Independent Study Projects
During the fall before the Interim, interested students must secure a faculty sponsor, respond to a detailed narrative questionnaire about their project, and gain 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.
Students interested proposing internships, service learning projects, or projects based in research are encouraged to check out new faculty-sponsored options. These projects will be offered in an effort to provide more structure and guidance to students.
There are five 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
Criteria for a Successful Proposal
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 are not normally permitted to accept financial remuneration for Interim project activities, including those of internships and apprenticeships. But if for any reason any organization or agency with which the student participates should require his or her being on its payroll, he or she must deposit to the Interim account at the Wofford College Controller's office all funds received beyond expenses. Students with this issue should be able to present receipts documenting any expenses and payment.
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 that you will NOT receive any remuneration for the work you do during the Interim project. See #8 above.
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.
Deadlines for Submitting an Independent Proposal
Early September: Select a faculty member to be your sponsor. By this time you should have met with the faculty member and discussed the specifics of your proposal, grading criteria, academic requirements, and other key elements of your 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.
Friday, September 26, 2014: Completed independent Interim proposals are due online. No late proposals will be accepted.