Off-Campus Learning Opportunities
Austin College encourages the pursuit of off-campus programs and projects by all students at some point in their college careers. Many of its January term offerings, summer institutes, and non-credit programs provide the means for enriched educational experiences. Field study opportunities are available during the regular academic year and during the summer as well.
Internship Experiences afford students special opportunities not normally available in the classroom. These include career exploration, clarifying interests and skills, networking with professionals, and applying a liberal arts education to “real world” problems. Some internships are available through academic departments while others are administered through Career Services.
Career Study Off-Campus (CSOC)
A student may earn a maximum of three course credit units through Career Study Off-Campus (referred to as field study or internship; course number 290) during a 14-week term and a maximum of two course credit units during the summer. During the January term, one such study course can be taken. Of the total number of course credit units required for the Bachelor of Arts degree, not more than six can be Career Study Off-Campus courses. Courses are graded on an S/D/U basis.
Eligibility requirements for students proposing a Career Study Off-Campus:
- Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the study is undertaken
- Minimum 5 cumulative grade point average
- Successful completion of non-credit training workshop on self-directed learning
- Faculty instructor who will agree to evaluate the student’s CSOC
- Site supervisor must agree to oversee and ensure that the student’s goals and objectives are met. The supervisor also must complete an evaluation for the student upon the completion of the CSOC.
Proposed studies must be of the student’s own design and be carried out on-site or at a location that provides the student with a substantive view of the work performed in that particular profession. A student will work with an on-site coordinator or supervisor (a qualified individual who can assist and/or partially direct the study). Proposals should reflect substantial academic, intellectual content and contain clear and concise goal statements, learning objectives, and resources used, as well as some type of tangible end product to be evaluated by the instructor. All proposed studies must be approved by the most appropriate department chair and divisional dean.
Further information regarding specific deadlines, procedures, and workshop dates as well as assistance in the selection and design of various studies is available through the director of Career Study Off-Campus in Career Services in the Adams Center.
Global Outreach “GO” Fellowship Program
GO Fellowships are intended to provide meaningful and potentially life-changing experiences for a select group of Austin College students while benefiting the communities they target. Specifically designed for non-profit projects and internships, applicants dedicate part of their summer to meaningful community development projects domestically or abroad. Ten to 15 Austin College students are selected annually as Global Outreach Fellows and stipends support their projects and their participation in the projects or internships. For more information contact the internship coordinator in Career Services by early February.
The Study Abroad program aims to facilitate global awareness and promote intercultural understanding by supporting curricular opportunities in international venues.
The program has three general goals:
- Students gain in global awareness and intercultural understanding by taking part in semester or year abroad and by programmatic interaction with students who have completed international experiences.
- Students who study abroad will make gains in global awareness and intercultural understanding.
- Austin College faculty will be engaged in assessment, advice, and sponsorship of study abroad opportunities consistent with broad curricular aims.
Austin College emphasizes the international education of its students and arranges a variety of experiences throughout the world. Our students go overseas for cultural and language immersion, to pursue work in their majors, to take electives, and to engage in internships. Study abroad, when planned by the student in conjunction with the Study Abroad Office, is an integral part of the student’s degree program. Credit from study abroad is treated as transfer credit by Austin College and is converted at the rate of four semester hours being equal to one Austin College course credit. Students may petition for study abroad transfer credit to be applied to graduation requirements.
Students select from an extensive list of approved programs based on the college’s affiliations with selected organizations and foreign and U.S. institutions. Summer programs also are available especially for language immersion and internships. (See College Costs section for information on study abroad program costs.) Study abroad benefits students in all majors within humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Students can study their chosen major or minor while gaining insight into language and culture of the host country.
Students interested in applying for a semester or year abroad should begin the information and advising process as early as possible, in their first year on campus if possible. The initial step of application is to contact the student’s academic mentor and the Study Abroad Office for advice and counsel. To qualify, the student must have a good academic record, must have demonstrated sufficient maturity and self-discipline to benefit from such study, and, in some cases, must provide evidence of competence in the language of the host country. Students are not eligible to participate in the study abroad program while on probation.
Independent Study Off-Campus (NSOC)
These courses (numbered 492) afford students an opportunity to carry out independent study at off-campus locations, quite frequently abroad. The criteria (3.00 cumulative grade point average, junior or senior class standing, and depth of preparation) and the approval process for qualifying for an NSOC are the same as for Independent Studies. Students should demonstrate that the off-campus site for the study is essential to the success of the project. Additionally, students must identify an on-site contact person located at the place of study. Ordinarily, students develop NSOC projects for summer or January terms and only one course credit may be earned for such a study. A few program units offer an intermediate-level NSOC (numbered 292). The course is open to sophomore students and the requirements are similar to NSOC 492.
Extension or Correspondence Courses
A maximum of eight approved course credit units by extension or correspondence from an accredited college or university may be accepted toward the Bachelor of Arts degree at Austin College. Not more than one-half of this total may be correspondence study. A student enrolled at Austin College may obtain credit for correspondence or extension studies at another institution only if written permission of the registrar has been secured before undertaking the course or courses. Credit to be applied to the major or minor will be accepted only if similar approval has been secured from the department chair or program director.
The Washington Semester Program
Each semester students may participate in the Washington Semester Program where they spend the fall or spring semester studying at American University, working in a related internship, and pursuing a guided research project. Available programs typically include: American Politics and Policy, Public Health, Transforming Communities, Sustainable Development, Peace and Conflict Resolution, International Law and Organizations, The Middle East and World Affairs, Justice and Law, Global Economics & Business, Foreign Policy, and Journalism & New Media. Many of these programs include the opportunity to study abroad during part of the semester.
All interested students must meet with Nathan Bigelow in the Political Science Department at least 12 months prior to the start of the semester for which they are interested in attending. The application process (both internal and external) and complexities of the funding process require careful discussion and planning.
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC)
AFROTC is a nationwide program that allows students to pursue commissions (become officers) in the United States Air Force (USAF) while simultaneously attending college. AFROTC classes are held on college campuses throughout the United States and Puerto Rico; students can register through normal course registration processes. AFROTC consists of four years of Aerospace Studies classes (Foundations of the USAF, Evolution of USAF and Space Power, Air Force Leadership Studies, and National Security Affairs/Preparation for Active Duty), and a corresponding Leadership Laboratory for each year (where students apply leadership skills, demonstrate command and effective communication, develop physical fitness, and practice military customs and courtesies). College students enrolled in the AFROTC program (known as “cadets”) who successfully complete both AFROTC training and college degree requirements will graduate and simultaneously commission as Second Lieutenants in the Active Duty Air Force.
The AFROTC program is currently offered at Austin College, which has a crosstown agreement that allows our students to enroll in AFROTC and become full-fledged cadet participants. Visit the AFROTC Detachment 835 at the University of North Texas for more information.