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Associate's Degrees
 Associate in Individualized
 Studies (A.I.S.)
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Guidelines for Writing the Statement of Rationale

The statement of rationale that accompanies your proposed AIS course plan serves as the explanation of your planned curriculum. Both the course plan and the statement of rationale are reviewed by a committee which makes the final decision about your admission to the AIS program. Since you do not personally meet with the committee during the review process, your statement of rationale must be clear and coherent; it must introduce you and it must thoroughly explain your proposed AIS program of study.

Essentially, the statement of rationale is a brief (one to two page) typewritten essay that covers the following points:

1. why you decided to apply to the AIS program;

2. your plans after graduation, both immediate and long term;

3. how your AIS program of study will help you achieve your goals and objectives.

The following questions should help you write the first draft of your statement of rationale. The questions are intended to help you supply the information necessary to explain your proposed program of study. Complete your draft in essay form rather than as separate answers to the questions listed below. Most essays need be only three or four paragraphs.

The questions are not simply an exercise that AIS applicants must complete for admission to this program; rather, they ask you to think about important questions for any college student who hopes to be productive and satisfied with his/her career and life planning. These questions ask you to do what every student needs to do: to clarify your goals and interests, to assess the skills and knowledge you have already acquired, and to project those you need to acquire in order to reach your goals.

1. What are your academic goals? What specific kinds of skill and knowledge do you want to obtain?

2. What are your career goals? What do you plan to be doing in five or ten years?

3. What are your personal goals? (This may not be pertinent to your AIS degree, and this may not need to be answered.)

4. How will your AIS curriculum plan help you to achieve your academic, career, and personal goals? Give an example or two of how courses in your Area of Concentration will contribute to your goal attainment.

5. Why is the AIS degree a better choice than another traditional associate’s degree?

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