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Independent Study Guidelines
As a rule, independent study courses can only be taken in Spanish and Portuguese when there is no counterpart to the regular offerings of the Department and when a faculty member and the Chair of the Department feel that a student clearly needs to do independent work in order to substantially improve his/her academic standing in the discipline.
Independent Study may not be used to fulfill College List, Core or Maps curriculum requirements. Independent Study credit is not given for activities such as teaching or assisting in a class, proctoring or grading exams, etc. Nor is it given for "comparative education" types of experience.
Enrollment in an independent study course means that a minimum of twenty-five (25) hours (1500 minutes) of a student's investment of time is required for each one (1) semester hour of credit.
Independent study is a privilege, not a right. It is designed for scholarly and academic purposes. It is not to be a vehicle of convenience or be done because the student "needs" the hours. It is not intended to be used by students to take a regular course not being offered that term.
Only Spanish majors will be able to take independent study courses in the unit. No independent study work is allowed for language classes. The contract for Independent Study is to be completed, signed and approved prior to the initiation of the project, not after it has been completed.
Also, independent study is to be enrolled for in the same time frame as all other courses. Independent study credit may not be awarded retroactively. The College policy prohibits independent study for the following purposes:
- Internship-type experiences.
- Work in a university department.
- Substitute for regular course work.
- To meet College Lists, Core or Maps Requirements.
- Work completed elsewhere.
- Volunteer work (this may be acceptable if work is part of and germane to the rest of the independent study project).
- Work in business (this may be acceptable if work is part of and germane to the rest of the independent study project).
- Extra work performed in association with a regular class (this may be acceptable if all procedures in setting up the independent study are followed prior to the work being started).
Only full-time Spanish and Portuguese faculty members may sponsor an independent study. Faculty members are under no compulsion to accept an independent study. They do so as their workload permits.
In order to take independent study, students must fill out a contract. The contract must address the following:
- The nature of the topic to be covered in the independent study.
- The structure of the independent study course (including assignments, meetings, work to be covered, time-table, etc.).
- The academic reasons justifying the student being involved in an independent study course.
- The specific expectations of the course.
- All independent study contracts must be signed and dated by the student, the faculty sponsor and the Chair of the Spanish and Portuguese Department.
The maximum hours allowed in independent study are as follows: 16 total toward a degree; six in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese; six in any single semester.
No other departmental requirements exist with regard to independent study work for undergraduates (including specific GPA, class standing or completion of certain courses).
For graduate students, independent study courses cannot exceed 25% of the course work required by the Department.
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