In the best of all possible worlds, the interests of students as developing writers and scholars would best be served if Independent Studies or Internships were not used to meet W-course requirements. Although independent study courses and internships often require written work, they are not designed to provide the same level of support of writing skill development as regular W-courses. Logically they are meant to serve well-prepared students, who are capable and mature enough to carry out extended work on their own with consultation with a professor.
It would be most advantageous to students if Independent Studies or Internships were not undertaken until they had completed the W-course requirement. That would enable students to enter independent studies with stronger writing skills, ready to focus on the critical aspects of research and analysis at an advanced level.
Fairness to faculty suggests they should not be burdened with the task of developing Independent Study proposals or Internships with students who have to meet the extra guidelines for W-courses, especially at the last minute. Faculty should not be in the awkward position of trying to meet students' needs for W-courses and offering independent study as a convenience to the students, rather than as a legitimate learning opportunity.
That being said, some students may want to take an Independent study or Internship and need a W-course opportunity, and some faculty members may want to offer an opportunity to do independent study or Internship for W-credit to students in their departments.
Therefore, the following policy shall govern approving Independent Study or Internship Proposals for W-course credit:
A student may take one Independent Study or one Internship as a W-course, but only if the student has already taken at least two W-courses at Southern. (Note: students may exceed the 3 required W-courses.) Students may NOT take both an Independent Study and an Internship for W-course credit. Acceptance of Independent Study for W-course Credit precludes acceptance of an Internship for W-course Credit. Internships must be approved a priori and may NOT be submitted for post-hoc W-Course waivers.