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Tai Sophia Institute MS in Nutrition and Integrative Health program Independent Study Elective

What is the purpose of the Independent Study? The purpose of the independent study is for the student to have the opportunity to tailor their studies within the Nutrition program to meet specific desired competencies that are not a part of the formal curriculum. The IS can also serve as an opportunity for students to engage in research or practical experience that applies learning from the core nutrition curriculum. How many hours is an Independent Study? Each credit of an Independent Study (IS) consists of 37.5 clock hours of documented work. NUTR 699a is 1 credit = 37.5 hours of work NUTR 699b is 2 credits = 75 hours of work NUTR 699c is 3 credits = 112.5 hours of work. Each IS course needs to be completed in the trimester you register. If you expect to take longer than one trimester for a bigger project, then you can divide the project into parts. For instance, you can register for a 1-credit IS (NUTR699a) in both summer and fall to equal a 2credit project for a total of 75 hours of work. How do I design my Independent Study? In designing an Independent Study, students should reflect on the following questions: 1) How will this work serve my future professional goals? 2) How will this work compliment core courses and competencies in the MSNIH program? 3) How does this project apply knowledge learned in core courses of the program? 4) What background knowledge is necessary to complete this project? 5) How many hours will this project take? 6) Do I have the time to complete this project on top of my regular core schedule? How do I select a faculty advisor? For an Independent Study course, students will select and work with a faculty advisor. The faculty member will be compensated for advising you on your IS. Ideally, students would work with a faculty member already employed at the Institute, but this is not always possible. If the preferred advisor is not currently on faculty, the student should submit a CV/resume with proposal outlined below. The faculty advisor should have a masters degree or higher in the field related to the project of choice. Special exceptions may be made by the Program Director based upon experience and level of expertise. What is the approval process? To be approved for an Independent Study, students need to submit a proposal for review by the Program Director. Proposals need to be submitted no later than 3 months prior to the desired start date. The following outline elements to include in your proposal. Your proposal should be no longer than 2-3 pages.

Draft a Proposal 1. Identify your Faculty advisor. Describe the role your faculty advisor will serve in addition to assessing your work. Include CV if preferred advisor is not currently on faculty. 2. Identify the number of credits your IS will be and the trimester you plan to complete those credits. You can refer to the Program Dates posted on the Weebly site/intranet, to see the start and end dates of each trimester. Briefly describe what you will be doing in your IS. 3. Write the Purpose, Objectives and Outcomes of your Independent Study Course. a. Describe the purpose of your IS. Your purpose might include specific topics of interest, intended goals and how the IS fits in with your larger professional goals. b. Write your learning objectives. Objectives are clear, concise statements that describe the specific skills, values or attitudes that the student will demonstrate as a result of the learning activity and IS course. Objectives are measurable. Some objectives may focus on mastery of a skill set, while others may focus on progress towards a more complex learning outcome. Writing Objectives i. Learning objectives specify both an observable behavior and the object of the behavior i.e. Students will be able to write a research paper. ii. In addition, the criterion could also be specified, i.e. Students will be able to write a research paper in the appropriate scientific style. iii. Optionally, the condition under which the behavior occurs can be specified. i.e. At the end of their field research, students will be able to write a research paper in the appropriate style. Example of a poorly written objective: This example is very vague. Students should know the historically important systems of psychology. Example of a well-written objective: In this example, the objective is more specific. It outlines WHAT the students should know and HOW they will demonstrate this knowledge. Students should be able to recognize and articulate the foundational assumptions, central ideas, and dominant criticisms of the psychoanalytic, Gestalt, behaviorist, humanistic, and cognitive approaches to psychology. a. Write outcomes for the IS course. Outcomes reflect how the course will move you towards your larger professional/career goals. Like the objectives, these statements should be clear and concise. 4. How will your IS be assessed? Identify the finished project(s) that will demonstrate you have met the outcomes and objectives of your IS. Set a due date for your final

project; you will submit this finished project to your faculty advisor by that date. Your final project could be a research paper, business plan, designed coursework, or other agreed upon form/design that your faculty advisor can use to assess your work. 5. List electronic and print resources that will assist you in your IS. If you are writing a research paper, your list may contain initial sources to start your research. If your IS includes applied learning, your list may include community resources to assist your project. 6. Include a signature from your faculty advisor approving your IS proposal.

Student Services will not register you for an Independent Study course until your proposal has been approved by the Program Director. The Program Director may recommend a specific or delayed start date if core nutrition courses in the MS in Nutrition and Integrative Health program provide essential background knowledge for the proposed work. Once a proposal is approved, notification will be sent to the student, faculty advisor, Program Coordinator and Student Services. The Program Coordinator will submit a contract to Human Enrichment for the faculty advisor to receive their honorarium. Once you complete your IS final project and submit it to your faculty advisor by the due date, your faculty advisor will submit a grade for you to Student Services. Tai Sophia operates with a Pass/Fail grading system, where 80% is passing. If you deem that you will be unable to complete your IS by the designated date of completion, you may submit a deadline extension request to your faculty advisor using the Incomplete Grade Form provided by Student Services. This request will include a new ending date no later than 4 weeks after the deadline date on the original proposal.