Center for Integrative Studies
Director, 2014-15: Dana Gross (Psychology, and Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary and General Studies), developmental psychology
Program Coordinator, 2014-15: Susan Carlson
Faculty advisors of individual majors 2014-15 include: Cynthia Book (Exercise Science); Mary Carlsen (Social Work); Douglas Casson (Political Science); Irve Dell (Studio Art); Gary Gisselman (Theater); Joan Hepburn (English, Race and Ethnic Studies); Ashley Hodgson (Economics); Judy Kutulas (History, Women's and Gender Studies); L. DeAne Lagerquist (Religion); Robert McClure (Education); Gary Muir (Psychology, Neuroscience); Sian Muir (Management Studies); Anthony Roberts (Dance); William Sonnega (Theater, Media and Film Studies); Thomas Williamson (Sociology/Anthropology)
In the Center for Integrative Studies (CIS), established in 1999, “integrative studies” refers to learning that intentionally combines diverse methods, experiences, learning styles, subject matters, and on- or off-campus resources. The college has a long-standing commitment to integrative studies, evident in its many successful interdisciplinary majors and concentrations, in the success of the Paracollege program (1969-2000), and in the faculty’s ability to combine diverse approaches to course subjects. The CIS's principal activity is to support students who plan and carry out individual, integrative majors and to help students identify and pursue opportunities for integrative learning on and off campus. In all these activities, the goal of the CIS is to enhance the coherence of students’ academic careers by encouraging them to make meaningful connections among the many parts of their educational experience and by helping them build bridges between the college and other communities.
THE INDIVIDUAL MAJOR
The CIS is the academic home for students pursuing self-designed, integrative majors. Students propose a sequence of courses, seminars, independent studies, or experiential learning as the means of pursuing an individual major. Proposals must include (1) a description of the proposed area of study; (2) a list of 11-12 courses and other learning experiences, with an explanation of how each contributes to the major; (3) an initial proposal for a senior integrative project; and (4) a summary of the student’s preparation to carry out the proposed major. Each proposal must have the support of a faculty academic advisor. The coherence, depth, and feasibility of each proposal are evaluated in a faculty review convened by the CIS, after which the proposal is forwarded to a committee that gives final approval. At the end of the senior year, the student’s work in the major is presented to a CIS faculty certification committee for review. Proposals for individual majors may be submitted any time during the sophomore year and the first part of the junior year.
Recent individual majors include: Architecture and Scenic Design, Human Resource Psychology; Intercultural Medical Practice; Social and Community Development; Religion and the Visual Arts; Growing Up in America: A Systems Thinking Approach; Social Marketing and the Environment; Criminalistics; Writing for Performance; Philosophy of Religion; Photographic Theory; Organizational Communication; Digital Art and Animation; Neuroscience; Circuits and Behavior; Public Health Policy and Management; Public Health in the Developing World; Performance Technology and Design; African Cultures and Colonialism; Sports and Activities Administration
The Web Portfolio
Students with individual majors create and maintain a public web portfolio. A web portfolio preserves important learning experiences and academic work. Its web-based structure allows students to make explicit links within their own work and to the work of other students or other sites of public discussion. The web portfolio is presented to the faculty certification committee with the senior project at the end of the major.
For specific requirements for the individual major or for information about other activities of the Center for Integrative Studies, please contact the director or program coordinator.
Information about the criteria and application process for awards of distinction in the individual major is available on the CIS web site.
INTEGRATIVE SENIOR PROJECT
All senior integrative projects include work during both semesters of the senior year. Students determine the topic and scope of their project in consultation with their advisor at the beginning of the fall semester. For the fall term students choose a level III course or other experience closely related to the topics and activities of the major and senior project, or, in consultation with their faculty advisor, may enroll in IS 391: Senior Project I, an independent course graded on a P/N basis. During the spring term, students must enroll in IS 392: Senior Project II, which involves the completion and public presentation of the senior project. A brief description of the student's major and senior project appears on the official transcript.
Students may also register independent study (298), independent research (398), or internships (294/394) through the CIS, if the supervising faculty member advises that as the appropriate course designation.
298 Independent Study
391 Senior Project I
392 Senior Project II
398 Independent Research