Policies and Procedures for the Implementation and Organization of the
Interdisciplinary Studies Degree Program (B.A./B.S.)
West Liberty University
I. Initial Contact and Program Development Procedures
- Any student who expresses an interest in the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) Degree Program should be directed to the Coordinator for an interview.
- An initial meeting will be held with the prospective student at which time the student will be given an informational packet describing specific requirements of the program.
- Upon completion of the program’s Application for Admission, the student will return it to the office of the Coordinator. At that time, the Coordinator will assign two members of the IDS Committee to serve as the student’s facilitators for program development. (Facilitators will be assigned from the schools that parallel the student’s curriculum interest.)
- The student will contact the assigned facilitators for a primary evaluation of their request and for the assignment of appropriate advisors.
- After the initial meeting, the facilitators will identify to the student one or more faculty members who could serve as advisor(s). The student will contact the identified faculty members, and if they agree to serve, inform the facilitators of his/her choice(s).
- An attempt should be made to provide examples of comparable programs from which the individualized curriculum proposal should be evaluated and developed. The student should search the World Wide Web, college catalogs, and library resources for examples of similar programs at other institutions of higher education. If similar programs do not exist or documentation is not available, appropriate written justification may also be made.
- The student will then meet with his/her advisors to conduct a preliminary assessment of his/her program request. During this meeting, the student will prepare a tentative curriculum with the assistance of his/her advisors. After completion, the student will submit the curriculum to the office of the Coordinator. The Coordinator will forward the application, proposed curriculum, and evaluation materials to Committee members for their review prior to Committee action.
- After Committee action, the Coordinator will inform the student in writing of the decision. (see II, “Procedures for Committee Evaluation”)
II. Procedures for Committee Evaluation
- After submission of the curriculum proposal, the IDS Committee at the next appropriate meeting will conduct an evaluation. The Committee will have the responsibility to 1) accept, 2) accept with modifications, or 3) reject all proposals.
- If a proposal receives a conditional acceptance, the Committee will specify the particular conditions necessary for approval. If a proposal is rejected, the student (with the suggestion of his/her advisors) may tender another proposal. Acceptance or rejection of a proposal will require a simple majority vote of the entire Committee, including the Coordinator as a voting member.
- After the proposed curriculum is approved, it will be submitted to the Provost for a final decision. Copies of the completed program will be distributed to the student, the Coordinator, the advisor(s), and the Office of the Registrar.
- It is mandatory that the student and one or both of the advisors be present at the IDS committee meeting when the program proposal is being reviewed to answer any questions that may occur.
- The Committee normally meets twice a semester for the purpose of evaluating presented program proposals.
- III. Procedures for Developing Independent Studies Projects
- After consultation with advisors, the student (during his/her junior or senior year) will select a faculty member to serve as the director of his/her independent study project. If warranted, the same individual may serve as advisor and project director. If an internship or practicum is being used as the project, the field supervisor shall assist the project director with planning and assessment. The project director will assign the final grade for the senior project.
- The student will obtain a Project Application form from the Coordinator of the program, complete it with the help and support of the project director, and return it to the Coordinator who will present it to the Committee for review and formal action. Project proposals must be submitted during the semester prior to the semester that the project will be completed. Projects undertaken during the senior year must be completed at least one month prior to graduation to insure proper evaluation.
- Participants are required to complete 8-12 credit hours for their senior projects. (8 credit hours are equal to 128 working hours, whereas, 12 credit hours are equal to 192). The Committee will reserve the right to evaluate each project proposal concerning the nature and level of complexity, and assign the appropriate credit value. If appropriate, the student may request the pass/fail grading option for final project evaluation.
- Project proposals will describe the nature of the study, its objectives, the kind and quality of the assignments, text, equipment, frequency of meetings that are either for instructional or consulting purposes, minimum contact hours for internship, and the criteria for evaluating the project.
IV. Procedures for Committee Evaluation
- The Committee will evaluate the project proposal and accept it either unconditionally or conditionally (in which case it will specify how it wishes the proposal modified) or reject it. If the proposal is rejected, the participant with the advice and consent of the project director may tender another proposal. Acceptance or rejection of a project proposal will require a simple majority vote of the entire Committee including the Coordinator as a voting member. After approval of the proposal, it will be submitted to the Provost for a final decision.
- Copies of the approved project will be distributed to the student, Coordinator, advisors, project director, and the Office of the Registrar.
- The student and the project director must be present at the IDS Committee meeting when the project proposal is reviewed to answer any questions that may occur.
V. Procedures for Monitoring Student’s Progress
- The primary advisor assumes the responsibility for monitoring progress of the student. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
a) Making recommendations regarding the student’s work/study load
b) Diagnosing any basic skills or any remedial needs
c) Counseling program participants regarding the feasibility of adding and/or dropping courses, taking courses by independent study, gaining credit by examination, and substitution courses
- A confidential file will be established and maintained by the Coordinator for each student and will contain copies of the Application for Admission, preliminary assessment evaluations, program of study, Independent Study Project, program progress report, and project progress report.
- A progress request will be sent to each advisor prior to the end of each semester for completion. It is the responsibility of each advisor to report back to the Coordinator indicating whether or not and to what degree advisees are adhering to their graduation timetable, their performance regarding any remedial work, and the level of academic accomplishment as indicated by grade point average.
- When the advisees are working on projects, each project director will provide the Coordinator of the IDS Program with a progress report at the mid-term of the semester in which a student is actively engaged in an independent project.
- At the completion of the project, the student will provide a copy of the assessment mechanism utilized by the project director to the Coordinator. This mechanism may be in the form of a research paper, a portfolio demonstrating work completed, a journal or other method unique to each project. The Committee has the right to review each project, and at the request of the Coordinator, the Committee may be called upon to evaluate the progress of individual projects.