Guidelines for Independent Study

The following constitute, in the broadest fashion, the criteria by which members of the Theatre/Dance Department faculty evaluate proposals for independent study. These guidelines are based on the College’s form for Independent Study, which is available through Web Advisor, and from the Department office:

1. The initiative must, of course, come originally from the student.  While an idea may be generated by something that is said or happens in interaction with an instructor, the responsibility for doing the necessary preliminary research and formulation a proposal lies completely with the student.

2. The proposal must be complete; i.e., it must include a specific purpose, a proposed methodology, a tentative outline of the study, a working bibliography, and criteria for evaluation. These methodologies and criteria can be developed in discussion with your advisor or the professor guiding the independent study.  Open-ended proposals are discouraged unless there is a demonstrated advantage to such an approach.  The college catalog statement applies fully here.

3. The department faculty expects to maintain a tutorial supervision over all independent study projects. A student is expected to schedule several conferences both to report and to evaluate progress. Such supervision is expected to be closer with less experienced students than with more experienced ones (“experience” in this case generally means a blend of tenure and demonstrated capability). The “two-meeting method” (one meeting to approve the subject and a second to receive it) does not support the educational goals of the department, and will not be favorably considered.

4. It is expected that students will have had some contact with the dance and theatre departmental curriculum before submitting a proposal to a department member.  This is not to exclude a priori all who have not, but it preserves for the department two important factors, (a) the ability to serve its own majors first of all, and (b) some guarantee that the proposal is appropriate to its concerns.