Honors Independent Study

What is an independent study?

Independent Study is an instructional arrangement whereby a student can earn 1-4 honors credits through activity or study not available through the College's standard courses.  Such activities are often cross-disciplinary in nature and are typically related to one's major or career goals.

The student and a faculty member work together to develop a proposal outlining the goals, time frames, and methodology involved.  Upon successful completion of the proposed work, the student's academic record will indicate a specified number of honors credits have been earned through independent study.  In addition, a summary of project achievements, written by the faculty mentor, will be included in the student's record.

The following guidelines may be helpful in planning independent study projects:

The independent study option is intended to provide intellectual challenge and growth for students with high ability, a compelling interest in a particular discipline or area, and the capacity to work independently.  A standard course involves forty hours of class instruction and often two or more hours of homework for each hour of class time.  The time invested in an independent study project should be similar to that for a course of comparable credit.

Students and faculty are encouraged to think creatively in planning independent study projects, which typically emphasize the importance of research, creative works, and/or three-dimensional products.  Some examples of appropriate activities include:  writing short stories, building a robot, presenting a musical recital, conducting an experiment, designing and implementing an educational program, producing a television documentary, conducting in-depth primary research.

Who is eligible for the independent study option?

Any student who meets the eligibility requirements for taking honors courses may submit an independent study proposal.

Applying and receiving credit for an honors independent study:

A completed proposal should be submitted to Dr. Pamela A.R. Blakely, Honors Program Coordinator, no later than the final day of the drop/add period for a given term. The student has full responsibility for seeking the necessary approvals identified on the proposal form.

The student must request the instructor's agreement to an independent study proposal.  Faculty members are free to decline such proposals, so students are encouraged to seek faculty support prior to registration.  Either the student or the faculty member may request the honors committee's approval of the proposal.  However, the student is responsible for ensuring that the form is submitted to the Honors Program office (Y105) by the deadline.

The original contract will be placed in the student's permanent file in the Records Office (B107).  At the end of the term, the faculty member will certify that the terms of the contract have been satisfactorily completed by signing the bottom portion of the proposal.  The registrar will then enter the "Honors" designation after the course title on the student's transcript.  Independent study options are subject to the standard College policies on incompletes.

For more information: Contact Dr. Pamela A.R. Blakely, Honors Program Coordinator
610-372-4721 (ext. 5452)