Independent Interim Projects
Independent Interim projects are individual in nature, and typically involve just one student and one sponsoring faculty member. These projects are customized to the needs of the student and the faculty sponsor. Please note that internships, service learning projects, and projects based in research are not independent Interims. Rather, these are regular Interim projects for which students register during the customary Interim registration period. A listing of these projects, which are open to regular student registration, can be found here.
The independent Interim option is an excellent opportunity for students to pursue independent study under the close supervision of an individual faculty member. Independent interims are as rigorous as any other Interim project, and require a high degree of independence, creativity, and commitment on the part of the student. The student must bear the burden of designing and carrying out the Interim project, under the guidance of a faculty member.
During the fall before the Interim, interested students must complete several steps, including securing a faculty sponsor, responding to a detailed narrative questionnaire about their project, and gaining approval of a faculty committee. All independent study projects require a report: sometimes written, sometimes prepared in audiovisual media such as slide/lecture or videotape. Click below for further information and forms necessary for the development and organization of an independent interim.
Deadlines for Submitting an Independent Proposal
September 12, 2014: Students must have secured a faculty sponsor.
September 26, 2014: Completed independent Interim proposals are due online.
By early September, students should have identified a faculty sponsor and discussed the specifics of the proposal such as grading criteria, academic requirements, and other key elements of the proposed Interim. Students intending to propose independent projects for Interim 2015 must secure a faculty sponsor by Friday Sept. 12, 2014. Students who fail to do so by this date are forfeiting their right to propose an independent interim. On Friday, September 26, 2014 completed independent Interim proposals are due online. No late proposals will be accepted.
Components of a Successful Proposal
- Read the rules, regulations and calendar for the Interim
- Fill out a proposal
- Consult with an appropriate faculty member
- Obtain a letter of support from your internship sponsor
- Fill out the appropriate release form
1. Clearly state the educational goals of your proposed project. State your purpose in such a way that the Interim Committee knows exactly what your goals are and how you plan to achieve those goals. Mere curiosity about a career is not considered an educational goal.
2. Have a strong academic component to your project. You should incorporate into your proposal a developed reading list that informs your educational goals and an indication of how that learning will be presented to your sponsor for evaluation (eg. through a (photo) journal, a paper, and/or a final presentation). Once again, clearly state to your faculty sponsor how you will demonstrate what you have learned and accomplished.
3. Have a concrete plan of action. Will you meet with your faculty sponsor on a regular basis? If not, how will you stay in contact with your sponsor? Make sure you and your sponsor are in agreement.
4. Have definite grading criteria. Upon what will your final grade be based? Is your faculty sponsor expecting a daily journal report in addition to a final paper? How much will the report from your on-site sponsor count? Once again, make sure you discuss this with your faculty sponsor, and that you both agree on the grading criteria. Normally, independent projects are graded on a pass/fail basis.
5. Go through the proper channels. Are you planning on proposing an independent pre-law, pre-med, or political internship interim? It is in your best interest to participate in the established faculty-sponsored pre-law and pre-med internships, listed on the Internship pages since these projects are pre-approved and supervision assured. If you choose to propose a project independently, seek a faculty sponsor that can give you the appropriate guidance and structure in doing so. Please keep in mind that each office/practice has its own internship policies regarding contracts, insurance, and procedures. Please contact Sheena Anderson, Contracts and Risk Management, at 864-597-4233 to arrange for review/approval of any documents that require signatures from College personnel. Wofford College will not provide any liability insurance for such internships.
6. Normally, independent project participants may not return to their hometown to carry out Interim studies, whether in group projects or independent projects.
7. Traditionally, each project is expected to involve only one individual student. The inclusion of more than one student in a given project must be explicitly justified in the proposal.
8. Students may complete more than one internship for credit during their time at Wofford. However, students may complete only ONE Interim project that bears both pay and academic credit during their academic career. For purposes of this policy, pay is defined as the student's receiving a IRS Form W-2, 1099, or other wage statement from the employer. Students should confirm whether such statement will be issued by the employer before entering into agreements for pay.
The Letter of Support from the Off-Campus Sponsor: What Should it Contain?
The letter of support from your off-campus internship sponsor should be written as follows:
1. The letter, on the official letterhead of the sponsoring organization or company, should be addressed to:
Wofford College Interim Committee
c/o Ryan Johnson
Coordinator of the Interim
2. The letter should state exactly and completely what your tasks will be, where you will be, when you will be working each day (at least 30 hours per week), and how long your project will take to complete.
3. Your off-campus internship sponsor should agree that they will make a final report concerning your project to the faculty sponsor.
4. Your off-campus internship sponsor should confirm whether the Interim project is paid or unpaid, and the nature of the pay arrangement. Specifically, the sponsor should confirm whether an IRS Form W-2, 1099, or other wage statement will be issued to you.
Note: If you have not received the letter of support from your off-campus internship sponsor by September 26, 2014, please indicate in your proposal when the letter was requested and when the Interim Committee can expect to receive the letter. Facsimiles (faxes) are not acceptable; please provide an original, signed letter of support.