B.1.h. Winter Term
a. The Curriculum Committee is responsible for the general administration of the winter term academic program. All courses must be approved by the Curriculum Committee; the Committee may make or suggest adjustments in proposed courses in consultation with the departments concerned.
b. Each course proposal should contain the following items: title, description, class format, prerequisites, maximum effective size, budgetary requests (if any). Winter Term courses should include recommendations concerning academic distribution and cultures and civilization distribution requirements.
c. The same grading system applies to all students taking a particular course for credit. Winter Term courses are graded on an A-F basis unless special arrangements are made through the Curriculum Committee (e.g., occasional independent projects or other courses where the instructor decides that the special nature of the course is better suited to honors/pass/fail grading). Exceptions are internships and student-led courses, which are graded credit/no credit. All winter term course work must be completed by the end of the winter term. Grades of incomplete will be submitted according to existing procedures, and such work must be satisfactorily completed by the last day of classes of the following spring term.
2. Winter Term Course Structure and General Procedures
a. Departments are encouraged to designate winter term courses as acceptable for credit toward majors and minors. Unless an exception is granted by the Curriculum Committee, enrollment will normally be limited to 22 students per instructor in any winter term course, 38 for a team-taught course, and 18 for language courses (per instructor). The enrollment limit for a winter term course that satisfies the College Writing requirement will be 12 students.
b. All members of the faculty not on leave or released time are expected to contribute regularly to the winter term curriculum. During winter term, faculty and students are involved in only one academic credit bearing course, providing unique opportunities for study. Among these are extensive field work, independent study, internships, senior work, and interdisciplinary study. A minimum of eight contact hours per week is required for all winter term courses.
c. A minimum of two and a maximum of four winter term courses will count toward the graduation requirement. Winter term courses may be integrated with fall or spring semester course sequences. A fall semester course may be a prerequisite for a winter term course, or a winter term course may be a prerequisite for a spring semester course.
d. A department normally may require its students to take no more than one of its winter term courses, in addition to winter term senior work, over the course of four years. Students are urged to take winter term courses in substantially different academic areas in their first and second years. Over four years a student may take no more than three winter term courses in one department, and no more than two winter term courses, in addition to winter term senior work, in his or her major department. A student may take up to four interdepartmental winter term courses during these four years.
e. Upper class students with sufficient credits may elect not to participate in winter term, but no student may remain on campus during winter term unless he or she is enrolled in a winter term course, credit-bearing independent project, on-campus internship, or off-campus internship in the local community.
f. Students who fail winter term courses or independent winter projects will be placed on probation and required to make up a course credit.
Theses, honors projects, and other work undertaken or completed during winter term as part of a larger project will be graded under the regular grading system; the grade to be based upon an evaluation of the project as a whole.
g. Winter term course registration:
i. A student must be in residence and enroll in a regular winter term course during his or her first winter term. This includes both September and February matriculates.
ii. Students complete their registration during the registration period in early November. Students who are not on campus during the fall semester may register for winter term online during the online winter term registration period.
iii. Changes in course registration may be made only during the first three days on which classes meet during winter term. Due to time constraints during winter term, late adds are automatically charged a late fee of $50.
iv. A student who misses the first class of winter term must be excused by a class dean or it will be assumed that the student has dropped the course.
v. The registration windows for winter term open as follows: (1) students with 7-16.99 credits earned; (2) students with 3-6.99 credits earned; (3) students with 17-36+ credits earned.
3. Student Options for Winter Term
Students are required to earn Middlebury credits during two winter terms. All first-year students must enroll in a winter term course on the Middlebury campus. This includes both September and February matriculates. The second credit may be earned by enrolling in a winter term course, a credit-bearing independent project, a credit-bearing internship, or by studying abroad and earning winter term equivalent credit. (A minimum of two and a maximum of four winter term courses will count toward the graduation requirement of 36 course credits.)
a. Independent Projects (0500 Work)
Students with 8 or more credits may submit a proposal to their faculty sponsor for on or off-campus winter term independent work either as a continuation of their major or minor or as work outside of their major or minor as long as:
- They have not completed more than two credits of winter term independent work; and
- They have received the approval of the chair or director of the department or program in which the work will be completed
Students are not allowed to pursue independent projects during their first winter term.
How to Apply: Contact a faculty member in the department/program in which the work will be done to ask if they will advise the project; once approved by the faculty member, the student should register for that faculty member's independent project section during the registration period.
