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University of Illinois Springfield

Applied Study Term Program University of Illinois Springfield

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Information for Students

General Information

What is an Applied Study Term (AST)?

  • An AST is a credit bearing internship. When students do their internship they are enrolled in an Experiential & Service- Learning (EXS-L) class at the same time. Students pay tuition for the class. The class requires written work, plus the work done on the internship.

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Who Does and AST and Why?

  • The AST is available to undergraduate students in their junior or senior year who have completed 9-12 hours of upper division courses in their major.
  • Most UIS undergraduate students do an AST. Exceptions are the students in the Teacher Education Program, Clinical Laboratory Science and Social Work Programs. These 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 help fulfill a student’s ECCE’s 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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Getting Started

  • The best way to begin looking into an AST is come to the Experiential & Service Learning Program Office on the 4th floor of Brookens, room 482, and speak with a member of the program staff.
  • We recommend that you make an appointment by calling 206.6640 or emailing us at, but walk-ins are welcome.
  • You may also get started by submitting a Student Information Form online. When we receive the form we will contact you.
  • Online Students can use the Student Information Form or give us a call.
  • Get started as early in your time at UIS as you wish. It is never too early to start planning your AST.
  • Try to contact us no later than the beginning of the semester preceeding the semester you hope to do an AST.

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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 listing of placement opportunties, Internships We Have Found for You, found primarily in Central Illinois. This listing does not represent the only places a student may do an AST. Many students find their own placement. The EXS-L Program also maintains a listing of resources, Resources to Help You Find Your Own Internship, to help students find their own placements at locations outside Central Illinois. The EXS-L Program can assist students with writing a resume, cover letter, and thank you note. The staff of the EXS-L program can also help students 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. The form must be signed by the student, the person who will supervise the student at his or her internship the Field Supervisor and the academic advisor.
  • Once the form is complete the student must submit it to the EXS-L Program Office, Brookens room 482. The Program will then issue the student the special approval he or she needs to register for the class the student takes along with the internship, EXL300. AST Project Outline Forms must be submitted no later than the end of the first full week of classes for fall and spring semesters and no later than the first day of classes during summer term.

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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.
  • Experiential & Service-Learning Program (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.
  • During the semester, with the guidance of his or her instructor, 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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February 2012