Individualized Learning Experiences


Effective 1 June 2024 through 31 May 2025

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

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

Prior Learning 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 two ways to receive credit for prior learning: 

  1. Preparation of portfolios for assessment by Webster faculty, including the option of professional guidance while building the portfolio through enrollment in a three-credit-hour course (EDEX 1000).
  2. Credit by examination, in which students may demonstrate knowledge and skills by successfully completing exams.

Webster University Portfolio Courses 

Students interested in taking the three-credit-hour course to guide them in preparing portfolios may take EDEX 1000 to learn the process while creating their 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 students' degrees. Upon completion of the course, the students will have a better understanding of how to continue working independently if they wish to pursue further portfolio review opportunities. Students submitting additional portfolios or who are submitting portfolios without taking EDEX 1000 register for EDEX 1001 for 0 credits. Fees apply for additional portfolio reviews ($350 each). Students should speak to their academic advisors for more information regarding this course. Permission is required to take this course.

EDEX 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. Prerequisite: Permission from Academic Advising.

EDEX 1001 Prior Learning Portfolio Assessment (0)
Students submitting portfolios for Prior Learning Assessment without taking EDEX 1000 or submitting additional portfolios after EDEX 1000 must register for this course. There is an additional course fee of $350. This course may be repeated up to the maximum allowable credits earned by prior learning assessment (PLA), which is 30 credit hours. Prerequisite: Permission from Academic Advising.

Credit by Examination

Webster University accepts certain standardized tests. See Transfer Credit in the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog 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:

  • INDZ 2000 Practicum (Freshmen or Sophomores)
  • INDZ 2500 Independent Study (Freshmen or Sophomores)
  • 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.