Deadline: Ongoing until the Add Deadline
b. Winter Term Internships
Winter term internships involve significant high-level exposure to the fundamental work of an organization, with ties to a student's academic and/or professional interests. They challenge students to apply their liberal arts learning in a real-world setting and provide students with an opportunity to reflect meaningfully on the connections between their classroom learning and their outside-the-classroom experiences. Internships can be pursued during winter term and students can apply for the opportunity to earn one (1) academic credit for their work in reflecting upon, and making meaning of, the internship experience. The Curriculum Committee oversees this process, in partnership with individual faculty members and with the Center for Careers & Internships (CCI). To apply, students identify an internship opportunity and a faculty member whom they wish to advise them in connection with the internship. If the faculty member agrees that the internship provides a worthwhile opportunity for the application of liberal arts learning, the student and faculty member together develop a plan for the academic work that will express the student’s thoughtful reflection on the internship and its connections to their learning. The student then submits the faculty member’s approval and supporting documentation to the Center for Careers & Internships (CCI), as detailed on the CCI website. Students in these approved winter term internships spend a minimum of 25 hours per week (or 100 hours total) at their internship site and complete the agreed upon academic work. At the end of the internship, the student, the faculty member, and the on-site work supervisor submit evaluation reports. The faculty member grades the student’s work in response to the internship on a Credit/No Credit basis. Students with fewer than 8 credits may not undertake winter term internships for credit, and students who take more than one internship in four years should pursue them in substantially different fields. A student may not repeat the same winter term internship for credit. A relative may not function as an internship supervisor. If the internship is in a non-English speaking-country, the committee will expect competence in the language of that country, although exceptions apply. Students can also pursue internships during winter term without receiving academic credit. More information about internship opportunities and the application process for winter term internship credit is available from CCI (visit the internship pages on the CCI web site at go/internships or contact Cheryl Whitney Lower, ext. 5798). More information about the faculty member’s role, appropriate academic work in connection with internships, and grading of such work is available from the Dean of Curriculum (contact Grace Spatafora, email@example.com, ext. 5431).
c. Study Abroad During Winter Term
Proposals/applications for study abroad in an accredited program for winter term credit must be submitted to International Programs. These proposals do NOT need to be submitted to the Curriculum Committee. Students must apply to International Programs by the advertised deadline for pre-approval of winter term off-campus courses. No courses/programs will be approved after the fact. Programs must be at least four complete weeks long (regardless of the total number of contact hours) to earn a maximum of one unit of Middlebury credit. The program/course must meet for at least the same number of hours, over the four weeks, as an equivalent Middlebury course. A program that meets more than 36 hours will NOT receive additional credit. Only a program/course that meets the definition of "liberal arts" (in other words, students should not take courses that are of a pre-professional nature such as business, journalism, etc.), and receives a letter grade of C- or better, may be applied to the Middlebury College degree. Programs/courses graded on a pass/fail basis or audited are NOT transferable. The transcript reflecting work completed must be issued by an accredited institution of higher education. Students will be notified if credit is pre-approved after International Programs reviews their applications. Deadline: As advertised by International Programs
d. Opting Out of Winter Term
Students who elect not to participate in winter term MUST still participate in winter term registration by enrolling in the No-Credit, “Opt-Out” option. Students registering for this No-Credit option will not receive academic credit during winter term and will not be eligible to remain on campus. This option is not available to students who are participating in their first winter term, i.e., regardless of whether they are September or February matriculates. Students participating as a member of a Middlebury College winter team sport MUST be enrolled in an academic credit-bearing course during winter term.
e. Winter Term Student Led Courses
Proposals for student-led courses may be submitted to the Curriculum Committee. Such proposals will ordinarily originate with a student or group of students. The proposals must be reviewed and supported by a department or program prior to their submission to the Curriculum Committee. The participants in a student-led course are normally presumed to have studied at the college level in areas relevant to the proposed course. However, some student-led courses may be designed to provide an intensive introduction to a new area. The number of participants in student-led courses may normally be no fewer than five and no more than 12.
The chair or director of the department/program supporting the course will forward, via email to Diane Burnham, a written endorsement of the student leader and will designate a faculty supervisor for the proposed course. The designated faculty supervisor will also forward, via email to Diane Burnham, a statement accepting this role. The Curriculum Committee will consider this information along with the course proposal form. The student leader will organize and conduct the course and propose its syllabus. Student leaders shall consult with the faculty supervisor on a regular basis. The faculty supervisor shall determine whether the course credit has been earned. These courses are graded Credit/No Credit. Student-led courses are subject to the following restrictions:
i. The proposal should be submitted to the Curriculum Committee by the end of the second week of the fall semester.
Deadline: September 22, 2023.
ii. A proposal must include a departmental recommendation of the course and its leader, a detailed syllabus, and a list of interested students who will participate in the course if it is offered. Proposed work assignments and meeting schedules must also be submitted.
iii. If the student leader drops the course, it will be canceled automatically.