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All honor students and Neihardt Scholars are required to
complete 3 credit hours of
395 Independent Study and the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium. Both are independent studies courses designed to give the student the opportunity to engage in research on a topic of his/her own choosing under the supervision of a faculty member. The courses will have a prefix reflecting the student's major (e.g. Business majors take BUS 395 and BUS 499). It is recommended that students enroll in the 395 Independent Study during their Junior year and the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium during their Senior year. The following is a summary of important information related to those courses.
To enroll in these courses, a student must be either an honors student or a Neihardt Scholar. Applications for admission to the honors program may be obtained from the Honors Program Office. Students enrolling in the 395 independent study must have an overall GPA of 3.3. Students enrolling in the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium must have an overall GPA of 3.3 and a major GPA of 3.3. Students enrolling in a 499 Senior Honors Colloquium also must have completed at least three (3) credit hours in a 395 independent study.
Students may earn up to six (6) credit hours of 395 Independent Study. Students are limited to one 395 Independent Study per semester with variable credit of 1 to 3 hours. Three (3) credit hours are earned upon completion of the 499 Senior Colloquium. The Senior Honors Colloquium cannot be repeated for additional credit. Credit earned in either the 395 Independent Study or the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium are used as general elective credit.
It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for a faculty member to serve as the instructor. The student and instructor must agree on a topic of the independent study. The student is expected to meet regularly with the instructor to discuss the progress of his/her research. The instructor supervises the writing of the paper and issues the final grade. It is permissible to have the same instructor supervise both the 395 Independent Study and the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium.
Topic of the Independent Study
Great latitude is given to the instructor and student in developing topics for the independent studies. Given the time commitment involved, the topic should be one that is of great interest to the student. Consideration should be given to the availability of research resources when selecting a topic. The topic of the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium may be an expansion of the topic of the 395 Independent Study or may be a different topic, but three hours of the 395 Independent Study must be completed before the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium may begin. Often the research in the 499 Senior Colloquium involves more than a literature search. Students perform independent research and analysis, conduct experiments or surveys, do interviews or observations, research primary sources, etc. If the research activity (e.g. surveys or experiments) involves the use of human subjects or vertebrate animals, permission must be obtained in advance from the college's Research Review Committee. Contact the Honors Program Director for more information.
The 499 Senior Colloquium requires the submission of a written paper. Because of the importance of this project being the equivalent of an entire 3 credit-hour course, the paper is expected to be of substantively greater depth and breadth than a typical course term paper. No length is specified, but it must be long enough to thoroughly cover the topic. Papers of approximately 20 pages are normally expected. The style of the paper should be consistent with the style(s) sanctioned by the discipline. The original of the completed paper is filed with the Honors Program Office, and a copy is annually placed in a bound volume.
Students enrolled in the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium must make an oral presentation of their research findings during Honors Week, traditionally the week before the final examination period. The presentations are open to the public and are attended by WSC faculty, staff, students, and other interested parties. Family members and friends are welcome and encouraged to attend. The presentations are usually 30 minutes in length with some time devoted to questions. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Department Chair to arrange for a meeting time and place for the presentation. This should be done at least six (6) weeks prior to Honors Week. The student should also provide the Department Chair with an abstract of the paper at that time. Announcements about the presentations will be published in The Wayne Stater. It is recommended that students enrolled in the 395 Independent Study attend at least one 499 presentation.
To register for either the 395 Independent Study or the 499 Senior Honors Colloquium, the student should complete the form and obtain the signatures of the instructor, Department Chair and the Director of the Honors Program. The form should be returned to the Honors Program Office. A copy of the form and an add slip are taken to the Office of Records and Registration to complete the registration process. It is not necessary to preregister, but students are encouraged to register as early as possible in the semester they intend to complete the independent study.
The instructor issues the final grade for the independent study. If a student is unable to complete the independent study during the semester, the instructor will issue an "In Progress" (IP) grade. A final grade for the independent study must be reported to the Office of Records and Registration within six (6) months of the end of the term in which the IP grade was initially awarded. Unless a new grade has been reported, or an extension of the time submitted in writing by the faculty member or Department Chair to the Office of Records and Registration, the IP grade will be changed to "No Credit" (NC).
Any questions relating to independent study or the honors program should be directed to the office of the Director of the Honors Program in the Humanities Building 113C. The office can be reached by phone at 402-375-7352 or 402-375-7394.