Documentation of Work Experience | WED | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Documentation of Work Experience

Work experience is defined as "experience gained through work; an activity performed by an individual that has value both to others and to themselves. The work can be in exchange for an hourly wage or salary or for work performed as a volunteer with no financial remuneration."

OTD students must document a minimum of 16 semester hours* of work experience credit to graduate.** The 16 semester hour requirement can be satisfied by:

  1. letter(s) from an employer(s) documenting the number of months/years of full work experience or the number of clockhours of part-time work experience;
  2. successful completion of 15 semester hours of WED 395 - Field Experience credit (supervised) or
  3. a combination of documented (WED 358) and supervised (WED 395) work experience. WED 358 credit is awarded for documented (past) work experience.

The amount of credit to be awarded is determined by a departmental assessment of the student's record of employment. WED 358 credit will be awarded once the student has completed 12 semester hours of WED coursework. Also, the student's work experience must correspond to their occupational training.

WED 358 - Work Experience


WED 358 credit is awarded for work experience that demonstrates an individual's increased value to their employer. The increase is reflected by promotion, in-service training, assumed supervisory and/or increased technical responsibilities and years of employment.

In the majority of cases, the documentation appears in the form of a letter(s) from the individual's employer or immediate supervisor. The letter should meet the following criteria:

  • An original letter (as opposed to a copy) typed on the employer's letterhead
  • Current date included
  • Addressed to the OTD Coordinator
  • Format:
    • First paragraph - Name and "dawgtag"/social security number of the individual for which the letter is being written, plus 1) the number of years of full-time employment, 2) number of clockhours of employment or 3) a combination of years of full-time work experience and clockhours of employment.
    • Second paragraph - Description of duties. The letter should describe the duties of the employee and how they have become more valuable to the organization through promotion, in-service training, assumed supervisory and/or increased technical responsibilities and years of employment.
    • Third paragraph - A recommendation of the employee.
    • Signature of the employer/supervisor

Once the documentation of work experience has been submitted to the OTD Coordinator, the necessary paperwork is prepared. A signed copy of the "WED 358 Credit Award Form" is then submitted to the "Records and Registration" section of the SIUC Registrar's Office for posting on the student's transcript.

One copy of the "WED 358 Credit Award Form" and accompanying letter(s) are sent to the School of Education Advisement Office to be placed in the student's file. A second set of documents is kept in the student's WED file. A third copy of the "Credit Award Form" and the original letter(s) are returned to the student for their records.

*Two years of full-time work experience or 4000 clockhours. Thirty semester hours of credit can be awarded for four years (8000 clockhours) or more of documented, full-time work experience.

**As of June 10, 2013, credit awarded for WED 258 will no longer satisfy the SIUC Senior Institution requirement. In those cases where Senior Institution credit is needed by the student to meet the University requirement, the criteria established for WED 358 must be met before the credit can be awarded.