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    Grinnell College
   
 
  Jul 25, 2017
 
 
    
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2012-2013 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Individual Study



The College encourages students to work closely with their academic advisors and to develop initiative and take responsibility for their own education through a variety of means: Plus-2, Independent Study, Directed Research, and Mentored Advanced Projects.

Plus-2

A course-related independent study option referred to as the “Plus-2” permits a student to choose an independent study component that adds two credits to a regular course. With the approval of the instructor, this option is available in some courses above the introductory (100) level. The Plus-2 provides opportunities for more extensive work in some aspect of a course, for more extensive exploration of general literature of a course, for additional studio or laboratory activity, or for other corollary work.

Independent Study

Guided Reading 297 and Independent Study 397 provide an opportunity for a student to explore an academic area not part of the present College offerings. Either might include reading of a body of literature, reproducing published scientific experiments, learning advanced techniques, or exploring an art. The design of an independent project is very much in the hands of the student, with advice from the faculty director. Guided Reading and Independent Study, in comparison to projects conducted under the rubric of a Mentored Advanced Project, have less formal application procedures, require significantly less faculty direction, and do not have the expectation of producing results intended for dissemination to the wider scholarly community.

297 Guided Reading

2 credits

Guided Reading focuses on the reading of a body of literature under the direction of a faculty director and may culminate in a paper, examination(s), or other gradable product. A student is expected to meet once a week with the faculty director for discussion and analysis of the readings. Prerequisite: second-year standing; proposals must be approved by the faculty director, the academic adviser, and the dean of the College.

397 Independent Study

2 or 4 credits

Independent Study is intended for select students who are competent to participate in a program of study under faculty supervision. Independent Study culminates in at least one product (a paper, laboratory report, work of art, etc.). A student is expected to meet at least once a week with the faculty director. Prerequisite: second-year standing; proposals must be approved by the faculty director, the academic adviser, and the dean of the College.

Directed Research

The College also encourages students to engage in faculty directed research projects. Directed Research (299 or 399) is an opportunity for a student to work under the continuous direction of a faculty member on a research project, often of the faculty director’s design. Directed research, in comparison to projects conducted under the rubric of a Mentored Advanced Project, has less formal application procedures and does not necessarily have the expectation of producing results intended for dissemination to the wider scholarly community.

299 Directed Research

2 or 4 credits

Directed Research at the 200-level is intended for select students who have the appropriate academic preparation to benefit from an early research experience. The research project may be pursued in Grinnell or on a field excursion, always under the direct and continuous supervision of a Grinnell faculty member. Directed research will involve a search of the necessary literature and result in a written report. Offered during the academic year and summer. Prerequisite: completion of the first year and coursework related to the topic of the research project; proposals must be approved by the faculty director, the academic adviser, and the dean of the College.

399 Directed Research

2 or 4 credits

Directed Research at the 300 level is intended for select students who are competent to participate in an advanced research program. The research project may be pursued in Grinnell or on a field excursion, always under the direct and continuous supervision of a Grinnell faculty member. Directed research will involve a search of the necessary literature and result in a written report. 399 Directed Research is offered during the academic year and summer. Prerequisite: completion of second year and coursework related to the topic of the research project; proposals must be approved by the faculty director, the academic adviser, and the dean of the College.

Mentored Advanced Projects

At the time of declaring a major, students submit a comprehensive plan that lists the coursework they have completed and outlines a plan for the remaining semesters of study. At this time, it is appropriate for interested students to discuss with their advisers how a Mentored Advanced Project, or MAP, might help shape their program by culminating a sequence of academic work.

Mentored Advanced Projects provide a chance to work closely with a faculty member on scholarly research or creative production. A MAP can be the capstone of the academic major or a concentration, or it can culminate a separate sequence not recognized as a formal program. In many fields, MAPs are connected with the faculty member’s scholarship and may contribute to ongoing faculty research. The MAP opportunity is made available by specific programs and individual faculty members at their discretion, so students should not expect to set the terms for a particular MAP. Sound planning and attentiveness to the available opportunities are recommended to students who seek a chance to culminate their undergraduate work in a creative or scholarly way. Products of MAPs are expected to contribute to the original scholarship of the field of study and may be disseminated professionally through a scholarly publication, presentation, or prize submission.

499 Mentored Advanced Project

2 or 4 credits

     A Mentored Advanced Project is an approved course of faculty-directed scholarly or creative work that is the culmination of significant preparatory work and aims to produce results that merit presentation to the College community and the wider scholarly world. The Mentored Advanced Project takes place under the direct and continuous supervision of a Grinnell faculty member. Since MAPs are advanced and intensive, the first component of a multiterm MAP must earn four credits. Subsequent portions (such as a “follow-up” MAP) may earn two or four credits. Each component of a multiterm MAP must result in an appropriate product and will receive a grade. Prerequisite: completion of second-year student status; approval by the faculty director, the academic adviser, and the academic program in which the MAP takes place. Specific MAP offerings are described in greater detail by departments, concentrations, divisions, and nondepartmental majors. 

Group Projects

Any instructor may permit students to work or meet together if joint work will be advantageous to all the students. Applications for all students in a group project should be submitted together, with the student statement attached to each application.

General Regulations for Plus-2, Independent Study, Directed Research, and MAPs

Independent Study, Directed Research, or a MAP may not substitute for a course regularly offered by Grinnell College, even though the course is not offered every year.

Directed Research 299 may be undertaken after completion of the first year; Independent Study (297 or 397) may be undertaken when a student has attained second-year standing. Directed Research 399 and a MAP 499 may be undertaken after completion of the second year.

Students having less than third-year standing who have satisfied the tutorial requirement or its equivalent may take one Plus-2 or an Independent Study/Directed Research course (297, 299, and 397) per semester. There is no semester limit for third- and fourth-year students.

