A graduation requirement introduced in 2008-2009, the Independent Learning Experience (ILE) gives Winsor seniors an opportunity to pursue a specific interest independently. Each student designs her own project, guided by a faculty advisor and a mentor/supervisor in her area of interest. Winsor students engage in the ILE during the final four weeks of their senior year.
- What opportunities are available?
- How does the ILE benefit seniors?
- What are the academic components?
- How is the ILE evaluated?
- What do projects mean for students?
• substantive volunteer work for school or
• medical or scientific research,
• business or political internships,
• academic or creative independent study,
• apprenticeship in the visual/performing arts
Examples of specific projects include:
• service learning at the Boston Center for
Community Justice and Gaining Ground
• coaching and tutoring at Squash Busters
• conducting medical research at Dana-Farber
• creating curriculum for Science Club for Girls
• writing and illustrating a children’s book
• composing an original piece of music
Students are required to:
• read the equivalent of one relevant book to
prepare for the ILE
• reflect on their experiences in a simple,
2. Final presentation
Students present their projects to the community in a way that is relevant to the project.
Some presentation options include:
• visual art exhibits
• musical and dramatic performances
• film and video installations
• presentations on research results, readings of
literary work, etc.
• execution of project, including the quality,
impact and learning value of project
• final presentation
• final reflection describing the ILE in detail,
including specific references to the reading
and personal lessons learned in the process
• written evaluations by the advisor and
Internships are designed to give a senior a taste of what it takes to do a specific job or work in a particular profession. The internship must consist of real assignments and job-shadowing experiences, oversight by a “mentor” who can provide context and feedback, and participation in relevant meetings. Many seniors choose the option of engaging in a substantive community service assignment, working directly with people in need or on an important social issue. These positions are similar to internships, in that they involve a “mentor” who helps make the experience meaningful for the student.
If you would like to mentor a Winsor senior for her ILE, please click here to fill out a survey so that an interested student can contact you.