Degree Information

LifeTrack offers you a well-rounded educational opportunity. Rather than choosing a "major" you choose an area of depth study based on what you want to learn. The areas of depth study are:  Literature, Art & Society, Science, Technology & Culture, Leadership Studies, Community Studies, as well as Self-Designed areas.

When you complete your LifeTrack program you will earn either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree from The University of Alabama. Students pursuing a BS Degree will be required to complete Math 125 or higher.

Because LifeTrack differs from a program that issues professional certification, no more than 30 semester hours of credit from a professional school (College/Schools of Engineering, Education, Business Administration, etc.) may apply toward a degree through LifeTrack. Please discuss your specific educational goals with a LifeTrack advisor before you submit an application.

LifeTrack Depth Studies

One of the great opportunities of LifeTrack is that you do not have to choose a narrow major. With LifeTrack you attain a broad knowledge in the area you want to study. This not only makes learning more fun and flexible, it prepares you for many different career options.

Literature, Art & Society

With this depth study you will earn 30-36 hrs of course work in the areas of English, Modern Languages, Comparative Literature, Fine Art (including studio art and art history), Music, American Studies, Philosophy and cultural history. This is ideal for students who love creativity. You will learn and think how human creativity relates to progress and community. Students should take at least 6 hours of coursework in non-Western arts and culture or U.S. minority traditions. Work in foreign languages is not required but strongly encouraged. Your coursework should also include work in a minimum of two disciplines. We strongly recommend you take at least one course in literary criticism, aesthetics, historiography, music or art criticism.

Science, Technology and Culture

With this depth study you will earn 30-36 hrs of course work in basic and advanced natural sciences, mathematics, earth or environmental science, history of science, introductory or advanced computing, engineering and applied science, and interdisciplinary courses that deal with science and society. Emphasis is on broad education in science and technology areas with special attention to the question of the impact of technology on culture and subsequent ethical dilemmas and challenges. Coursework must include work in a minimum of two disciplines. A course in the history of science, mathematics, or technology is strongly recommended.

Community Studies

With this depth study you will earn 30-36 hrs of course work in the core social science disciplines (sociology, anthropology, criminal justice, speech and communicative disorders, psychology), education, social work, area studies, legal studies, economics, Women’s Studies, African American Studies and related interdisciplinary fields. Emphasis is on the gathering of theories of human interaction and community formation with special attention to problem solving and deliberative democracy. You are required to complete at least one course with a service learning or field placement component. You must also complete at least one methods class. If you are interested in graduate work in the area of Community Studies or related fields, consider an introductory course in statistics.

Leadership Studies

With this depth study you will earn 30-36 hrs of course work in psychology, sociology, Criminal Justice, management, Philosophy, public relations, social work, advanced writing, communications, educational leadership, and related professional fields. Emphasis is on gaining experience in theories of motivation, organizational and group behavior, professional ethics, leadership styles, basic and advanced communication skills, theories of cultural difference and multicultural communication, non-profit management, budgeting, and advancement work. You are required to take at least one course in introductory or professional ethics and a further reflective leadership practicum.

Self-Designed Concentration Option

Because LifeTrack is a flexible program that is designed to bring out a passion for learning, we allow students to design their own depth study. If you are interested in this option, consult with your advisor and the Director of New College as soon as possible. A plan of study must be filed and approved before you complete 80 hours of your degree program.

(BA Degrees require Math 110 (Finite) or higher and if a student desires a BS Degree in any depth study it will require Math 125 or higher.)

Residence Requirement

"Residence" is defined as academic credit earned under the auspices of University of Alabama faculty members. A MINIMUM OF 30 SEMESTER HOURS MUST BE COMPLETED UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA NEW COLLEGE LIFETRACK PROGRAM. Residence hours include:

  • University of Alabama on-campus courses
  • LifeTrack Program learning contracts (either Faculty  or Student designed)
  • University of Alabama Online courses
  • Prior learning credit awarded through the LifeTrack Program and evaluated by UA faculty

Learn On Adult Learning Seminar

Each prospective LifeTrack student is required to attend the on-campus 2-day Learn On Adult Learning Seminar. Seminars are conducted on the UA campus in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, several times each year. You are required to be on campus only once to attend the 2-day Learn On Adult Learning Seminar.

This seminar is a great way to meet your advisor in person and meet other students from around the country who will be undertaking this adventure just like you. You will learn about the advising system, the curriculum and degree planning procedures. We’ll walk you through out-of-class learning contracts and prior learning assessment processes. Being here on campus and meeting the people who will help you along this journey goes a long way to launching a successful LifeTrack student.

SEMINAR ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED AND CANNOT BE WAIVED.

Please note: There is a high demand for the LifeTrack program, so please sign up for a seminar as soon as you can. Often the wait is about 6 months before placement into a seminar.

Working with Your Advisor

Your advisor is your direct link to The University of Alabama. They are what makes LifeTrack a unique and flexible program that works for so many adults. You will be assigned to an academic advisor at the Learn On Adult Learning Seminar. After attending seminar, you can contact your advisor by letter, telephone, or e-mail as needed.

