WINTER STUDY COMMITTEE
To: Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors
If you have an idea for a 99 that you wish to undertake this coming January, you need to get started now. After reading the "Winter Study Program (WSP) 99s” which includes guidelines for what makes a good 99, you should contact potential faculty sponsors as soon as possible. (If you are considering pursuing an economics 99, in addition to reading the brochure, you should reference the "Economics Department Guidelines for WSP Internships and Other 99's" online—web.williams.edu/Registrar/winterstudy/economics.html. If you are considering pursuing an anthropology or sociology 99, you should reference the “Anthropology & Sociology Guidelines for WSP Independent Projects” online—www.williams.edu/Registrar/winterstudy/anso.html.) The 99 application is available online at web.williams.edu/Registrar/winterstudy/99direct.html. The timetable for application is:
Before September 24. Discuss project with potential faculty sponsor(s). Conduct background library research needed to construct a credible bibliography. Identify any resources (library materials, audio visual equipment, computers, etc.) that will be needed and confirm that they will be available. For internships and research apprenticeships, obtain a letter confirming the position (due December 1st at latest; include with application if possible). For academic programs, a formal brochure detailing the dates and course of study must be submitted to the Registrar's Office.
September 24. Completed application is due to faculty sponsor. If the faculty member agrees to sponsor the project, the applications will be passed on to the department for review and, if acceptable to the department, to the Winter Study Committee for a final review. THE WINTER STUDY COMMITTEE STRESSES THAT REJECTIONS OF INDEPENDENT PROJECTS MAY BE APPEALED ONLY ON THE GROUNDS THAT THE COMMITTEE WAS MISTAKEN IN REJECTING THE PROPOSAL. STUDENTS MAY NOT REDRAFT OR REVISE INADEQUATE PROPOSALS. It behooves you, therefore, to develop a strong proposal in the first place. There will be no second chances.
Please note that you still need to register for Winter Study. Registration will take place online from 14 October-18 October. At that time, you will register for your first choice (Note: if you are proposing a 99, that MUST BE your first choice)
Again, we urge you to start working on your proposal now. It takes time to construct a proposal that effectively conveys the creative or intellectual focus of your project and sets forth a clear, workable, structure. Most students report that the time and effort required to put together a successful proposal is paid back in the form of a richer experience during January. We look forward to reading your proposal.
Winter Study Program (WSP) 99s
The WSP offers sophomores, juniors and seniors the opportunity to pursue special projects of their own design, called 99s. A WSP 99 may provide potential benefits that, although difficult to obtain in regular semester classes, are valuable to your education and development. The Winter Study Committee (WSC) encourages 99 proposals for projects that are intellectually challenging, coherent, and rewarding.
Project proposals for 99s that do not contain a clear intellectual challenge, are not coherent or do not have adequate faculty guidance will be rejected. The burden of proving the merit and feasibility of the project rests with the student. The WSC will be concerned about how the applicant proposes to complete the project and the sponsor’s method of evaluation. Plan to prepare a paper of at least 10 pages or its equivalent. It is crucial that the focus and content of the paper be carefully delineated prior to submitting your proposal. Discuss this fully with your faculty sponsor. Papers should demonstrate outside research, comprehensive thought, and knowledge assimilated and applied. A daily journal alone or a paper that is merely a reflection on your experience will not satisfy the requirement.
Off-campus 99s must demonstrate the educational value of working elsewhere, and should not be substitutions for courses that could be taken in the regular semester. Projects that take students away from campus, therefore, should be thought of as exceptional.
A student cannot revise a proposal AFTER it is approved by the sponsoring department unless the Winter Study Committee requests additional information.
NOTE: There is no funding for 99s beyond that available from the College for financial aid students. Students should not solicit funding from departments or other College sources; those who do so will be disqualified from pursuing an independent study course for Winter Study.
Types of 99 projects that are educationally valid
Checklist of essentials for 99 proposals
1) find sponsor(s)
2) develop a project with intellectual content
3) do preliminary research, develop a bibliography, and formulate a proposal
4) complete forms
5) register for winter study and observe deadlines carefully
Special Notes for Travel 99s
For off-campus 99s, it is important that you are aware of the dangers (violence, health risks, traffic dangers), discomforts (weather and climate, travel, long waits, availability, or lack thereof, of sanitary facilities) and realities of the trip (potential disappointments, planned visits disrupted, contacts not coming through, location not as nice as it seemed). The websites for the State Department (http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html) and the Center for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/travel) offer complete information concerning pertinent political, criminal and health dangers. Before proposing an off-campus 99, you should note that if you are enrolled in a 101-102 language course you may be required to take the sustaining Program during the WSP and thus remain on campus. If you are a junior or senior, you should also check the Bulletin to see whether your major department(s), or program(s), requires you to take an on-campus WSP. Although it is a College rule that students may not be paid for work earning credit, the WSC will allow a student with an off-campus 99 project to receive living expenses, which may be offered for this purpose and not as pay. The request to receive this living allowance must be approved by your faculty sponsor, the department and the WSC.
Other Special Notes
If you are considering pursuing an Economics 99, in addition to reading the instructions given above, you should reference the “Economics Department Guidelines for WSP Internships and Other 99s” which is available online (web.williams.edu/Registrar/winterstudy/economics.html). If you are considering pursuing an Anthropology or Sociology 99, you should reference the “Anthropology & Sociology Guidelines for WSP Independent Projects” which is available online (web.williams.edu/Registrar/winterstudy/anso.html).
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