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Applied Study Term Program University of Illinois Springfield

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Information for Faculty

General Information

Students Who do an AST

  • The Experiential and Service-Learning Program (EXS-L) is an academic program within the UIS College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). In addition to the Applied Study Term (AST), students may earn credit for Service Learning classes and Credit for Prior Learning through EXS-L.
  • EXS-L serves students beyond the CLAS. The AST is available to undergraduate students in their junior or senior year who have completed 12 hours of upper division courses in their major.
  • The Teacher Education Program, Clinical Laboratory Science and Social Work Programs do not participate in the AST. The AST is required by the Legal Studies, Political Science and Criminal Justice programs. For all other undergraduate majors at UIS the AST is optional.
  • An AST can fulfill a student’s ECCE Engagement and ECCE Elective requirements. AST credit can also be used within the major and for general electives at the discretion of the student’s academic advisor and the department of the student’s major. A petition may be necessary.

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Finding an Internship and Getting Registered / The AST Project Outline Form

  • It is the student’s responsibility to find a placement for his or her AST. The EXS-L Program maintains a web site listing placement opportunities. The EXS-L Program can assist the student with resume and cover letter writing and with finding a placement.
  • The student must arrange to work, at least, 50 clock hours at the placement for every credit he or she hopes to earn.
  • Once the student finds a placement the student must fill out an AST Project Outline Form, found on the AST web site. The form must be signed by the student, the Field Supervisor and the academic advisor. The academic advisor should determine if the student is academically prepared for an AST and, if so, how the credit earned in the AST will be used. By signing the AST Project Outline Form the advisor indicates that the placement the student has found provides appropriate college level learning for the student’s course of study. There is a place on the form for the academic advisor to volunteer to serve as the student’s UIS Supervisor.
  • Once the form is complete the student must submit it to the EXS-L Program. The Program will then issue the student the special approval he or she needs to register for EXL300. AST Project Outline Forms must be submitted no later than the end of the first full week of classes.

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The Class / EXL300

  • When doing an AST/internship the student is concurrently enrolled in a course and pays tuition. The course, EXL300, is offered each semester. EXL300 is a variable credit course offered for from 2 to 12 credits. EXL300 is a non-graded, credit/no credit class.
  • EXS-L faculty serve as the seminar instructor’s for EXL300. In addition to a seminar instructor each student has a Field Supervisor who supervises the student at the placement and is typically employed at the placement and a UIS Supervisor who is usually the student’s academic advisor. It is desirable for the UIS Supervisor to have expertise in the field in which the student is doing his or her AST.
  • During the semester the student is required to complete a Learning History, a Learning Contract setting out his or learning objectives for the AST, Midterm and Final Self-Assessments and a reflective Journal. The student is also required to arrange a site visit about half way through the semester. At the site visit the UIS Supervisor meets with the student and the Field Supervisor. The primary purpose of the site visit is to go over the Learning Contract. At the site visit it is the student’s responsibility to document approval of the Learning Contract by obtaining signatures to a Cover Sheet for the Contract.
  • At the end of the semester the AST seminar instructor will collect the student’s work, do a preliminary review, and send it on to the UIS Supervisor for final evaluation. The UIS Supervisor makes the determination as to whether or not to grant credit and notifies the EXS-L Program. EXS-L enters the student’s grade.

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Types of ASTs / Current Employment, Travel, Project

  • EXS-L strives to be flexible in its requirement’s. For example, students may do an AST at their place of current employment if they can complete their hours at a new learning experience. Generally speaking the experience at the placement should run concurrently with AST seminar, but students may propose an early or late start if an opportunity has presented itself.
  • Most ASTs take the form of a traditional internship, but it is possible to do an AST while studying or traveling abroad. It is also possible to do a Project AST. An example of a Project AST would be an English major engaged in a creative writing project. Students doing a Project AST enroll in EXL301.

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Role of the Academic Advisor & UIS Supervisor

The duties of the Academic Advisor and University of Illinois (UIS) Supervisor include:

Academic Advisor – Signing the Student’s AST Project Outline Form:

  • When students arrange an AST they have to submit a completed AST Project Outline Form to the Experiential & Service-Learning (EXS-L) office before they are given the special approval they need to register.
  • The signature of the student’s academic advisor is required on the form. The advisor should determine if the student is academically prepared for an AST and, if so, how the credit earned in the AST will be used. By signing the AST Project Outline form the advisor indicates that the placement the student has found provides appropriate college level learning for the student’s course of study.
  • When the advisor signs the form he or she has the option of volunteering to serve as the student’s UIS Supervisor. Exceptions to this procedure exist in the College of Business and Management and the Criminal Justice, Psychology and Computer Science Departments. See your Department Chair for instructions.

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UIS Supervisor – Serving as a Resource and Participating in the Site Visit:

  • Throughout the semester the student may call on the UIS Supervisor for guidance, especially when the student is framing his or her learning objectives for the AST.
  • The UIS Supervisor will be contacted by the student prior to the halfway point in the semester to arrange a site visit. The visit takes place at the placement and includes the UIS Supervisor, the student and the student’s supervisor at the placement, the Field Supervisor. Please review the information on the AST site visit.
    • Note: Please do not volunteer to serve as the student’s UIS Supervisor if the demands on your time will not allow you to participate in a site visit. While it is preferred that the student’s UIS Supervisor have expertise in the field in which the student is doing his/her internship, EXS-L faculty are always available to serve as UIS Supervisors.

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Evaluating the Student’s Work:

  • At the end of the semester the student’s AST Seminar instructor, having conducted a preliminary evaluation, will send all of the student’s work to the UIS Supervisor for final evaluation.
  • The student’s portfolio will include a Learning History, the Learning Contract with the signed Cover Sheet, Midterm and Final Self-Assessments and the Journal.
  • After evaluating the student’s work the UIS Supervisor notifies the EXS-L Office whether or not the student should be granted credit. The EXS-L Office enters the grade.

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updated: November 2012

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University of Illinois Springfield
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Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407
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