The student, usually a senior with a GPA that suggests he or she can do independent research, approaches the faculty member with an idea for a topic to study. The topic should be one that is not already offered as a course. (We do make exceptions if it’s the student’s last semester and the student still needs a required course that is not being offered in that semester.)
If the faculty member wants to do the independent study, he or she meets with the student to focus the idea.
The student writes a one-page proposal for the independent study that includes: the topic to be studied, the sources that will be used, and the work that will be produced as a result. This could be anything from a traditional research paper, to PR campaign, to a multimedia journalism project.
If the student’s proposal meets the faculty member’s approval, the student fills out an Independent Study Approval Form, available from Ann Lewis, obtains the faculty member’s signature, and turns it in to Carolina Machado.
After the chair approves the independent study, Carolina creates a 1-, 2-, or 3-credit section of JRNL/PR/MASS 150 or JRNL/PR/MASS 151 for the professor. Once this section appears online, Carolina lets the professor know that he or she can now sign the student into the class.
The professor meets with the student at least once every two weeks to discuss the student’s progress and next steps.
Upon completion of the independent study, the student is graded on the normal A through F scale.