A research university provides many opportunities for undergraduates to learn in settings that suit a wide variety of learning styles, talents, and professional aspirations. Beyond the classroom lie opportunities for individual and collaborative research projects, creative literary work, the plastic and performing arts, service learning and internships, distance and distributive learning, overseas study, and a range of other activities. To track an idea from its genesis in research to its application as the solution of a contemporary problem, students must be able to take advantage of all these learning modalities.
We know that students learn differently, based upon their personal talents and preferences for different learning environments. We know that some students learn best when deeply engaged in personal programs of individual research, while others acquire knowledge most effectively from their peers, in collaborative efforts.
For that reason, USC College offers a new curricular structure that enables nontraditional learning experiences to be credited at this university and across institutions, while promoting opportunities for collective learning.
The USC Dornsife program of Collaborative Learning Projects (CLP) allows two or more students to propose a research project or another opportunity for collective learning. Students identify the project and the learning objectives to be achieved, and a faculty committee reviews each proposal to decide if it is well-conceived educational experience and, if so, to determine the unit value to be awarded. Collaborative Learning Projects award only CREDIT or NO CREDIT grades.
For example, two students who have completed internships with the Southern California Earthquake Center might propose a research project on the San Andreas Fault over the summertime, and a website to share what they have learned; or a handful of students in music and theatre might propose a traveling troupe, following research on the Commedia dell' Arte. Each group would earn four to eight credits that could be applied by their home departments toward the major, if appropriate.
A student may count no more than eighteen units toward the degree through a combination of Individual Programs of Study and Collaborative Learning Projects.
MDA 460 Collaborative Learning Project: [Subtitle, e.g., Commedia dell ‘Arte]
(4-8, max 8 units)
A project approved by a faculty committee, requiring students to collaborate on research or an original work in the literary, plastic, or performing arts. Graded CR/NC.
Students may count a maximum of eighteen units toward the degree, between MDA 450 and MDA 460. These classes are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
For further information, contact Richard Fliegel, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, USC Dornsife at 213.740.2961 or firstname.lastname@example.org.