Art 475 Independent Study

How to arrange and register for an Independent Study course


How do I sign up for an Independent Study Course?  

Getting into an I.S. course is different than signing up for a regularly scheduled university course.

You must first decide on and describe what it is that you want to study.   Mr. Clayton uses this form to describe the course plan. Open and Save As to begin your own course plan.
Then you need to find a professor who is able and willing to work with you for the course.
Then the proper Independent Study form needs to be filled out, signed and delivered to the Registrar.


Finding a Teacher:
Before you can register for an Independent Study course, you must assess whether it is possible and/or wise. Discuss this with your academic advisor and/or the Chairperson of the department.
You also need to find a professor who is appropriate for the content you want to study, who is available to take on I.S. students, and who is interested in the academic direction you want to go. Talk to your current professors about your interests — they can usually point you to a professor who might be interested in your topic.
Be prepared to explain why you think an I.S. course is right for you.  And, explain why one of the existing university courses would not suffice. 
Think about your objectives: What are your goals?  What do you want to create, explore and/or experience in this course?
Once you've gotten informal approval from your advisor and the sponsoring professor, move on to the paperwork — start planning specifics.

In Detail:
— Get a copy of the Independent Study registration form (officially it’s the “Department’s Approval for Special Class” form).  Both your department’s main office and the Registrar’s office will have forms available.
— Complete the form for registration in an Independent Study (I.S.) course.
— Complete a course plan that you and your professor agree on.     Mr. Clayton uses this form to describe the course plan. Open and Save As to begin your own course plan.
Provide a title for the course.   (title the course according to the topic you’ll be studying. e.g. Painting, Illustration, Sculpture, Photography, etc.)
— Discuss any lab fees with your supervising professor. (see note below)
— Get the signature of your department Chair and supervising professor…and you.
— Make copies of the form for yourself, your department Chair and your supervising professor.
— Take the original signed form to the Registrar in order to complete course registration.  (Note:  you do not register for an Independent Study online as you do for your other classes.  The registrar takes care of your actual registration into the course.)

A note on lab fees: 
If you want to have funds for some or all course materials (e.g. paint, clay, welding rods, etc.), you’ll need to request that a lab fee be assigned to your course. A lab fee will not automatically be charged — thus materials offered in scheduled courses will not be available to you unless you add the lab fee. 

If you elect to have a course lab fee, you will pay the fee along with your tuition.  Then your professor will allocate and spend the funds for your supplies throughout the semester.  This can get tricky, but it enables course costs to be paid by student financing. 

The amount of the fee can (currently) only be the same fee charged for an existing course. (I think...these rules may have changed.)  Course fees are listed in the university catalog (‘09-’10, pg. 47).  For example, if you are taking an Independent Study course in Sculpture, your I.S. course can either have $0 lab fee, or it can have $83 lab fee – the fee assigned to Art 400/401 Sculpture. 

If you arrange a lab fee, you’ll need to let your supervising professor know so that he/she can get access to the funds. 
If you do not have a lab fee assigned, you’ll need to buy your own supplies throughout the semester. 

*** Discuss lab fees with your supervising professor before registering for your course. ***

After Registering...Getting Started in the course:
After you are registered, arrange meeting times with your supervising professor.  It is your job to contact the professor to arrange an initial meeting.  Ask for an available time during, or prior to, the first week of school. 

Get familiar with your professor’s expectations for I.S.  Each professor will handle I.S. courses somewhat differently.  You'll need to clarify (write) your goals for the course and describe the projects that will be used to measure your progress. You and your professor will discuss and revise these until agreeing on a semester plan.

Get Started Early
Since you know the plan for the entire course, you can start researching and developing your work now — there is often no reason that you need to wait until the semester actually starts. Communicate with your professor to be sure you're heading the right direction, but don't assume you have to wait for the beginning of the semester. This is especially true if you anticipate a heavy semester courseload — get as much work done before hand to lighten your load during the semester if you possibly can.

What is an Indep. Study course? | Who can take 475? | How do I sign up? | Sample assignments | Outline of a semester | SEMESTER PLAN TEMPLATE



Greg Clayton
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