Jul 21, 2024  
Course Catalog 2006-2007 
Course Catalog 2006-2007 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Academic Life

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The Honor System


The Honor System helps maintain a high standard of integrity in all academic work, under the basic assumption that all work submitted is the sole and original product of the individual student. The System respects the student’s ability to maintain this standard and encourages the further development of this ability.

The System, which is supervised by the Student Honor Committee, applies to all work submitted for academic credit, such as examinations, quizzes, papers, and laboratory assignments. The system also applies to destruction, hiding, and improper removal or retention of library materials with the intent of denying others access.

The administration of the Honor System requires the collective and individual cooperation of the entire Oberlin College community and is fully explained in the document Student Regulations, Policies, and Procedures (online at http://www.oberlin.edu/students/links-life/rules-regs.html/#honor).

Winter Term


Oberlin provides a Winter Term of four weeks in January to encourage and enable students to discover the value of self-education. This term affords students an opportunity to devise and pursue programs of independent study or research and to undertake, individually or with a group, on or off campus, other projects of educational value that the structured curriculum during the academic year cannot accommodate easily.

Winter Term provides an opportunity for variations and supplements to the usual course offerings, with an emphasis on experimentation and creativity, intellectual independence, and personal responsibility. Projects may be proposed by faculty, students and occasionally by members of the administrative and professional staff and alumni. Many departments offer individual and group projects; students often devise their own projects.

Students who pursue their projects on campus can take advantage of the facilities and opportunities that Oberlin offers. Many concerts, theatrical productions, films, lectures, forums, and discussion groups that enliven Winter Term are part of on-campus projects. Typical off-campus projects include (but are not limited to) career exploration, internships, and community service.

Winter Term procedures and deadlines, and a listing of Winter Term Group Projects can be found online at http://www.oberlin.edu/wintertm.

Winter Term Credit Requirements:

  • In order to graduate from Oberlin, students pursuing a bachelor’s degree are required to earn three full Winter Term credits.
  • Transfer students must earn one credit in each Winter Term during their enrollment at Oberlin, unless this would result in more than three credits.
  • Credits are earned by completing a project, either individually or as part of a group. Individual projects require a written proposal, final report and a positive assessment of the project by the sponsor. Winter Term projects are evaluated as “completed” (Y) or “not completed” (N); no letter grades are given. Winter Term project titles and credit earned are recorded on student transcripts.
  • Winter Term projects are rated as half or full. Students may participate in one half, two halves, or one full project each Winter Term.
  • The time commitment for a half-time project is three hours per weekday; the commitment for a full-time project is five to six hours per weekday.
  • The required three Winter Term credits may be earned on or off campus, in any combination.
  • Students who plan to take a leave of absence for study abroad for an entire academic year should plan to complete Winter Term projects during each of the three years in residence, since they may not register for Winter Term while on leave for the entire year. Students on leave for one semester may register for Winter Term if they are enrolled at Oberlin for the other semester of the year and if their courses of study elsewhere do not overlap with Winter Term.
  • Winter Term credits are not the same as semester credit hours, i.e., the Winter Term credits are not included in the required 112 Arts and Sciences or 124 Conservatory semester hours.
  • Students may propose Winter Term projects from one of the following categories:
    1. Academic Study: a faculty-sponsored, academically-focused research, study, or performance project that can be conducted on- or off-campus, individually or as part of a group project.
    2. Field Experience: a learning activity that could include career exploration, social or political action, community service, or an unpaid internship.
    3. Personal Growth and Development: an opportunity to learn a skill, try something new, or pursue subject matter outside of traditional academic disciplines.
  • Only one full project (or two half projects) may be earned from category three. All three Winter Term credits may be earned from categories one and two. Student and sponsor together must determine the most appropriate category for a proposed project.
  • A student registered for Winter Term credit may not be paid for work associated with his or her project.
  • Questions about Winter Term requirements should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Studies for students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Associate Dean for students in the Conservatory of Music.