Although students are not limited in the total number of Individual Study/ Directed Research courses (Plus-2, 297, 299, 397, 399, and 499) they may take, they may apply only 12 of these credits in any one department toward satisfaction of graduation requirements.

An application for Independent Study, Directed Research, or a MAP must be completed with the required project statement and with all faculty signatures before submission to the Office of the Registrar. All applications are subject to the approval of the dean of the College.

The S/D/F grading option is not available for Plus-2, Independent Study, Directed Research, or MAPs.

General Application Procedures for Independent Study, Directed Research, and MAPs

An application for a Guided Reading (297) or an Individual Reading (387) requires a description of the topic accompanied by a bibliography. Arrangement for a 297 or 387 reading project must be made before the work is done; credit is not given for reading done in the past.

An application for Independent Study (397) or Directed Research (299 or 399) requires a thesis statement or equivalent, an outline of the project, and a bibliography. After consultation with the potential faculty director, a student submits an application first to his/her academic adviser for approval, and then to the proposed faculty director, who will decide whether or not to accept the application. The registration process is completed when the application is accepted by the faculty director and is approved by the dean of the College.

A Mentored Advanced Project (499) has the most formal and developed application. In consultation with the potential faculty mentor, a student develops a thorough description of the topic and project, a clear statement of the relation of the project to his or her previous studies, a bibliography or list of sources, and an explanation of the planned product of the project. After securing the approval of the faculty mentor, a student submits the application for approval to the faculty adviser, the academic program in which the MAP takes place, and the dean of the College. The final product of a MAP should be worthy of dissemination to the wider scholarly community.

An application for Independent Study, Directed Research, or a MAP (297, 299, 397, 399, and 499) is due the term prior to that in which such work is to be performed. All such applications for the following term will be due in the Office of the Registrar two school days after the end of preregistration for each term. A completed application for a summer Directed Research or a MAP is due in early May.

Internships

The internship program provides a field learning experience as part of the liberal arts education. The academic year internship is a part-time program in which students spend 14 hours per week at the work site and receive four credits. Summer internships may be pursued throughout the United States or abroad, and students may receive two or four credits.

Information, applications, and internship guidelines may be obtained from the Career Development Office. After discussing a preliminary internship proposal with the academic adviser and an adviser from the Career Development Office, the student asks a faculty member to serve as faculty sponsor. Completed learning contracts between student, faculty sponsor, and work site supervisor are due at the time of application. The vice-president for academic affairs and dean of the College and the Curriculum Committee review applications for internships requesting credit.

A student may normally undertake part-time internships when he or she has declared a major, is a third- or fourth-year student, is in good academic standing, and has completed departmental requirements for participation in internships. The vice-president for academic affairs and dean of the College may grant individual exceptions to this policy.

Students may earn a maximum of eight semester credits through internships that can be counted toward graduation requirements. Students may not participate in more than two internships.

300 Internships: Academic Year

4 credits

Interns work 14 hours each week at internship sites located in Des Moines, Grinnell, and the surrounding areas. Applications for internships are made to the internship coordinator in the Career Development Office. Learning contracts must be approved by a faculty sponsor, the department head, the work site supervisor, the student’s academic adviser, and the dean of the College. Prerequisite: third-year student or senior in good academic standing.

300 Internships: Summer

2 or 4 credits

The process of application and approval is the same as above, except that summer internships may be pursued anywhere in the United States or abroad and may be part or full time. Prerequisite: completion of second-year student status.

Foreign Language Across the Curriculum

Students are encouraged to study a foreign language at Grinnell and to extend the use of foreign languages into other disciplinary areas. Students may apply their foreign language skills to the discovery of content in a variety of disciplines which make use of translated material. There are a number of opportunities regularly available for students who wish to use their language skills in nonforeign language classes across the curriculum. Courses or “Plus-2” options designated as having a foreign language option make it possible for students to do some of the readings for those courses in the original language rather than in translation. Offerings with the foreign language option are listed in the registration material for each semester.

Interdisciplinary Concentrations

A liberal education should include both depth of study in one discipline and breadth of study in several. The required completion of a major fulfills the first requirement. The interdisciplinary concentrations offered at Grinnell provide one way to fulfill the second, for each was conceived as an integral part of a liberal education.

Each recognized concentration includes an organized cluster of courses drawn from several disciplines and related to a common focus of interest. Thus, each provides a structured introduction to a broad area of study while including sufficient flexibility to adapt each program to a student’s particular focus of interest. Each culminates in an interdisciplinary senior seminar in which students and faculty draw upon their work in the several disciplines. In most of the programs, the senior seminar provides time for pursuit of a research topic appropriate to the field and to the student’s level of accomplishment in the relevant disciplines.

Concentrations may be related to a student’s major, but this is not required; when the two are related, up to 8 credits of work included in a student’s major may also be counted toward an interdisciplinary concentration. Completion of a concentration is entered on a student’s permanent record together with the student’s major.

A student who wishes to pursue a concentration is expected to declare his or her intention by the beginning of the third year, but such students should consult with the program chair earlier if possible. A list of courses that fulfill each section of a program, including courses in addition to those shown on the following pages, may be obtained from each program chair.

Practica

Some departments also offer practica. These include performance in musical groups, theatrical productions, physical education activities, and calligraphy. Practica credits include:CHI 211 JPN 211 MUS 101 PHE 100 PHE 101 THE 100 , and THE 205 

Summer Programs

All summer courses, whether overseas or in the United States, must be approved in advance by the student’s academic adviser and the registrar. Prior approval ensures the transfer of credit to Grinnell. A maximum of 18 semester credits will be accepted for courses taken during the three summers prior to graduation, with a maximum of nine semester credits for any one summer.