Heritage Resources offers Directed Independent Study

Thur hours: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm

Western Libraries Heritage Resources offers an exciting opportunity for highly motivated and intellectually curious students to pursue an in-depth course of study that is not offered elsewhere in the curriculum. Through independent study students have an opportunity to conduct research in primary and secondary sources such as manuscripts, archives, and rare books managed by the University Archives, Library Special Collections, and/or the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies. Project proposals may involve the creation of an online exhibit, documentary film, archival finding aid, annotated bibliography, biography, specialized curriculum or specialized teaching/learning tools, a research paper, or other topics or resources as proposed. A prospectus/plan for the work should be submitted in advance of registration.  

Independent study proposals are developed in consultation with a WWU full-time faculty member and/or the Director of Heritage Resources. Interested students should begin consulting with their faculty mentors well in advance in order to develop a feasible project proposal. Priority will be given to thoughtful, structured topics that are not offered elsewhere in the undergraduate or graduate curriculum. Independent study requires that students design their own courses, create their own syllabi, and work closely with faculty mentors. Supervising professors will donate a great deal of time and effort, so students applying for independent study should be similarly committed to the project. Students must be in residence in order to undertake independent study projects. A three-credit independent study should involve at least one hour of student-faculty contact plus an additional eight hours of work per week.  It is also possible to elect two or four credit hours with appropriate changes in workload. The number of candidates accepted each quarter will vary, based on available resources and supervisory capacity.

To apply: 

  • Pick up a Directed Independent Study Permit from Connie Mallison in the Library Administration Office, 231 Haggard Hall. 
  • Working with your faculty member and member of the Heritage Resources staff, complete the permit form and attach a one-page abstract that describes goals and objectives of the Independent Study,  the desired projected learning outcomes and your qualifications to undertake the proposed project, any required resources, the expectations of the faculty supervisor, and  proposed evaluation criteria.
  • Submit your proposal to the Director of Heritage Resources and your faculty mentor for final approval.
  • Have the supervising faculty member sign the application permit.  The student will submit the permit form to the Registrar.

All proposals submitted by the Add/Drop deadline will be considered.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes:
Recommendation of an instructor from the student’s department; permission from the chair of student’s department and the Director of Heritage Resources.

For additional information, please contact Elizabeth Joffrion, Director of Heritage Resources, Western Libraries (360-650-3283 or Elizabeth.Joffrion@wwu.edu ).