civic activities, volunteer service or self-study.  PLA options are aimed at assisting nontraditional undergraduate students to document their college-level knowledge and skills, which is then assessed to determine what college-level credits may be awarded for the experience.
Webster University offers three ways to receive credit for prior learning: 

  1. a 3-credit hour Webster course in which students prepare portfolios for assessment by Webster faculty;
  2. LearningCounts.org, an online portfolio course offered by an endorsed organization; and/or
  3. credit by examination, in which students may demonstrate knowledge and skills by successfully completing exams.

Webster University Portfolio Course 

The student interested in this course will need to take EDUC 1000 to learn the process while creating his/her first portfolio related to the review and acceptance of credit toward a specific course. As the course carries three credit hours, it may be used as an elective toward the degree of the student. Upon completion of the course, the student will have a better understanding of how to continue working independently if she/he wishes to pursue further review opportunities. Fees do apply for additional portfolio reviews. Students should speak to their academic advisor for more information regarding this course. Permission is required to take this course.

EDUC 1000 Educational Program Analysis  (3)
Many adult students have gained the equivalent of college-level learning through their work experiences, training on the job, volunteer activities, civic involvement, travel or other nonacademic settings. In this independent course, students learn to document their college-level learning into a portfolio that can then be assessed for college credit.

Online Portfolio Course

LearningCounts.org is an endorsed organization that assists students with prior life experiences. Students will be required to create a portfolio through a six-week online portfolio course (3 credits) that demonstrates their college-level learning from life experience at any level or subject. The portfolios will be evaluated by university faculty nationwide, assessed and monitored by the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Portfolios from this organization will be submitted as transfer credit; therefore any awarded credit cannot be applied during the last 30-36 credit hours at Webster University. 

LearningCounts.org credit is not accepted by all departments, so interested students should be aware that confirmation will be necessary prior to engaging LearningCounts.org. To begin the process, students should contact their academic advisor.

Credit by Examination

Webster University accepts certain standardized tests. See the Transfer Credit section for details. Information on specific tests can be found on the Admissions Credit by Exam webpage (external to catalog).

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 (a faculty mentor or 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.

See the Course Descriptions section of this catalog for details on the following courses:

  • EDUC 1000 Educational Program Analysis
  • INDZ 2000 Practicum (Freshmen or Sophomores)
  • INDZ 2500 Independent Study (Freshmen or Sophomores)
  • EDUC 2750 Student Leadership Development
  • INDZ 3000 Practicum (Juniors or Seniors)
  • INDZ 3500 Independent Study (Juniors or Seniors)
  • INDZ 4000 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.