- Program Goals
- Prerequisites and Requirements
- Policy Statement
- Statement of Roles
- Sample Contract
- Registration Form & Contract
The Experience Program provides an opportunity for practical application of academic knowledge and skill, while earning academic credit. Under the direction of a faculty sponsor, and with approval of the appropriate Dean, students may work under the supervision of a work-site supervisor at an off-campus outside agency or in an on-campus UMD department. The range of project types and settings is almost limitless, creating exciting ways to enrich one’s academic studies, gain valuable experience, and test a tentative career choice.
The Program is administered through the Colleges and requires the development of an Experience Program Contract, an agreement to undertake a significant academic learning experience.
- to apply theory to actual working situations
- to gain knowledge by performing tasks related to academic disciplines
- to synthesize knowledge from a variety of sources
- to gain a greater degree of self-direction in the learning process
- to test a tentative career choice
- Students must have earned at least 30 cumulative credit hours and a GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to participate.
- Although the typical Experience would earn three credits, Experiences proposing a greater/lesser number of credits are also possible. Projects proposing to earn greater than three credit hours will be carefully reviewed.
- Experience Program credits are part of the normal student credit load and subject to university policy with regard to credit hour limitations.
- Experience Program courses may not be used to fulfill distribution or general education requirements but serve as free electives and may be accepted toward the requirements of some majors.
- Experience Program credits are lower-division credits.
- Students on academic warning or probation are not eligible for the Experience Program, unless their college dean waives ineligibility.
- Supervision of students doing projects under the Experience Program shall in all cases exclude individuals who are themselves undergraduate degree candidates; and a faculty member cannot serve as both supervisor and sponsor.
- Business credit cannot be earned though the Experience Program; students pursuing degrees in the Charlton College of Business are offered a junior-level internship course in lieu of participation in the Program. For more information, please contact the Charlton College of Business.
- Definition: The Experience Program (EP298) enables students to earn academic credit for experiential learning projects formulated with the advice and consent of faculty and academic dean.
- EP298 is open to degree candidates, generally juniors or seniors. Students who have not attained at least junior status, but can establish their capability for a proposed project, may participate in the program. EP298 is not available to students on academic probation, unless approved by their college Dean.
- The formal written proposal shall contain an outline of the project to be pursued and a statement of the credit hours to be awarded to the student upon the successful completion of the proposed project. The contract must be approved by the supervisor at the outside agency concerned, a faculty sponsor, the Chairperson of the sponsoring academic department, the Chairperson of the student's major and the academic dean.
- The Chairperson of the student’s major department shall decide in advance if the proposed credits will be applied to the fulfillment of the major. Credits may not be used to fulfill distribution requirements. If credits are not applied to the student’s major, they will be counted as free-elective credits. Credits are not eligible to be included in the 30 credits of advanced or specialized courses (300- level or higher) required for graduation.
- For every EP298 there shall be at least three meetings of the student and both persons involved in the evaluation of the student's performance (the faculty sponsor and the agency supervisor). The first meeting will be at the beginning of the project to develop the conditions for learning and evaluation. The second meeting will be held before the last day that the “W” grade may be awarded. The third meeting will be held at the end of the contract period to evaluate the results.
- The assessment of the student's achievement shall be the responsibility of the faculty sponsor who shall consult with the student’s immediate supervisor(s) from the outside agency. The assessment shall be on a credit/no credit basis for the number of credit hours specified in the contract. The title of the contract shall be noted on the student’s transcript. In order to receive credit for a contract, the student must submit to the faculty sponsor a written statement of the contract’s results. Such a document, whose nature is to be determined by the sponsoring faculty member, might, for example, include the following: (a) how objectives were met, (b) how personal improvement was stimulated, (c) how the Experience related to the student's academic experience, and (d) how the Experience could be improved for students who pursue similar projects in the future.
- Forty-two hours of work should be performed per credit hour earned. Typically, a three-credit experience requires nine hours of work per week (126 total hours throughout the semester), as approved by the the faculty sponsor. Projects proposing to earn greater than three credit hours should be scrutinized circumspectly. (3 credits = 126 hours 2 credits = 84 hours 1 credit=42 hours)
- A student may take up to 1/8 of UMD graduation credits, but no more than 15 credits, under EP298. If a
student takes more than 6 credits under this program, s/he must first secure permission from the Dean of his/her college.
- Credits are considered part of the normal student credit load and are subject to University policy with regard to credit-hour limitations. During the add/drop period, students may drop their registration in the Program. Up to five weeks into the semester, students may increase the credit hours attempted per their contract, subject to the same approval procedures as the original proposal.
- Supervision of students doing projects under EP298 shall in all cases exclude individuals who are undergraduate degree candidates at UMD. Offices and departments within the University may act as outside agencies, but faculty sponsors and sponsoring department Chairpersons may not function as supervisors of projects.
- Summer Tuition and Fees-Summer EP298 is part of the division of Professional and Continuing Education (PCE). Summer enrollment in the Program will not be covered by fall or spring tuition and fees; any financial aid a student may have received for fall or spring will not apply. Estimated costs are available on-line via umassd.edu/pce. Any inquiries regarding applicable charges should be directed to the UMD Enrollment Services Center.
Role of Student
The Experience Program is an individualized learning program, which requires students to assume a major and active role in the process. Students obtain a placement and a faculty sponsor, arrange for the required meetings and write the contract.
Role of Faculty Sponsor
The faculty sponsor must approve the proposed experience and determine the number of credits to be awarded. The contract must involve an experiential learning situation, which is worthy of academic credit, i.e.: professional work related to an academic discipline. The number of credits should be based upon the course-equivalent knowledge to be gained by the student. The faculty sponsor is required to meet with the student and outside agency supervisor at least three times during the semester. (See Policy Statement, Item 5.) If these meetings are not possible, then three-party telephone conferences will satisfy this requirement.
Role of Sponsoring Department Chairperson
The Chairperson certifies that sponsorship properly belongs within the department and that the Experience is worthy of the number of credits attempted per the contract.
Role of Student's College Dean
In cases where the student wishes to earn more than a total of six credits through internship/experiential learning throughout his/her academic career at the University, the student’s college Dean must approve the proposed Experience contract.
Role of Outside Company/Agency
The company/agency must provide the student with a professional-level learning experience and appropriate supervision. The supervisor must discuss the progress of the student with the faculty sponsor at least three times during the semester. There is no obligation to pay students during the contract period or to hire them at a later date. Companies/Agencies may accept or reject any student who is referred to them by the University.
Role of the Career Development Center
CDC staff members provide the students with program information, a direction sheet, registration form and outside agency information. They maintain and publish outside agency opportunities and assist students with the selection of an agency.