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Katy E. Leonard, Director of Office for Exploration Term and Contract Learning
The Office of Contract Learning provides counseling and assistance for
students interested in individualized study. Students may design learning
experiences that reflect their individual needs and career interests. These
learning experiences can range in scope from independent study courses
to an entire major; all individual learning experiences require a written
proposal from the student. Information about individualized majors can be
found in the Academic Majors section of this Catalog.
Students initiate individualized learning experiences. However,
individualized study opportunities are supervised by a faculty sponsor.
Before approving a contract for an individualized study project, the faculty
sponsor may request a written proposal detailing the objectives of the
project, the procedure to be used, a timetable for work to be completed, a
bibliography (if applicable), and the means by which the project will be
evaluated. Individual faculty members have the option of refusing to accept
the responsibility of supervising a particular contract. Prior to registration
for the term, individualized study should be approved by the faculty
sponsor and faculty advisor. Contracts must be signed by the add date
for regular courses. Contracts are not to be considered an alternative for
existing courses in the curriculum.
Individualized courses usually carry the designation of the supervising
discipline. The college-wide designations “IND,” “GEN,” and other
interdisciplinary designations are also available as alternatives for courses
that are not clearly in a single discipline. Courses with non-disciplinary
designations do not satisfy general education requirements. Course
numbers for individualized study projects are listed below.
(1) 299
or 499 EXPLORATION TERM PROJECT (1 unit). If required
for the major, the senior exploration term project (499) must be in
the student’s major discipline and must receive a letter grade. All other
exploration term projects (299) may receive “S”/”U” or a letter grade.
Off-campus exploration term projects receive “S”/”U” unless designated
otherwise by the discipline. (See the Exploration Term section of this
catalog for additional information.)
(2) 293, 393, 493
TOPICS (½ or 1 unit). The amount of credit to be given is determined by
the faculty sponsor. In order to register for independent study and special
topics courses, a student must obtain approval from the faculty sponsor, the
faculty advisor, and the chairperson of the department in which the course
is offered. Should the faculty sponsor be a department chairperson, the
course should also be approved by another member of the department or