INDEPENDENT STUDIES, INTERNSHIPS, SENIOR THESES
(By Faculty action, 1979)
An independent study is viewed as an “adventure in scholarship.” It is hoped that such an adventure will result in some original thinking. In most cases an independent study will involve an in-depth look at a topic introduced in a current course or a study of a topic not covered by a current course offering.
In order to participate, the student must:
1. Be in “good academic standing,” (2.0 cum. G.P.A. and not on academic probation);
2. Have completed 60 semester hours. A student may participate in a summer internship after completing 57 semester hours;
3. Complete the Independent Study Proposal form no later than pre-registration for the semester in which the independent study will be taken;
4. Present to the selected study supervisor a well-developed idea to study in-depth or a task to investigate. The development of the independent study proposal is viewed as part of the “adventure.”
5. Work closely with the study supervisor to delineate the appropriate bibliography.
Students not meeting requirements one, two or three may request the supervising department to change them.
In order to earn four semester hours (maximum allowable), for a particular study, the student must:
1. Deliver a written, visual, and/or oral presentation, equivalent to one prepared for an advanced level course. Time and topic are to be mutually decided by the student and the study supervisor for completion of the study;
2. Report weekly to the study supervisor to discuss progress made in the study;
3. Complete an evaluation of the independent study experience at the end of the semester based on guidelines mutually determined by the student and the study supervisor.
It is the responsibility of the faculty study supervisor to:
1. Determine that the proposed study is equivalent to an advanced level course;
2. Assist the student in developing an appropriate bibliography;
3. Determine, jointly with the student, the method and date of the final evaluation and record this on the student’s Independent Study Proposal form;
4. Provide feedback to the student, during their weekly meetings, evaluating the student’s progress;
5. Evaluate the final results of the student’s efforts at the time and by the method predetermined, and to discuss that evaluation with the student;
6. Provide an accounting to the registrar of the student’s performance that can become part of the student’s official record.
An academic internship involves the application of learned skills to a setting, agency or organization relating to the department that coordinates the internship. An internship should challenge the student to examine the values of the organization or agency involved in the experience, and to assess the student’s education as it relates to that experience. The internship, whether paid or unpaid, should be viewed as both an academic and work experience. All students must register for the internship experience prior to the period the internship is completed. Credit will not be granted for internship completed in prior semesters.
The amount of credit a student can earn, up to a limit of eight semester hours, is left to the discretion of the supervising department. The faculty internship coordinator must petition the Provost’s Office for an exception to this limitation.
In order to participate, the student must:
1. Be in “good academic standing”;
2. Have completed 64 semester hours;
3. Have completed all other prerequisites required by the supervising department;
4. Present to the selected faculty internship coordinator a well-developed and completed Internship Proposal form by pre registration for the semester in which the internship activity occurs;
5. Define the nature of the internship and designate an internship supervisor.
In order to earn the specified number of credits, the student must:
1. Complete the specified number of hours for the internship which have been mutually determined with the faculty internship coordinator;
2. Report to the faculty internship coordinator at mutually convenient times during the internship;
3. Complete any other requirements agreed upon with the faculty internship coordinator;
4. Provide a written or oral assessment of the internship for the faculty internship coordinator at the end of the internship.
It is the responsibility of the faculty internship coordinator to:
1. Determine that the selected internship organization or agency is appropriate and has the capability of supervising the student’s performance;
2. Contact the internship supervisor at appropriate times during the internship to obtain an evaluation of the student’s performance;
3. Arrange for a written evaluation of the student by the internship supervisor, at mid semester and at the end of the internship, providing the basis and the method for this evaluation;
4. Provide a feedback to the student based on the mid semester evaluation;
5. Perform a final evaluation of the student’s experience and discuss this evaluation with the student;
6. Provide an accounting to the Registrar of the student’s performance that will become part of the student’s official record. All internships are to be graded pass/no credit unless requested otherwise by the faculty internship coordinator. Such a request should be submitted to the registrar no later than the first week of class.
The senior thesis stands as the culmination of the student’s study in the major department. The senior thesis project has its origin in a departmental senior seminar or independent research project, and it ends in a substantial paper or creative project appropriate to the discipline, of considerable academic sophistication, to be defended by the student before the faculty of that department. The project normally spans one to two semesters. Other details of the project will be specified by the given department.
A student may receive no more than 16 semester hours total in the three categories (internships, independent studies, and senior thesis) together.
Internships are to be assigned 2 to 8 semester hours. No more than 8 semester hours of internship may be counted toward graduation.
Independent studies are to be assigned 1 to 4 semester hours. No more than 8 independent study semester hours may be counted toward graduation.
Senior thesis are to be assigned 4 to 8 semester hours. No more than 4 semester hours may be awarded for a thesis project in any one semester (note: the credit limitation does not apply to Departmental Honors programs).
A student may enroll in only one internship program.
The principal concern of these guidelines is to prevent abuse of either the independent study or internship. The EPC recognizes that there will be legitimate cases where exceptions should be made. It urges the administrators responsible to consider the needs of the student. This assumes that each department has carefully weighed the merits of each case and has given its support.