Opportunities for Individualized Study
The Fellowships Program
Rhodes recognizes that a liberal education extends beyond the classroom and encourages our students to take part in outside study, research, creative activity, internships, and community service—locally, nationally, and internationally. Fellowships are extended activities that help contextualize the work students do inside the classroom, foster a sense of professional identity, include team-building or collaborative learning, and develop critical reflection skills. Virtually any outside activity that complements coursework and involves significant reflective work can potentially be part of the Fellowships Program at Rhodes.
At its best, experiential learning allows a student to practice skills and explore more deeply principles acquired through coursework. Most often the opportunity to discover and create on one’s own builds confidence and passion. Students return to the classroom with renewed interest and focus.
Rhodes has pioneered several programs such as CODA, Crossroads to Freedom, Rhodes St. Jude Summer Plus, the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies, the Mike Curb Institute for Music and the Rhodes Summer Service Fellowship Program that provide diverse opportunities for student engagement beyond the classroom. These programs have been so popular and transformative that the college is now engaged in an effort to offer even more opportunities for students to pursue their own personal interests, particularly through projects that involve sustained mentorship and a commitment to as many as possible of five student learning outcomes associated with experiential education:
- Integration of factual knowledge, fundamental principles, and/or specific skills learned in the classroom with the fellowship activity
- Strengthening analytical and/or creative abilities toward establishment of a professional identity
- Evidence of participatory, collaborative, and/or team-oriented learning
- Personal and social development
- Development of critical reflection skills
The Fellowships Program can also provide funding for those projects that require it, with regular application deadlines occurring in mid-February, August, and November.
For more information, contact the Director of Fellowships in Burrow Hall.
The Honors Program
The Honors program is a culminating experience in the major field, for seniors only. It is the principal means whereby a student may do more independent, intensive, and individual work than can be done in the regular degree programs. The Honors work offers an excellent introduction to graduate study as it employs the full resources of library and laboratory and encourages independent research and study.
All Honors programs include a project of a scholarly and creative nature. This project can be research culminating in a written report or thesis, or it can be a creative project as represented by an original production. An oral presentation of the final project is also expected. A copy of the final report or production is placed in a permanent file or on display in the library.
Students considering Honors normally take a one-credit tutorial in the second semester of the junior year. Emphasis in the tutorial will be selection of a topic, preliminary research and definition of the project, and preparation of the Honors application.
Although each department and program sets its own departmental and program requirements for Honors, there are general College requirements for the Honors program. To be eligible for the Honors program a student must have a minimum cumulative grade point average and a major grade point average of 3.5000 at the time of application for honors. The student must graduate with a cumulative grade point average and a major grade point average of 3.5000 in order to receive the honors designation at commencement.
At least four credits per semester in the senior year must be earned in Honors Tutorial courses. Up to eight additional credits of tutorial or related course work may be counted, resulting in a maximum of sixteen credits of Honors in the senior year.
Special attention is necessary to ensure the completion of the Honors project in time for it to be evaluated and approved. For this reason, a special timetable for submission, reviews, and approvals of Honors projects is set by each department and program. Failure to meet announced deadlines may result in the failure to gain Honors recognition.
Descriptions of the requirements for Honors are listed in each departmental and program section of this catalogue. The Honors Registration form is available as a downloadable form on the Rhodes Express website.
The term directed inquiry indicates a type of independent study designed to give more individuality than is provided by regular coursework. A directed inquiry is a project agreed upon by a student and professor; it may be a laboratory experiment, special readings on a given topic, some type of art work, a group of essays, etc. The details of the project are agreed upon by the student and the professor. Directed inquiries may not be used to satisfy general degree requirements.
Credits for a directed inquiry range from one to four. Forty-six hours of work, including outside reading, experiments and conferences, are required for one credit. No more than twelve credits may be earned in any one department. The maximum number of credits for all directed inquiries allowed is twenty-four. Normally a first-year student may not undertake a directed inquiry until after the completion of one semester of regular studies. Special students are generally not eligible for directed inquiries.
