Independent Study (SPA 397 & SPA 399)
SPA 397 “Independent Work in Spanish”/SPA 399 “Field Based/Community Based Education”
SPA 397 and SPA 399 are courses that highly qualified and motivated students enroll in after consultation with an individual faculty member who agrees to voluntarily supervise the student’s work in addition to her normal teaching load. SPA 397 is used for guided research projects while 399 is used for internships and work opportunities with a community partner, both of which must relate to the broad field of Hispanic Studies and clearly complement the student’s program of study. SPA 397 is designed for Spanish majors with at least a 3.0 or higher in departmental courses and results in a letter grade. SPA 399 is graded on a pass/fail scale and can be taken for a variable number of credits across multiple semesters, from 1-15. In both cases the students must contact the faculty member before the end of the semester preceding the one in which they wish to enroll. By a date agreed upon by both, the student must prepare and present to the faculty member the approved learning contract form which may then be subsequently altered with the faculty member’s input. Inherent in the learning contract is the understanding that the faculty member will carefully guide and mentor the student as she completes her chosen research project or internship and the student agrees to timely completion of assignments and integration of professor feedback. As such, these courses are not open to free enrollment each semester and require a registration override by the instructor. In order to allow for the most beneficial experience for both faculty and student, the Department of Hispanic Studies has asked that each faculty member only agree to supervise a maximum total of two students across both course titles per semester, regardless of the total number of credit hours. This policy is designed to ensure that the faculty member can properly supervise and mentor the student while also recognizing the added time commitment such quality mentoring implies. All learning contracts for 397 and 399 need to be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Department Chair.