Undergraduate Bulletin 2020 - 2021 
    
    Apr 20, 2021  
Undergraduate Bulletin 2020 - 2021

Individualized Studies, B.A. or B.S.


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For students who have a clear post-graduate career path which is not directly addressed by an established major within the Columbia College curriculum, we offer an Individualized Studies major in which two or more academic disciplines can be combined. This major is based on a student-developed proposal that identifies the curricular areas to be bridged and the professional competencies that they will address. This proposal should be the result of research and advising, and it should include a rationale for why the intended outcomes could not be addressed with an existing double major or major/minor combination. Students preparing an Individualized Studies proposal must work with at least two faculty members from different programs which are both represented in the proposed coursework. The role of these faculty advisors will be to help the student formulate an achievable plan which integrates courses from separate areas into a combined conceptual framework and serve as academic advisor once accepted into the program. Once the proposal is approved by both/all faculty advisors and by the Director of Contractual Studies, it will be submitted to the Curriculum Committee for final approval. This approval will represent a contract of intent which will guide the student in course enrollment; but as with other majors, adjustments necessitated by scheduling patterns may be made with approval of the appropriate program chair(s)

 

Purpose
The Individualized Studies Program offers students an opportunity to take charge of their own academic development within a structure of professional support and guidance. While a student in the Program may be permitted some flexibility in developing her/his curriculum, a concerted effort will be made to ensure that students are liberally educated and competent in an area of specialized study. The Program encourages students to participate in independent studies and off-campus internships in their area(s) of specialization. Some contractual programs may require a limited number of courses to be taken at other institutions. The student is responsible for any additional funding necessary, such as tuition for transient courses.

 

Admission
A student normally applies for admission to the Individualized Studies Program toward the end of her/his freshman year in college. However, the  Program considers applications from upper-class students and students transferring from other colleges and universities. A student must complete 45 hours of coursework following admission to the Program. The Curriculum Committee may allow some or all of the coursework taken during the semester of admission to the Program to be counted towards the 45-hour requirement.

 

The student should follow these steps for admission:

  1. Student discusses her/his interest in the Program with her/his advisor(s) and the Director of Contractual Studies..
  2. Student completes an application for admission and a long-range contract.
  3. A minimum GPA of 2.50 is normally required for admission to the Program.
  4. Upon completion of application, the Curriculum Committee considers her/his admission to Contractual Studies.

 

Upon approval of a student’s contract, the chair of the Curriculum Committee notifies the student of her/his admission and sends a copy of her/his contract to her/his advisor and the Registrar.

 

Long-Range Contract
The long-range contract represents the student’s individualized curriculum, which should reflect the student’s best estimate of each course for which she/he plans to receive credit. The Curriculum Committee evaluates the contract’s attention to the student’s educational goals, to her/his selected areas of specialization, and to a liberal arts core of General Education courses. Long-range contracts include major courses.

 

Contractual Studies students adhere to the General Education core requirements outlined in the Columbia College Bulletin.
 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Requirements for Graduation
Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree or Bachelor of Science degree who are enrolled in the Individualized Studies program are required to:

  • complete 120 semester hours of college work,
  • maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.50 on the major courses identified in the contract, and
  • successfully complete an approved senior project according to the guidelines for the senior project.

 

A student whose grade point average falls below 2.50 for two consecutive semesters may be excluded from the Program. The terms of the contract must be fulfilled in order to graduate.

Senior Project
The student’s senior project represents a culmination of her/his academic concentration through the Individualized Studies Program and should be a long-term, original work in her/his particular area of study. The senior project may follow any one of several formats, such as a research thesis or a musical composition. The Individualized Studies Program requires successful completion of a senior project before a student may be recommended for graduation.

Withdrawal

In order to withdraw from the Individualized Studies major, a student must submit a letter of withdrawal to the Advisory Council and declare a new major with the Registrar. If a student is not making satisfactory progress towards completing the contract, the Curriculum Committee can require the student to leave the program.

 

Guidelines for Individualized Studies Proposal - BA or BS degree

For Students who have a clear post-graduate career path which is not directly addressed by an established major within the Columbia College curriculum, we offer an Individualized Studies major in which two or more academic disciplines can be combined.  This major is based on a student developed proposal that identifies the curricular areas to be bridged and the professional competencies that the will address.

This proposal should be the result of research and advising, and it should include a rationale for why the intended outcomes could not be addressed with an existing double major or major/minor combination.  Students preparing an Individualized Studies proposal must work with at least two faculty members from different programs which are both represented in the proposed coursework.  The role of these faculty advisors will be to help the student formulate an achievable plan which integrates courses from separate areas into a combined conceptual framework. and will serve as academic advisors to the student after the proposal has been approved.

Once the proposal is approved by both/all faculty advisors, it will be submitted to the Curriculum Committee for final approval.  This approval will represent a contract of intent which will guide the student in course enrollment; but as with other majors, adjustments necessitated by scheduling patterns may be made with approval of the appropriate program coordinator(s).

Your Individualized Studies proposal provides the only description of your field of study. Your proposal will consist of 5 sections:

  1. A title page
  2. Definition of your field of study
  3. Course list
  4. Personal statement
  5. References and Acknowledgements

    

Instructions for Preparing a Proposal

Your proposal should reflect your best writing.  Remember, this is a description of your academic career at Columbia College and will be directly reflected in your official transcript.  Please start each section on a new page and number all pages.

  1. Title Page should contain the following:
    • Title of your field of concentration; your name, contact address, Columbia College email, names of faculty advisors, rank and Program, date and a 3-5  sentence objective summary of your concentration.
  2. Definition and Scope of Field
    • This section presents the formal description and rationale of your field of study, including an explanation why this program is degree-worthy, why this program cannot be completed under a major offered at the College; and a comparison of your proposed field of study to similar fields of study at other colleges.
    • In addition, describe the scope of your field of study and how it meets your professional and personal educational goals.
  3. The Course List
    • Present this listing on a separate page.  List only the courses that will be included in your field of concentration.  Do not include other courses that you take for general education, electives, or minors.
    • List your courses by program.  Use course catalog number and titles.  To give yourself flexibility, you may wish to list more courses than you plan to take.  In doing this, designate how many courses you plan to take from each program.
    • This list will include courses you have completed, are currently taking, and intend to take.  Indicate which courses you have completed and which courses you are currently enrolled in.  Indicate any courses you plan to take at another institution.  Indicate total hours.
    • The list of major courses must include a senior project course.
  4. Personal Statement
    • Because your proposal presents an individualized field of concentration, please include some personal background information.  Explain why this particular program suits your needs, goals, and abilities:  What experiences you had that indicate this is an appropriate program; what your personal goals are; how specific people, books, and events have influenced your educational direction.
    • Include internships or other experiential learning opportunities you have participated in or plan to that complement your studies. 
       
  5. References and Acknowledgement
    • Cite sources you used and acknowledge people who help you to create this proposal.

Total Credit Hours: 45


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