Through the CWE Autobiography and Life Experience (ABLE) program, students can earn up to 30 credits for life experience outside the traditional college environment.
This year, we will be making some major changes to the ABLE program, changes that we hope will provide greater flexibility and more options to CWE students. In the past, students had to apply to the ABLE program and, once accepted, had to complete an Autobiography before moving on to do the Life Experience Portfolio. Going forward, the two components will be separate and there will be no formal admissions process. Each component will have an introductory course that will help prepare you to move on to the next step. It will be possible to do either the Autobiography or the Life Experience Portfolio, or both.
The Autobiography component begins with a two-semester sequence of courses, which students take for a total of 8 credits. In the Fall 2011 semester, students can take the Seminar in Autobiography, where they will read several autobiographies and memoirs and experiment with short pieces about their own lives. The Seminar has a pre-requisite of one literature course or one creative writing course. Students can take this course if they intend to write their Autobiographies for credit, or if they just want to learn about the genre and do some short autobiographical writing.
Students who would like to write their Autobiographies for credit will need to take the second semester of the course. Students will need a grade of B+ and/or permission of the instructor to move on to the second semester. In the second semester, students will work on several longer autobiographical pieces and will begin to map their autobiography. Students must receive a B- or above in the second semester to receive permission to write the Autobiography for credit.
After completing the two-semester Autobiography sequence, students can choose to work independently to write their Autobiographies. The deadline for submitting the Autobiography is June 1 of the following year. Two anonymous readers will then evaluate the Autobiographies. Students can earn up to a total of 8 credits (tuition-free) for their Autobiographies.
Life Experience component:
In the Life Experience part of the program, students work with a mentor to assemble a Life Experience Portfolio. The essays and documents in the portfolio reflect learning acquired outside the college classroom—through work, training, or volunteer experiences. Students will take a 2-credit, online Life Experience Workshop that will guide them in the process of constructing their Life Experience Portfolio. This course will be offered for the first time in Summer 2011. At the end of the course, students will have completed an outline for their Portfolios. They will then have two semesters to complete their Portfolios. Students can earn up to 12 credits (tuition-free) for their portfolios.
If you are interested in learning more about this wonderful program, please consider attending the following open houses:
Life Experience Portfolio Open House: March 21, 5:00-6:00 PM (CWE Auditorium)
Autobiography Open House: April 4, 5:00-6:00 PM (CWE Auditorium)
For more information, contact IAS Department Chair Kathy McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.