The Curriculum Elements

A minimum of 120 semester hours are needed to graduate from The University of Alabama, including the following specified requirements:

Learn On Adult Learning Seminar

3 Semester Hours

LifeTrack Writing Skills and Strategies

3 Semester Hours

Humanities

12 Semester Hours

Communication Skills

6 Semester Hours

Social Sciences

12 Semester Hours

Natural Science (2 hours of lab)

8 Semester Hours

Mathematics (Finite - Math 110 or higher unless seeking a BS, then Math 125 is required)

3 Semester Hours

Depth Study/Major

30 Semester Hours

Senior Project (Includes 2 hours of research)

8 Semester Hours

 

The remaining semester hours may be distributed throughout the curriculum or as electives to meet individual goals.

Because LifeTrack is a distance-learning, writing-intensive program, we highly recommend that you complete the 6-semester-hour "Communication Skills" requirement prior to seminar attendance. To fulfill this requirement you must have a grade of "C" or better in correspondence or on-campus courses in written and/or oral communication skills from a regionally accredited institution. In addition, all students are required to complete the LifeTrack Writing Skills and Strategies contract within 6 months after completing the Learn On Adult Learning Seminar. This class must be passed with a grade of "C" or better.

Credit Transfer

Work that you’ve completed at any regionally accredited college or university may be transferred as part of the degree plan. A maximum of 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours may be transferred from 2-year colleges. Only those courses taught at 2-year colleges that are designated by those institutions as baccalaureate-oriented or college-parallel, or that are generally recognized as such, may be considered for transfer.

You may also earn credit by examination and credit for several types of out-of-class experiences. The maximum credit attainable through all programs by placement is 45 semester hours, including, but not limited to: College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) General and Subject Examinations, Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DANTES) examinations, credit for prior military service, and prior learning portfolio credit awarded through The University of Alabama.

Out-of-Class Learning Contracts

LifeTrack program is about the power and excitement of learning. We encourage all kinds and we realize that learning often does not need to take place in a classroom. You will have many opportunities to acquire learning through professional, civic, and personal experiences. The out-of-class learning contract is an educational tool that allows you to design courses to meet academic needs and while doing something about which you are passionate.

The contract is a written agreement between the student, the faculty contract director, and the LifeTrack Program. Learning contracts may be applied to any area of the curriculum and are normally designed to allow learning outside the traditional classroom environment. You will learn how to design learning contracts while attending the Learn On Adult Learning Seminar. Credit for contract learning is considered to be UA residential credit.

Maintaining Active Status

To remain active in the LifeTrack Program, students must do the following each year:

  1. Enroll in and complete a minimum of two learning contracts for a total of 6 semester hours of credit each academic year (September 1 - August 1).
  2. Submit an annual progress report by August 30th.
  3. Pay the annual participation fee by August 15th.

Senior Project

The Senior Project is a distinctive feature of the LifeTrack Program. It is the culmination of the skills you have learned here. LifeTrack not only invigorates your love of learning but teaches you how to truly go in depth on a subject. The project is designed by you and includes research, analysis, and synthesis of a particular subject. It is the final step in completing your undergraduate degree.

The Senior Project may be done for professional enhancement, development of personal interests, academic preparation for graduate school or a combination of these goals.

To create a Senior Project you will coordinate with a Senior Project Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty and advisors. Students are encouraged to come to the campus for the Senior Project Planning Meeting, but planning can also be conducted by a conference call.

Once completed, the Senior Project will earn 6 credit hours towards the 30 semester hours required to fulfill UA residence requirement. Students are required to complete 2 hours of research methods prior to beginning their senior project.

Credit for Prior Learning

You may be able to earn undergraduate credit for prior learning experiences, which are judged to be of college level and can be evaluated by UA faculty. The process involves the student's development of an academic portfolio.

No more than 30 hours of a student's curriculum may be earned through prior learning portfolio assessment credit.

Request for prior learning credit may not be submitted until students have attended a seminar and have been admitted into the LifeTrack Program.

Honors and Graduation

As a student of The University of Alabama, you are eligible for awards and recognition just as traditional students. Outstanding LifeTrack Program students, graduates, and faculty are recognized with special awards during The University's Honors Week and Commencement.

You are eligible for The Dean's List and The President's List, both of which are compiled and published at the close of each semester. LifeTrack students who have completed a minimum of 45 semester hours of graded work under the auspices of The University of Alabama may qualify for honors designation at graduation: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Summa Cum Laude.

LifeTrack students are awarded a traditional diploma with all the rights and privileges appertaining to The University of Alabama graduates. University-wide commencement ceremonies are held each year in May, August, and December and LifeTrack graduates are encouraged to attend.

In addition to the formal cap-and-gown procession, the LifeTrack Program also hosts a private celebration for graduates and invited guests.

Every LifeTrack student dreams of having his or her name called by the university president and walking across that stage with their family and loved ones present. More than 2,000 already have. It’s your time now to get started toward that day. Learn On.