Sponsor. Every project must have an on-campus sponsor. Faculty members and, under some circumstances, members of the Administrative and Professional Staff, may serve as project sponsors. Finding a suitable sponsor is largely a matter of matching student and faculty or staff member interests.

Fees. There are no additional tuition or room fees for Winter Term. Students may purchase (or use their Oberlin College identification cards to charge) individual meals at Stevenson during Winter Term. Students may also use flex dollars that remain in their accounts from the fall semester to purchase meals at Stevenson during Winter Term.

Some projects, especially those directed by an invited specialist, require a fee from each participant to help defray expenses.

Winter Term Planning and Advising. Students should discuss their Winter Term plans with their academic advisors and potential project sponsors in October. Early planning is especially important for students who choose an internship or other individual project.

In this catalog, many departments list information about the 2006 Winter Term. For students interested in a career-related or community service project, advisors and numerous resources are available to assist them in identifying opportunities. Please see the Winter Term web site at www.oberlin.edu/winterterm for detailed information.

The First-Year Seminar Program


The First-Year Seminar Program (FYSP) offers first-year students a wide variety of low-enrollment classes to encourage critical thinking, develop discussion and writing skills, and provide a venue for intellectual exchange between students and faculty. Each seminar is limited to 14 students. First-year seminars are offered primarily in the fall semester, with a small number offered in the spring semester, by departments and programs throughout the College. Students may fulfill one-half of Oberlin’s writing proficiency or part of the quantitative proficiency requirement through a first year seminar A full listing of FYSP courses can be found in the “First-Year Seminar Program” section of this catalog. Individual departments and programs also list these courses in their curricula. For further information, please visit the program’s web site at www.oberlin.edu/fys.

Experimental College (ExCo)


For students who wish to pursue topics outside the normal course offerings of the College of Arts and Sciences or the Conservatory of Music, an important alternative is available in the Experimental College.

Experimental College (ExCo) is a student-run organization that sponsors courses (for limited academic credit) taught by members of the Oberlin community: faculty, students, administrators and townspeople. Each year a list of subjects not found in the regular curriculum is offered. Students can receive up to five hours credit toward graduation from ExCo courses; courses are typically offered for one credit. Credits earned in ExCo courses count toward the general graduation requirement; they do not satisfy any distribution, cultural diversity or other requirement. Experimental College catalogs are distributed shortly before ExCo registration, which takes place in the first week of each semester. Students must follow the academic dates and deadlines calendar for registration and course adjustments for EXCO courses.

ExCo also invites applications from individuals who wish to coordinate an ExCo course. The Experimental College Committee approves applications for courses in advance of the semester in which the course is to be offered. Student instructors may receive the number of credit hours listed for the course, plus one additional hour. More information is available at the ExCo office in Wilder Hall and online at http://www.oberlin.edu/exco.

Study Off-Campus and Abroad


Oberlin College encourages the desire of students to supplement their Oberlin experience through a program of study off-campus for credit. By providing exposure to new perspectives, participation in quality off-campus programs enriches the educational experience. Students on financial aid should consult the Office of Financial Aid before planning to participate in an off-campus program, because not all types of financial aid can be applied to off-campus programs. Further information about study away is online at http://www.oberlin.edu/studyaway.

Programs Sponsored by Individual Departments


The Danenberg Oberlin-in-London Program offers students the opportunity for intensive disciplinary and interdisciplinary study with Oberlin College and Grinnell College faculty, and to live and work with a small group of Oberlin and Grinnell students, all set within a great, diverse city. Curriculum is designed to take advantage of all that London has to offer. The program was instituted as a memorial to the late Emil Danenberg, eleventh president of Oberlin and a great friend to international education. For further details, see “London Program” in this catalog.