Proposals for directed inquiries must be submitted for approval to the chair of the department. Appropriate forms are available online. These forms call for details such as the beginning and ending dates of the project and set forth specific rules governing such things as extensions or other possible considerations. The student should become familiar with this form well in advance of the date intended to submit a proposal so that everything will be in order and approved by the department when submitted. Applications for directed inquiries are to be submitted in time for the department to act and submitted to the Registrar before the date set for the project to begin. Normally a student will not be permitted to take more than one directed inquiry at a time.
In the event that more than two students are interested in a directed inquiry on the same topic, a special topics course may be taught. Such courses must conform to the standard forty-six hours of study per credit.
The Tutorial Plan
The tutorial plan of instruction, like the Honors Program and the Directed Inquiry, has as its chief purposes the individualizing of instruction and the provision of a means whereby students may go beyond the scope of a class course, both in the amount of work done and the kinds of interests pursued. The method is often that of extensive reading under guidance, and conferences with the tutor on the material read, either individually or in a small group.
The content of a tutorial is usually that of a regular catalogue course that is not scheduled to be taught during a particular term. A student may request that the course be taught in the tutorial fashion if a member of the faculty is available and agrees to direct the course. Approval by the faculty member, the chairperson of the department involved, and the Registrar is necessary for the tutorial to be scheduled. At a minimum, forty-six hours of study are required for each credit or a total of 184 hours of study for a four credit course.
Interdisciplinary programs exist to provide an appropriate structure within which to offer study opportunities that do not fit within the bounds of existing departments, to bring together faculty and students from several disciplines to study areas of interest that cross traditional departmental lines and require an interdisciplinary approach, and to inform the campus community at large of the nature and importance of these areas.
Descriptions of Interdisciplinary Programs currently approved may be found under the listing for “Interdisciplinary Study” in the Courses of Instruction section of this catalogue.
Rhodes recognizes the need and the value of integrating traditional academic work and practical application. Internships are important ways in which students may have this experience.
Internship credit is given for involvement in programs in which off-campus work and significant academic work are combined. Internships are defined within the course structures of several academic departments. Requirements for acceptance as an intern are set by each department. At a minimum the student is expected to be able to integrate academic work with on-the-job activities. Special internship opportunities can be proposed subject to approval by the department concerned. Interested students should contact the chairperson of the department and the Career Services Office.
Students pursuing an internship experience arranged through a department and/or the Career Services Office must register for the appropriate course in order to earn academic credit. This credit is considered part of the course load during a regular semester and during summer session. Normally, forty-six hours of work, including on-site work as an intern, outside reading, and conferences, are required for one credit. Students with summer internships must register for the credit and pay the summer session tuition in order to receive the credit. Students may not earn both academic credit and a salary or wages of any kind for the same internship.
No more than eight (8) credits in internships may be earned in one department per semester. A student may apply toward a degree a maximum of eight (8) credits of internship.
The Nancy Hughes Morgan Program in Hospital Chaplaincy
This program is designed for pre-medical students and persons going into other health-care related disciplines, the ministry, and counseling fields. It offers a carefully supervised internship in local hospitals where students serve as chaplains’ assistants, develop counseling skills, and sharpen their abilities to listen and respond to patient needs.
The Memphis Consortium of Colleges
Through an arrangement between Rhodes, Christian Brothers University, and the Memphis College of Art, Rhodes students may take courses at those institutions during the fall and spring semesters. Only a certain set of courses is available at Christian Brothers; a student should contact the Registrar for further information. A student must receive approval for the course from the Chair of the Department of Art at Rhodes before registering for the course at the College of Art. The student then registers for the desired class at either college and includes the class on the semester’s course schedule at Rhodes. The course credit counts toward the semester’s credits at Rhodes; and as long as the consortium course does not result in a course overload for the semester, there is no additional tuition charge. The final grade for the course is computed in the student’s grade point average as if it were a Rhodes grade. Normally, only one course may be taken per semester through the Consortium arrangement.
Although the Consortium arrangement is not available during the summer, coursework taken at the Memphis College of Art during the summer may be applied to the Rhodes degree as Rhodes credit.
PLEASE NOTE: This document reflects information as it was published in the 2013-14 Rhodes Catalogue. You may find more current information elsewhere on rhodes.edu.