Independent Study Options
There are FIVE major types of independent study opportunities available in Human Development. Of these, the Internship (Hum Dev 497) counts as an elective course (from the 2007-2008 catalog onwards), and the others are all strongly recommended.
Not only will doing an independent study help build critical skills (e.g., writing and reviewing literature) but it will provide you with an opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member.
Yes, this means that faculty member will get to know you better and may be able to write you a stronger letter of recommendation if so needed.
Almost all independent study experiences require a minimum GPA of 3.0, and some have additional pre-requisites in terms of GPA, year and school, and so on. Availability is limited, so contact faculty early. Typically these experiences are arranged with faculty at about the time of course registration for that term (e.g., in November for the following Spring semester or in March/April for the following Fall). Check individual faculty members research interests (and on their websites) for ideas about what to work on. See your advisor for more details.
HUM DEV 495 - Teaching Assistantship
You will learn what it takes to teach a class. This will include readings on how to teach, write exams, manage classroom behavior, and give lectures. You will also learn about different theoretical perspectives, empirical research, and pedagogical techniques relating to teaching that you can apply to a broad array of future teaching and learning experiences.
HUM DEV 496 - Research Assistantship
RAs assist faculty in conducting research. Responsibilities may include literature reviews, library investigations, questionnaire development, recruitment and interviewing of research participants, data collection, management of research studies, data entry, and some statistical analyses.
HUM DEV 497 - Internship
Internships involve supervised practical experience in an organization or activity appropriate to your career interests that applies knowledge of human development. Internships are sponsored by individual faculty members and require periodic student/faculty meetings and academic work, such as a final research paper. Interns also have supervisors of their work located at the internship site itself, and there is communication between the supervisor and faculty sponsor. [See the Human Development website for a list of some possible internships. Before you do anything else, though, you should carefully review the policies, the procedures for setting up an internship, and all prerequisites.]
HUM DEV 498 - Independent Study
Independent study is offered on an individual basis. It consists of a program of learning activities planned in consultation with a faculty member. If you want to study an area not represented in available scheduled courses you should develop a preliminary proposal on a specific topic first and then contact a faculty member with expertise in that area (see the Chair if you do not know who to approach).
HUM DEV 478 - Honors in the Major
This is similar to the 498 above, but it requires more in-depth study, typically involves conducting your own research, and is limited by University policy to students who have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major and a 3.75 or higher across their upper-level courses in the major. Doing one gets you special mention in the graduation program. This is separate from all-university honors.