Studies in Spain at the University of Córdoba. Students of Spanish language, literature and culture may participate for fall, spring or both semesters in the Programa de Estudios Hispánicos en Córdoba (Spain) [PRESCHO]. This program is sponsored by a consortium comprised of Wheaton College, Oberlin College, Smith College, Trinity College, Wellesley College and the College of Wooster. Córdoba, one-time capital of Roman Spain and seat of the Muslim Caliphate, offers a unique opportunity for on-the-scene study of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian influences on Spanish culture. Courses are offered in literature, history, art, architecture, music, economics, and social and political reforms. (Please consult the catalog section for the Hispanic Studies Department.) In the fall of 2004 PRESHCO was awarded the “Distinción Santo Tomás de Aquino,” by the University of Cordoba. This is the highest honor the University can confer on a group related to the University; the award was for the quality of PRESHCO’s collaboration with the University

Oberlin in Italy is an intensive summer program in Italian language and culture sponsored by the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Based in Urbania, Italy, this month-long program includes intensive language study and the study of Italian culture, including art history, Italian opera history, literature, ceramics, drawing, and other fields. For singers, instrumentalists, and liberal arts students, the program includes musical, vocal and dramatic coaching, and performances of a chamber opera and opera scenes, and other concerts. Auditions are required for performers. Application deadline is early February. The program fee includes tuition and accommodations (choice of family or apartment). More complete information about application for this program can be found on the web at: http://www.oberlin.edu/con/summer/italy, No financial aid is available for this program.

Oberlin-in-Europe. The Euro Summer School is a seven-week intensive and multicultural program offered through a partnership with the Center for European Studies at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, and the International Studies Center of the Wirtschaftsuniversitat, Vienna, Austria. The program provides a unique opportunity for Oberlin students to mix and study with students from across Europe while experiencing firsthand the life and business cultures of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, and visiting several of the most vibrant cities in Europe. Courses in this program are taught in English and carry full Oberlin College credit; they explore the economics, institutions, and business practices shaping Europe today. As minimal preparation for the program, students need to have completed introductory economics. David Cleeton, Professor of Economics, is faculty sponsor for the program. More complete information and application forms can be found on the web at: www.oberlin.edu/oeurope.

Great Lakes Colleges Association Programs


Through its membership in the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), a consortium of 12 midwestern colleges, Oberlin College allows its students to participate in certain off-campus programs in the United States and in foreign countries. Each program is administered by a member school. Information on these programs is available from the campus liaison for each program and from the Office of the Dean of Studies in Peters Hall. Through its membership in GLCA, Oberlin offers students the opportunity for academic leaves of absence to participate in the following:

Overseas Study. GLCA recognizes one-semester or year-long programs in Europe, Russia, Japan, Kenya, and Senegal.

In the United States. GLCA recognizes the following off-campus study programs:

  • The Philadelphia Center combines work-study in a community organization with a seminar in urban affairs and an independent study project.
  • The Oak Ridge Science semester places students with research scientists working on intensive investigations and provides advanced coursework in the natural and social sciences.
  • The Newberry Library Program in the Humanities, based in Chicago, provides an opportunity for seminars and independent study with the Newberry’s rich collection of books and manuscripts.
  • The New York Arts semester provides both seminars and placements in a variety of arts areas.
  • The Borders Program based in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, is offered each fall semester. It explores the cross-boundary relationships and encounters that now shape the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Further information about consortial study away programs is available at http://www.oberlin.edu/studyaway/choosing_consortial.html.

Other Off-Campus Study Options


Inter-College Exchanges. Students may be selected each semester to participate in an exchange with Gallaudet University, the nation’s only liberal arts school for the deaf, or Fisk University, a predominantly black university in Nashville, Tennessee. Sophomores and juniors in good academic standing and an interest in intergroup relations are eligible to apply. Application for these programs should be made through the Office of the Dean of Studies.

Oberlin Affiliated Programs. Oberlin College academic departments and programs have affiliations with approximately 80 U.S. and abroad programs and institutions. Oberlin Affiliated Programs are offered in nearly all parts of the world and cover a broad range of curricular opportunities. Affiliation indicates that the program has been recommended by the faculty of a department or program and approved by the Off Campus Study Committee. In addition, students who receive approval to participate in affiliated programs may apply Oberlin financial aid to the program costs within the specified guidelines.

