College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Independent Study Proposal

Independent Study Proposal

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Process for Instituting Course Credit Allocations to Faculty for Independent Study Work with Students

(Approved by the CAHS Faculty, October 8, 2004)

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences faculty has a long-standing history of engaged work with students through Independent Study (IS) projects. IS work affords junior or senior-level students opportunities to pursue otherwise unavailable advanced work in their major or minor. It also affords students exposure to advanced study for graduate school.

While the importance of this study is well-recognized in the College and in the University, no sustained mechanism, institutionalized within departments and acknowledged by the College, provides for faculty members to receive course load credit for IS supervision.  College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences chairs and faculty have discussed the need to develop a proposal for awarding faculty credit for IS oversight and guidance in Fall 2002. This proposal represents the first step in operationalizing the intent of faculty.

Independent Study is hereby defined as follows *: a contractual agreement between a student and a professor intended to extend learning beyond courses already in the curriculum. An Independent Study shall function as a for-credit course of instruction in which the student takes the initiative for learning in a format approved by the instructor.

Guiding Principles and Procedures for Implementing

Each department/program/school intending to participate in the granting of credit for IS projects must establish a process by which IS proposals will be presented, reviewed, and approved by its faculty. The course (prefix and number) to be considered under this policy must also be identified; new courses must be approved by the CRC. The process and course designation must be reviewed and approved by the Dean's Office prior to implementation.

A record of all approved IS projects supervised by faculty must be kept in the department's central files and by each individual faculty member.

IS projects for which faculty are seeking credit must be reviewed and approved prior to the initiation of the IS. Credit is registered after the IS grade has been submitted to the registrar.

Upon accumulation of 30 IS credits (one IS credit for each credit hour multiplied by the number of students enrolled in IS), a faculty member will be afforded the opportunity to receive a course release. Such course release must be planned in consultation with the department and taken within a semester mutually agreed to by the faculty member and the department. Approval for this release must also be forthcoming from the Dean's Office. A faculty member should, in most instances, be granted a course release within one year of their request with documentation.

The department/school/program may not be able to receive any additional resources to substitute for a faculty release.

Establishment of this process does not preclude an IS project from going forth if no faculty course load credit is sought.

Course load credit is not retroactive.

The CAHS Dean's Office will modify the existing IS project form/develop a format for IS credit description, review, and approval.

(Presented to CAHS Faculty, Fall 2003)
(Amended by CAHS Faculty and approved, 12/7/03)
(Approved by CAHS Faculty, 10/08/04)

* Independent Study definition is same as one put forth by the Faculty Senate.