Experiential and Service-learning

Academic Year: 2009 – 2010

The Applied Study and Experiential Learning Term (formerly known as AST), is central to UIS’ public affairs emphasis within the framework of a liberal arts curriculum and stresses practical experience, professional development, and experiential learning. The EXL internships and projects fulfill this role by providing an academically sponsored learning experience that gives all UIS degree-seeking undergraduate students an opportunity to learn from the community — about its everyday tasks, its professional life, its problems, and its unmet needs.

The Applied Study Term process emphasizes self-directed learning that provides opportunities for career exploration, integration of academic studies with practical experience, determination of additional learning needs, cultivation of independent learning skills, and development of increased awareness of community, diversity, and public affairs.

The campus and EXL faculty recognize the diversity of backgrounds and academic and career needs of students. A variety of curricular options are described more fully in the EXL course descriptions. The Applied Study Term experience can be in the form of an internship, a special project, student/faculty research, study abroad, or travel abroad. Some programs (i.e., social work and clinical laboratory science) have an experiential component integrated into the academic curriculum of their own program.

UIS provides an opportunity for all degree seeking undergraduates at UIS to take 2 to 12 semester hours of experiential learning as part of the University Requirement. The semester hours beyond 8 may be taken for elective credit with the advisor’s permission, or six semester hours of experiential learning may be used to satisfy Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (Engagement Experience and/or Elective) requirements. The Applied Study Term may be taken after admission to an academic major at UIS, selection of a major advisor in the academic discipline, and completion of 12 semester hours of credit in the academic major at UIS. Some programs have additional regulations and prerequisites for experiential learning terms. Scheduling is flexible and a variety of options are available to meet individual student needs.

Early in the semester preceding enrollment in an Applied Study Term course, students should make an appointment with their program advisors and an EXL faculty member to discuss plans for the integration of academic studies and experiential learning. Students should arrange all details of placement with the EXL faculty. Registration can be completed only with the permission of the program advisor and an EXL faculty member.


Contact Information:
Phone: 217/206-6640
Email: cpl@uis.edu
Website: www.uis.edu/cpl/

Credit for Prior Learning enables qualified students to earn academic credit by creating prior learning portfolios on college-level learning acquired through life experiences outside the classroom. The program is particularly valuable to those with an extensive background in a profession, in the military, in community service and volunteer work, in relevant travel or hobbies, and/or in independent learning. Credit for Prior Learning may fulfill ECCE Engagement and/or ECCE Elective. (See above under General Education Requirements.) Qualified students may be able to earn credits by creating additional portfolios at a reduced tuition. Interested students should contact the CPL office as early as possible or visit www.uis.edu/cpl.


Contact Information:
Phone: 217/206-6640
Email: servicelearning@uis.edu
Website: www.uis.edu/servicelearning/

Service-learning courses combine learning with providing service to communities in need. The service that students perform is combined with self-reflection, self-discovery, and learning new skills and knowledge. Not only do service-learning courses enrich students’ learning experience, but they can also fulfill one of two Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) requirements, which are part of the general curriculum. Service-learning courses can be taken to complete the ECCE Engagement Experience or the ECCE Elective requirements. Students enrolled in service-learning courses will complete 60 hours (about four hours per week) of direct service to approved sites and attend seminars throughout the semester.

Service-learning courses are designed to promote experiential learning for UIS students while advancing the institution’s mission of providing a sound basis of information and concerned citizens. Students in these courses will conduct a community needs assessment, plan and implement a service project to meet a community need while critically reflecting on the experience through discussion and journaling. All students should contact the Service-Learning office for more information.


Ross Garmil
Associated Faculty: Leonard Branson, Dyanne Ferk, Karen Kirkendall, Paul McDevitt
Adjunct Faculty: Bridget Gilliam, Kathy Guthrie, William Jordan, Janette Kirkham, Holly McCracken, Thomas Shaughnessy
Emeritus Faculty: Elaine Rundle-Schwark


Phone: 217/206-6640
Email: ast@uis.edu
Website: www.uis.edu/appliedstudy/