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Header-Program Handbook

Directed Study

Overview of Directed Study
Proposal for Directed Study

Overview of Directed Study
Directed Study is designed to provide effective leadership and guidance to students wishing to undertake supervised elements of study that are not offered elsewhere across the University. While students are expected to select courses whenever possible from the available structured academic offerings, students may pursue through directed study a full composite of courses comprising a primary or supportive focus within their degree program.

Each directed study course is fully structured to allow pursuit of clearly defined objectives and a detailed examination of competencies. The directed study courses are designed around the same high standards, requirements, expectancies and delivery styles as our fully structured offerings. Under directed study, however, the student and qualified instructor collaboratively establish and pursue the topics of study.

Directed study courses are structured according to delivery styles proven effective for adult students including supervised advanced reading courses, special student-designed projects, and outside professional training.

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Proposal for Directed Study
Students wishing to undertake a directed study course will need to prepare a proposal for study covering each of the following points, and submit for feedback and approval from the course instructor, before initiating any credit-bearing studies:

Naming the Course
Specify the course name and number and select an appropriate suffix for the course title. For instance, should your special focus will be the assessment of special student populations, the exact title of the course will be, for example, XXX 790: Assessment of Special Student Populations (3 credits)

The course prefix is selected from department, school or institute within which the course should be situated. The first directed study course number in each area of study is designated 790 and additional courses are numbered 791 through 799. The course title is descriptive of the defined area of study, such as: "Assessment of Special Student Populations." The course credit 1 through 6 credits is assigned by the course instructor on the basis of 50 hours of overall study per credit.

Topics for Study
List the important topics for study that will be included in this course.

Course Objectives
Briefly list the objectives for the course, indicating the competencies, skills and knowledge to be gained through completion of the course. These learning objectives should be described as outcomes in measurable terms. For example: The student will understand, or be able to perform, or will then be prepared to effectively administer, and so on.

Learning Materials
List at least one primary textbook available to the student and associated with the main topics listed for this course. Also include a brief bibliography of other important learning resources (journals, videotapes, conferences, field sites and so on).

Timetable for Study
Clarify the timetable for student communications and course completion prior to initiating any studies related to the course. Early in the conduct of a directed study course, the student should make telephone contact with the instructor for the purpose of establishing the plan of action and scheduling the timeline and mode of communications for the duration of the course. While the student is expected to carry out and complete all assignments and meet the expectations of the instructor within 17 weeks from the start date, and not less than 8 weeks, students are encouraged to pursue the course requirements according to a timetable negotiated with the course instructor.

Importance of the Course
Explore the potential benefits to the student s personal, scholarly, and professional development. Explain the importance or the need for the studies. Clarify how the course might contribute to the betterment of the student s community, profession, environment or academic discipline. Identify the settings and locations and describe the situation within which the studies will be conducted. Include contact information (full address, telephone number, and email address), as appropriate, for outside sponsor organizations involved with you in the conduct of your studies in this course.

Learning Activities
Identify in detail the primary study tasks and learning activities that will be undertaken and their sequence in the conduct of the studies and carefully describe the expected outcomes.

Literature Review
In all directed study courses, students are expected to conduct a library and Internet search for scholarly literature in texts and journals specifically related to the selected topics under investigation within the course, under the direction and guidance of the instructor. By design, this should be an exhaustive but narrow and well-focused gathering of literature within the defined area under investigation with emphasis upon applied issues in the degree field. Review the literature and assess its effectiveness, as a tool for the application of theories, principles, and practices (philosophical, historical, socio-cultural, and global implications for the field) within the professional arena under investigation. Make journal notations concerning the salient points of all readings and prepare an annotated bibliography that identifies the many ways the literature informs practice or readies you for more advanced studies.

Field Observations
It is acceptable that the student gathers observations from within the professional arena that is under inspection within the academic readings. This may include simple personal observation, as well as interviews, field investigations and brief research ventures. Journal notations are especially important, concerning the ways in which the professional arena informs the student s understandings of applied issues within the special area of study. Students should note and define any situations in which the workplace (field site) demonstrates or fails to demonstrate the effectiveness of theories, principles and practices, as presented in the readings. The student should formally summarize these notations in chronological order in a formal written report for review.

Minimum Course Evaluation
It is best that the student be directed to complete a paper or project report containing a scholarly discussion of findings from these studies. In such papers, it is best if students identify differences between theoretical (from the readings) and applied elements (from the field observations), identifying and clarifying incongruities, and proposing solutions to better understanding observed differences. Deviations within this assignment may be negotiated with the instructor but some form of written or recorded information must be submitted for faculty review.

Additional Thoughts
As appropriate, include complete information on the following factors:

  • Clarify the accommodations and services the student must provide in the conduct of the special studies and how these will be attained.
  • As necessary, identify the insurance coverage that protects you, this University and any involved outside institution from liability claims.
  • State the itinerary for traveling to and from the field sites, as appropriate.
  • If your studies will involve research with human subjects or live animals, provide necessary assurances that all laws and codes of ethics are adhered to in the studies.
  • Clarify that you have attained proper papers and medical clearance by submission of photocopies or letters of attestation.
  • Name of Administrator in Charge of the organization within which the special studies will be conducted, if applicable. Attach a statement signed by administrator(s) of the organization(s) cooperating with the student in the conduct of the special project indicating agreement with the terms of the special project proposal. The statement should authorize the student to undertake aspects of the special project within the organization s facilities, including the cooperation of the appropriate personnel.

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Akamai University is internationally accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Colleges (ASIC). The University has earned Premier status with ASIC for its commendable areas of operation. ASIC is an approved accrediting body for the purposes of compliance by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is a member of the British Quality Foundation (BQF), sits on the Quality Standards Group of UK NARIC, and is one of a number of international accrediting bodies listed in the international directory by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in the USA and is a member of the CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG).

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