By: Matthias Baudinet
Academics at Green Mountain College are not like your typical liberal arts school. The Environmental Liberal Arts curriculum are evidence of that. Green Mountain College also offers Independent Study classes for students who wish to learn more about a specific subject. Granted, Independent Studies are common in many other liberal arts schools, but the way that Green Mountain does it benefits the student greatly.
Firstly, the proposal and approval/disapproval process of the Independent Study is not time consuming nor is it stringent. The proposal form is easily accessible and rather self-explanatory. Your advisor is also always there to help you as mine was when I proposed an Independent Study this past semester which I will take this coming fall.
All one has to do is fill out the proposal form, get your advisor’s signature, and the signature of the professor whom you wish to teach the class. You must make the class syllabus which is a great skill to learn. You must select the books and explain why they are useful for the proposed Independent Study. This process really relies a lot on your commitment on the topic. You can also choose to do a group Independent Study where a group of 2-4 student can join-up and take the Independent Study together.
This past semester I opted to make the French Revolution class that was cancelled an Independent Study that I will be able to take this coming fall with professor Matt Osborn. The topic is something that I am deeply interested in and that I look forward to studying more in detail. Green Mountain allows students to really challenge themselves and truly promotes academic rigor. At such a small school, this is crucial in developing responsibility over our own academic success and endeavors. Independent studies are something that does just this, and I recommend to all my fellow students at Green Mountain to take advantage of this as often as they can.