The Office of the Dean of Studies maintains a list of Oberlin Affiliated Programs. Detailed information about these and other programs is available in the Study Away Library in Peters Hall and online at http://www.oberlin.edu/studyaway/choosing_affiliated.html.

Center for Service and Learning


In keeping with Oberlin’s historic commitment to thoughtful civic engagement, the Center for Service and Learning promotes the integration of intellectual inquiry, artistic development and community involvement.

Each year, over 1,000 Oberlin College students serve organizations and individuals in the surrounding communities. This involvement allows students to explore issues of personal and intellectual concern while becoming active members of their community.

The Center for Service and Learning links students with community organizations providing educational service opportunities that satisfy community needs. Students interested in opportunities for socially relevant research or in developing community-service programs receive consultation and assistance. The Center also offers several programs that enable participants to better understand how their efforts can contribute to long-term, systemic solutions to social problems. For more information, please visit www.oberlin.edu/csl.

The Office of Career Services


Career Services helps students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music identify and achieve meaningful career objectives that synthesize their Oberlin educations and experiences. The office provides high-quality advising as well as opportunities, resources, and programs for students to engage actively in an on-going career development process that includes:

  1. acquiring exposure to a broad range of career fields;
  2. assessing career interests, skills, and values;
  3. gaining experience to clarify and achieve career goals, developing and practicing presentation skills that integrate information about themselves, their academic skills, extracurricular activities and work experience; and learning about and implementing effective search strategies for finding employment, internships, performance opportunities, and post-graduate education.

The Office of Career Services and its main library are located in Longman Commons, Stevenson Hall. The Career Resource Center in the Conservatory of Music is located in Robertson Hall 129. Both are open Monday through Friday. The office maintains a comprehensive web site to make resources easily accessible to students at www.oberlin.edu/career. Students should make an appointment with a career advisor during their first or second year at Oberlin. To make an appointment, call the main office at 440-775-8140. Drop-in times are also available at the Conservatory of Music’s Career Resource Center. For specific times, please see the web site www.oberlin.edu/career.

Honorary Societies


Phi Beta Kappa. The Zeta of Ohio Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established at Oberlin College in 1907. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences are elected to membership on the basis of scholarly achievement, broad cultural interests and good character. Rules of eligibility are established in accordance with regulations of the national society. Among other requirements, students must have completed at least nine credit hours, of which up to four may be AP credit, in each of the three divisions of the College of Arts and Sciences and must have taken at least two-thirds of their hours for letter grades. Most students are elected in the spring of their senior year; spring election for second-semester juniors is also possible for students with truly exceptional academic records. The total number of students elected from any class will not ordinarily exceed 10 percent of those expected to receive the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Society of the Sigma Xi. The Oberlin Chapter of the Society of the Sigma Xi was established in 1941 for the promotion of scientific research. Any graduate student who has shown noteworthy achievement as an original investigator in some field of pure or applied science may be elected as a member. Any graduate student or undergraduate student who has shown marked aptitude for research in pure or applied science may be elected as an associate member.

Pi Kappa Lambda. The Theta Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society was established in 1926 at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in order to recognize outstanding achievement in musicianship, musical leadership and scholarly attainment. Twenty percent of the Conservatory graduating seniors are eligible for election, provided the residence requirement of at least four semesters prior to graduation has been met.

Oberlin Shansi


The Oberlin Shansi is a non-profit educational exchange program affiliated with Oberlin College and institutions in China, India, Indonesia and Japan. It fosters international understanding at three levels: undergraduate, post-graduate and faculty. It offers work/study winter term and summer grants to undergraduates going to Asia and, through the Shansi Student Committee, carries out a variety of public programs on campus. To recent Oberlin graduates it offers two-year teaching fellowships at its affiliated institutions in Asia. Shansi sponsors Asian faculty and students to teach, do research, and study at Oberlin and provides grants to Oberlin faculty and staff to travel and lecture in Asia. Through its Global Education Program, Shansi provides opportunities for faculty, staff and students to introduce Asia and Asian American topics to area school systems. Further information is available online at www.oberlin.edu/shansi/programs.html