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The preamble to the curriculum states that the Wabash graduate “...in the study of foreign civilizations and people, ...has found himself not only the creature of his time and place but a citizen of the world-wide human community” and that he will “...judge thoughtfully, act effectively, and live humanely in a difficult world.”
It is the position of the faculty that the above objectives and others expressed in the preamble will be well served by enabling study off-campus, whether in a domestic program or in a program in another country, for as large a number of qualified students as possible. Off-campus experiences provide opportunities for learning and adapting to new environments.
In addition, off-campus study fosters critical thinking and offers students the opportunity to develop another perspective on learning and their lives. The benefits of off-campus study are not limited to those who actually study away from campus, but they accrue to the entire community. Students return from off campus to rejoin this community and contribute to it in the classroom and informally among their peers who learn more about other cultures and their own culture in conversation. In addition to contributing to our students’ education in the general ways suggested, appropriate programs of off-campus study enhance the education of certain students in their specific fields.
In short, off-campus study is an integral part of our educational offerings.
Process & Procedures
The Off-Campus Studies Committee’s selection process and committee procedures are guided by the vote of the faculty in 1994.
Qualified and interested students are encouraged to spend a semester in off-campus programs in the United States or abroad.
Students interested in off-campus study should begin planning the completion of their college requirements with their academic advisor during the freshman year, prior to any consideration of off-campus study. They should consult with their advisors and professors, program representatives listed, and the Director of International Students and Off-Campus Studies, David Clapp.
The application process to study off-campus is fully outlined at www.wabash.edu/international/ocs. This web site also provides extensive information regarding possible study abroad programs, the most up-to-date information about requirements, and deadlines. Students will make their application on line through this web site.
Only students approved by the Off-Campus Study Committee (OCSC) may apply Wabash financial aid towards the costs of their off-campus program and only for the committee-designated semester or semesters. To the greatest extent possible, the amount and distribution of credit must be discussed and determined in cooperation with the Off-Campus Study Office, Registrar, and the academic departments involved. There is a clearly outlined advising and application procedure for interested students to follow. With the exception of courses taken at American University (Washington, D.C.), grades from off-campus study programs do not transfer nor affect one’s GPA.
Anyone who considers pursuing off-campus study without OCSC approval does so at his own risk, especially with regard to transfer credit and graduation requirements. In such a case, the student would be responsible for all of the costs of the program, and would not be eligible for any form of financial aid since there is no committee approval.
In selecting a program and planning a schedule, students may want to consider pursuing the interdisciplinary International Studies Area of Concentration. This area of concentration requires five courses drawn from a variety of disciplines. Over the years, many students have found that courses taken off campus can be particularly suitable for the concentration. Students are required to submit a proposal to the International Studies Committee in which they outline the focus of their concentration, as well as the courses in which they plan to enroll. For additional information see the description of the International Studies Area of Concentration in the Special Programs section of this Bulletin, or contact Professor Butler in the Political Science Department, Professor Warner in the History Department, or Mr. Clapp.
Evaluation of Applications
The Off-Campus Study Committee evaluates applications according to the following:
Junior Status: no freshman or sophomore is permitted to go; and a first semester senior can be considered only if special circumstances warrant it. The committee generally does not approve a course of study that would delay graduation.
Sufficient academic record: students with less than a 2.70 cumulative GPA will not be considered, unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Attainment of a 2.70 cumulative GPA does not guarantee committee approval given the limited number of semesters off-campus allowed by the College.
The Committee expects the following of an applicant for off-campus study:
• Demonstration that the proposed program enhances his academic career, especially his major.
• Indication of the extent to which the proposed program and ancillary experiences will contribute to the student’s personal and cultural growth or long-term career plans.
• Demonstration in his application that he has the appropriate motivation and preparation for the chosen program and that the program and experience themselves are right for him.
• Evidence during the application process of the student’s seriousness, maturity, readiness, and ability to profit from the program.
• A good academic record.
Students are encouraged to study off-campus in the fall semester. Only those with compelling reasons not to do so will be allowed to study in the spring. Since the number of applications from qualified students has exceeded and probably will continue to exceed the number that can be funded from the financial resources allocated to off-campus study, the Off-Campus Study Committee uses the following secondary considerations to discern between otherwise qualified students for the purpose of meeting the cap:
Preference is given to students who have never had significant international educational experience or educational experience at other domestic institutions as compared to students who have had such an advantage.
Students may apply for a wide variety of off-campus programs sponsored by Wabash or other organizations. See the off-campus studies web site for a listing of suggested off-campus studies programs. In addition to the campus liaisons listed, students should contact Mr. Clapp for further information.
Preference, where appropriate, for Wabash administered programs.
Orientation and Reentry
The Committee conducts orientation programs to aid students in preparing for off-campus study. It also conducts “re-entry” programs to facilitate the readjustment/reintegration of students returning from off-campus study. Students who have been approved for off-campus study are required to attend these programs. The Committee also seeks to evaluate off-campus programs by having returning students fill out an evaluation questionnaire and discussing their experiences with a member of the Committee.
Some Other Guidelines
Wabash College expects the student to earn at least four (4) course credits and he may not transfer more than five (5) while on off-campus study. (Note: students on programs of less than a semester’s duration will generally receive fewer credits than they would earn in a semester.) Credit will not be given for pre-professional courses (e.g., law, business).
Students must obtain at least a C- grade average to receive credit for courses taken while on off-campus study. Grades do not appear on the transcript and do not affect the students’ GPA. Each course must be equal to or greater than three (3) semester hours in order to yield one full Wabash course credit.
The Wabash College Off-Campus Study Committee approves student proposals for off-campus study and approves the programs in which students may participate. Acceptable programs must be equivalent to the Wabash curriculum in their academic rigor. Students are responsible for their personal conduct, and remain subject to the Gentlemen’s Rule. Students are responsible for applying to the off-campus study program for which they seek approval, bearing in mind that in some cases program application deadlines may need to be met prior to a student’s final approval of the OCSC.
Internships allow Wabash students, usually upperclassmen, to work and learn in a variety of off-campus organizations. Students have participated with a wide range of organizations. The purposes of the program vary with interests of individual students. Exploration of a possible career area, development of new skills (or recognition of established skills and abilities in a new setting), the challenge of confronting new ideas and problems, and the chance to make a contribution to our society are but a few of the uses Wabash students have found for the program. At the heart of the program is the idea that there are valuable things to be learned in and outside the classroom.
The internship is a non-divisional course worth the equivalent of one course credit that cannot be applied toward the 34 required for graduation. The course is recorded on the student’s transcript, however, and is graded according to the standard 4-point grading system used in computing grade averages. The Credit/No Credit option is not available for the internship course. Application for this course is made directly to the faculty member whom the student wishes to supervise the internship. Internship applications are available from the Registrar’s Office. After approval by the student’s sponsor and advisor, the form should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for approval. The student, faculty sponsor, and advisor will be notified of the approval or disapproval. Students will not be allowed to advance register or register in an internship course until approval is granted.