Propose a Course

We require that you work within the departmental structure of the College and submit your course through a department even if it is to be listed as “Special”. We also recommend that you make contact with a relevant department chair well in advance of the deadlines.

Faculty and adjuncts must submit:

  • Travel course proposals by Friday, March 9
  • Regular course proposals by Friday, April 6

Departments must submit Winter Study curriculum to Barbara Casey for review by the Winter Study Committee by April 14:

  • regular course descriptions
  • final descriptions for pre-approved travel courses
  • adjunct offerings
  • budget requests

Please use the Winter Study Course Proposal form to submit both travel and regular course proposals.

When submitting a course, please adhere to the established guidelines and submit all the requested information outlined below.

  • Department Designation

    If a course could logically be cross-listed with another department, please contact that department to determine if it should be cross-listed in the catalog.  It is also important to contact departments before course proposals are submitted if there is potential for overlap of subject material.

    The Registrar’s Office will assign course numbers.

    All proposals must be submitted through a department even if the course is to be listed as "Special." The department or its chair will evaluate the proposal before sending it on to the Committee.

  • Description

    In addition to describing the topic of the course, the description should address the following points. If you have any questions concerning your project description, please consult your department.

    a.     Method of evaluation: Please state as plainly as possible what method of evaluation you will use. In the majority of cases, the student's work should result in a substantial research paper. The WSC requires that the paper be a minimum of ten pages or its equivalent (e.g., a performance, showing, or oral presentation.)

    b.    Required activities: The course description should contain a statement of the nature and frequency of meetings and outside assignments. As a minimum, instructors should meet with students for 6 hours per week. Additional meetings and assignments should require a minimum of 20 hours per week. If a field trip or other outside activity is mandatory, please state this explicitly. Where the instructor or sponsor considers them appropriate, student performances or exhibitions should be listed among the course requirements.

    c.     Prerequisites: In order to encourage students to venture outside their normal pattern of course elections, the Committee favors offering a good number of WS projects that do not have extensive prerequisites. If your course requires unusual prerequisites, we urge you to poll potential students to see if sufficient demand for the course exists. If there are no prerequisites, please state so.

    d.    Enrollment: "Limited to 15" represents an average enrollment limit, but we ask that departments strike a balance between low- and high-enrollment courses. There is an upper limit of 30 for any WS project.

    e.     Student selection criteria: Please state as plainly as possible how the participants are to be selected from among the applicants—e.g., "Preference to Seniors."

    f.      Meeting times: Instructors should list their preference for morning or afternoon. The "Division of the Day” applies to WSP as it does to the regular semesters, except that during Winter Study, the 9-9:50 a.m. time slot is reserved for foreign language sustaining programs. In other words, Winter Study courses may not meet earlier than 10 a.m. nor later than 4 p.m. Any required activities outside 10 a.m.-4 p.m. must be included in the course description.

    g.     Cost to student: Estimate the cost per student of materials or trips required.  Textbook costs should be included in cost estimates. Make sure that you include photocopy costs for any reading packets. A specific dollar amount needs to be stated in order for students to be eligible for Financial Aid (e.g., approximately $50 for books).

    h.    Instructor's name: For adjuncts, follow the name with "(instructor)." Also include a brief description about the adjunct.

    i.      Sponsor's Name: If the instructor is not a member of the Williams College faculty, then a sponsor from the Williams College faculty must be listed.

  • Budget

    The WSC has a modest budget to help defray costs incurred by instructors during the Winter Study Period. Those costs typically include films, records and tapes, and outside speakers and are not intended to cover photocopy costs for reading packets handed out to students.  The maximum budget allocation for a course is

    $425. It is unlikely that additional funds will be available during the course of Winter Study.

    To request funds, please list and total on the form to accompany course descriptions your anticipated needs in the following categories:

    a.     speakers

    b.     field trips

    c.     films

    d.     materials

    e.     other (explain)

    Courses without a budget request will receive a budget of zero.

  • Special Needs

    (resources, facilities, handicap access, etc.) We need to know if the course requires:

    a.     unusual demands on the Library

    b.     audio-visual equipment

    c.     access to computers and particular software

    d.     laboratory equipment

    e.     atypical classroom space (performance space, dance space, studio space, darkroom facilities, etc.)

  • Sample Course Description

    PHYS XXX    Introduction to Photography
    This course provides an introduction to the basic technical and creative aspects of black and white photography. Students will develop a working understanding of an SLR 35 mm camera as well as the developing and printing processes, and be encouraged to use these tools as a means to personal expression. Some of the major concepts in Photography's aesthetic history will be introduced and explored through slide lectures, videos, and assignments. Supervised lab sessions and group critiques will provide feedback on student work.

    Evaluation will be based on completion of photographic assignments and a class presentation, with attention to content, effort, and development of the work. Attendance and participation will also be taken into account.

    Exhibition of work on the last day of Winter Study is required.

    We will meet twice a week for three-hour sessions, with extra supervised lab times scheduled in accordance to our needs. Most shooting and darkroom work will be completed outside of class.

    Enrollment limited to 20.

    Cost to student: $75. Students must supply their own fully adjustable (manual option) 35 mm camera. Meeting time: afternoons.

     

    CECILIA HIRSCH (Instructor) STRAIT (Sponsor)

     

    Cecilia Hirsch, a local photographer, holds an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and has taught photography at a variety of institutions including the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Boston and Bowdoin College.