Adult and Higher Education

HRD 699: Independent Study

Course Description: To provide students the opportunity to pursue a project independently by planning and exploring an area of interest within the field of adult education and/or human resource development. The project must be library-based, intellectually sound, and reflect a high caliber of performance. Specific content and methods of evaluation will be determined in conjunction with the instructor. An approved proposal is a necessary prerequisite to registration. Open to matriculated graduate students only.

The major goal of this course is to provide individuals with an opportunity to undertake an intensive study on a particular topic. Although it may involve some field work, it will be based primarily on library or similar research.

Typical examples would be:

  • The history of adult education in the 20th century
  • A comparison of the educational philosophies of John Dewey and Eduard Lindeman.
  • An exploration of the concept of "learning environment."

Support Seminar. All students taking HRD 699-Independent Study, HRD 698-Directed Study, HRD 687-Internship, or HRD 685-CAS Completion Project in Adult Learning participate in an online support seminar that meets during the semester for the purpose of providing a regular group context within which to discuss progress, problems, and related issues associated with learning in these field-based and self-directed learning courses.

Each member of the support seminar will be asked to provide regular updates of her/his work. Occasionally, didactic sessions may be offered on areas of common interest to members and common readings will frame some discussions.

Dates for the support seminar are set in advance, typically five sessions are held each semester, although more may be appropriate depending on the nature of the group. One-on-one meetings between the participants and faculty supervisor are also strongly encouraged.

An Independent Study is designed to add depth and breadth to a student's program of study and may not be substituted, for an existing USM graduate or undergraduate course.

Independent Study Proposal Form. Prior to registration, an Independent Study Proposal form must be approved by the student's advisor, the course instructor, and the department chairperson. When students preregister for this course the proposal must be approved prior to the first class meeting. The approved proposal will be placed in the individual's department file, with one copy provided to the course instructor.

Click here for a copy of the Directed Study/Independent Study Proposal Form (pdf)

Proposal Guidelines (pdf)

Matriculated graduate students may earn up to six (6) credit hours of Independent Study in their program of study with approval of their advisor. Registration for an independent study may take place at any time. An independent study must be completed within one year from the time of enrollment.

Independent study projects must be supervised by graduate faculty or adjunct graduate faculty. Faculty have the right to accept or refuse any independent study request. Faculty may supervise no more that three independent study projects at one time, and may not supervise independent study projects for non-matriculated students.