Apr 23, 2024  

Independent Study Course Information

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Independent Study refers to enrollment in an appropriately-designated, variable-credit course for a specific plan of study, authorized and supervised by a consenting faculty member. Independent Study is not a substitute for regular courses, but an enrichment  opportunity. Normally, it is a project designated to allow you to investigate an area of interest not within the scope of a regular course, to probe more in depth than is possible in a regular course, or to obtain an educational experience outside that normally offered by a regular course.

Guidelines for an Independent Study course are:

  1. Proposals: The Independent Study project is normally student-initiated. Early interaction with faculty is essential in the development of a mutually-acceptable project description. At a minimum, such a description should contain an outline of the study topic, specification of the work to be done and the materials to be read, the credit to be given, the type and frequency of faculty-student contacts, and a statement of the evaluative criteria to be used by the faculty member.
  2. Approval Process: The faculty member must accept and approve the project and then submit the agreed-upon proposal on the appropriate form to the Division Chair for approval. The granting of approval by the Division Chair may involve considerations, such as  faculty workload, which go beyond the merits of the project. If the Chair approves, the form is then submitted to the Academic Dean for approval.  After the approval by the Academic Dean, the form is sent to the Registrar for student registration. The student will be notified of the approval and may contact the Registrar's Office to register in the course.
  3. Responsibility: Independent Study is basically a tutorial process. Students are on their own when pursuing an Independent Study, because it involves no class meetings or formal lectures. The faculty member is the responsible custodian of the project, obliged to provide guidance, assistance, criticism, suggestion, and evaluation.
  4. Variable Credit: With faculty approval, credit may vary from one to six credits.