Center for Integrative Studies

http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/cis/

Director, 2013-14: Dana Gross (Psychology, and Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary and General Studies), developmental psychology

Program Coordinator, 2013-14: Susan Carlson

Faculty advisors of individual majors 2013-14 include: Brian Bjorklund (Theater); Cynthia Book (Exercise Science); Laurel Carrington (History); Irve Dell (Studio Art); Shelly Dickinson (Psychology, Neuroscience); Todd Edwards (Theater); Steve Edwins (Art and Art History); Gary Gisselman (Theater); Mary Griep (Studio Art); Olaf Hall-Holt (Computer Science); Joan Hepburn (English, Race and Ethnic Studies); Judy Kutulas (History, Women and Gender Studies); Joseph Mbele (English); Jean Porterfield (Biology); Anthony Roberts (Dance); Matt Rohn (Art History, Environmental Studies); Steve Soderlin (Economics); Bill Sonnega (Theater, Film and Media Studies); Charles Taliaferro (Philosophy); Anne Walter (Biology); Jean Willcoxon (Theater); Tom Williamson (Sociology/Anthropology); Karen Wilson (Theater)

In the Center for Integrative Studies (CIS), established in 1999, “integrative studies” refers to learning that intentionally combines diverse methods, experiences, learning styles, subject matters, and on- or off-campus resources. The college has a long-standing commitment to integrative studies, evident in its many successful interdisciplinary majors and concentrations, in the success of the Paracollege program (1969-2000), and in the faculty’s ability to combine diverse approaches to course subjects. The CIS's principal activity is to support students who plan and carry out individual, integrative majors and to help students identify and pursue opportunities for integrative learning on and off campus. In all these activities, the goal of the CIS is to enhance the coherence of students’ academic careers by encouraging them to make meaningful connections among the many parts of their educational experience and by helping them build bridges between the college and other communities.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE MAJOR

THE INDIVIDUAL MAJOR

The CIS is the academic home for students pursuing self-designed, integrative majors. Students propose a sequence of courses, seminars, independent studies, or experiential learning as the means of pursuing an individual major. Proposals must include (1) a description of the proposed area of study; (2) a list of 11-12 courses and other learning experiences, with an explanation of how each contributes to the major; (3) an initial proposal for a senior integrative project; and (4) a summary of the student’s preparation to carry out the proposed major. Each proposal must have the support of a faculty academic advisor. The coherence, depth, and feasibility of each proposal are evaluated in a faculty review convened by the CIS, after which the proposal is forwarded to a committee that gives final approval. At the end of the senior year, the student’s work in the major is presented to a CIS faculty certification committee for review. Proposals for individual majors may be submitted any time during the sophomore year and the first part of the junior year.

Recent individual majors include: Architecture and Scenic Design, Human Resource Psychology; Intercultural Medical Practice; Social and Community Development; Religion and the Visual Arts; Growing Up in America: A Systems Thinking Approach; Social Marketing and the Environment; Criminalistics; Writing for Performance; Philosophy of Religion; Photographic Theory; Organizational Communication; Digital Art and Animation; Neuroscience; Public Health Policy and Management; Health and Wellness in the Third World.

The Web Portfolio

Students with individual majors create and maintain a public web portfolio. A web portfolio preserves important learning experiences and academic work. Its web-based structure allows students to make explicit links within their own work and to the work of other students or other sites of public discussion. The web portfolio is presented to the faculty certification committee with the senior project at the end of the major.

For specific requirements for the individual major or for information about other activities of the Center for Integrative Studies, please contact the director or program coordinator.

DISTINCTION

Information about the criteria and application process for awards of distinction in the individual major is available on the CIS web site.

COURSES

INTEGRATIVE SENIOR PROJECT

All senior integrative projects include work during both semesters of the senior year. For the fall term students choose a level III course or other experience closely related to the topics and activities of the major and senior project, or, in consultation with their faculty advisor, may enroll in IS 391: Senior Project I, an independent course graded on a P/N basis. During the spring term, students must enroll in IS 392: Senior Project II, which involves the completion and public presentation of the senior project. A brief description of the student's major and senior project appears on the official transcript.

Students may also register independent study (298), independent research (398), or internships (294/394) through the CIS, if the supervising faculty member advises that as the appropriate course designation.

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

391 Senior Project I

392 Senior Project II

394 Internship

398 Independent Research