Independent Study Courses
What Is Independent Study?
Independent study is NOT an on-line course. It can best be described as a self-paced course. At the beginning of the term, students receive a syllabus and course packet. There is a face-to-face orientation that explains the course. Students then work through the course at their own pace. There are no lecture classes (though some instructors have video lectures). After the orientation, there are no required meetings (though you can always independently meet with your instructor if you need help or have questions). Each course is structured a little differently. Most courses require you to take exams in the Social Science Independent Study Testing Room (2553)* during the hours that it operates. These hours vary from term to term, but there are always morning, afternoon, and evening hours. A testing room schedule is handed out at orientation. Some courses have you turn in assignments along with the tests. The reading assignments, test study questions, and other activities are all explained in the course materials. Independent Study Courses take place over the regular term schedule. Some courses have specific deadline, others do not. You are expected to complete the course requirements by the end of term.
*NOTE: THE INDEPENDENT STUDY TESTING ROOM IS NOT THE MHCC TESTING ROOM. The label on the door reads “Social Science Independent Study Testing Room
Why Take Independent Study?
Independent Study courses are designed for students who need to take certain classes, but cannot fit the face-to-face class into their schedules. Their greatest asset is that they are flexible.
Is Independent Study Right For Me?
You SHOULD take Independent Study courses if:
- You are good at time management and do not procrastinate.
- You have good reading skills.
- You have good test-taking skills.
- You have good writing skills.
Procrastination (putting off your work) is DEATH! Many students leave the work until the end of the term and then they find they are too far behind to perform at passing level. Procrastinating is more of a problem for Independent Study Students because they are at your own pace. If you have time management problems, these courses are not for you.
Most of the courses are text-based, which means you need to understand the text book well in order to get the information you need. If you are not a good reader and need lectures to help you, it is probably better to take a face-to-face class.
Tests for most of these courses are a large part of your grade. If you are not a good test-taker think twice about these courses. Tests can be short-answer, multiple choice or essay examines. This depends on the course and the instructor so look at the materials carefully.
Many of the courses require some sort of writing assignment. These can be short or long papers, essay questions, or short answer assignments. You don’t have to be a literary genius, but you should be able to convey information and thoughts in a clear, grammatical manner.
Are All Independent Study Classes The Same?
NO, they are not the same. Each instructor runs his or her course differently. It is REALLY important to attend the orientation for your course. Times for these orientations are listed in the term schedule. If you cannot attend the orientation, you MUST contact the instructor.
How Do I Enroll?
The letters “IS” designate an independent study course. They are only offered in the Social Sciences. PS 200 IS Introduction to Political Science
Current Independent Study Courses
Independent study courses are offered in Anthropology, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology. See the current schedule for individual listings.
Independent Study Course Descriptions