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To begin work in Division III, each student first forms a Division III committee. The committee must have at least two Hampshire faculty members, one of whom shall be the chairperson. Many committees consist of only these two members, but it is possible to include an additional member, a Five College faculty member, or another person with special expertise. A token honorarium is offered to Five College faculty who are members of a Hampshire student's Division III committee. To facilitate the formation of the Division III committee, during the final semester of Division II students are asked to post a preliminary Division III proposal on TheHub and also to name three potential faculty members who could serve as chair of the committee and three who could serve as the member. This process alerts faculty as to which students may want them on their committees, and sets the stage for students to contact these faculty for face-to-face meetings.
After forming the committee, the student completes a Division III contract online and asks committee members to "sign" the contract indicating approval for the proposed program of study. Because Division III is a two-semester undertaking, the contract must be signed early in the semester preceding the anticipated final semester. Calendars with specific deadline information are available in central records, the online academic year calendar, and the Division III Guide for Students.
Division III contracts may be negotiated or submitted while a student is on field study. They may not be negotiated or submitted while a student is on leave of absence.
Judgment of the quality and scope of the project proposal is the responsibility of a student's committee. Because the student is expected to design and complete an advanced independent project, considerable background must be acquired before Division III work is initiated. The independent project will usually grow out of the Division II concentration or some equivalent background. Division III is not the place to acquire knowledge, skills, methodologies, and techniques necessary for the advanced-level work required by Division III.
Because the project proposal is both a planning document and an important part of the student's record, it should include the following:
Advanced educational activities should be described as fully as possible in the contract. In cases where work cannot yet be specified, the student may list alternative possibilities for fulfilling the requirement (for instance, when the course guide has not yet specified courses in upcoming semesters). The student and the committee must revise the contract when these plans are finalized. Methods of evaluation must be specified.
A student may file a petition for a waiver of Division III filing deadlines based on the demonstration of extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control as well as the academic soundness and viability of the student's plan of study. The appeal is heard by the college exceptions committee. Materials to request a Division III exception are available in the Center for Academic Support and Advising. The petition process exists only for exceptional circumstances. The Division III counselor in CASA can provide further information about the Division III exceptions procedure.
When any aspect of the Division III project or advanced educational activities changes, students must complete a contract revision online approved by all members of the committee. Revisions must be submitted by the published deadlines early in the student's final semester of Division III.
Each student must submit a progress report to their Division III committee and central records by the published deadlines early in the final semester of Division III. At this time, the student's Division III committee assesses in writing whether the student is progressing satisfactorily toward the completion of the contract. The chairperson is responsible for submitting the committee's assessment of progress to the central records office by the published deadlines.
Committee members will decide and committee chairs will communicate to students the date by which completed Division III work must be submitted to the committee.
All final meetings must be held by the third Friday before commencement. Commencement takes place on a Saturday. All final presentations, including film screenings, gallery shows, and theater productions, must take place by this date. If a final meeting does not take place by this deadline, the student will request a September or October extension for graduation and be charged the corresponding fee. If the Division III is passed by the September or October deadline, the degree will be voted the following February.
All Division III evaluations will be due in central records ten days after the Division III pass deadline.
The faculty meeting at which degrees are voted upon is held the Tuesday before commencement.
In the fall term, the completion date is in early December. There is an alternative completion date in January only for those students whose full committees are available to meet then and to write the evaluation.
Committee members will decide and the committee chair will communicate to students the date by which completed Division III work must be submitted to the committee.
All final meetings must be held in December by the posted deadline. All final presentations, including film screenings, gallery shows, and theater productions, must take place by this date. If a final meeting does not take place by this deadline, the student will request a February or March extension for graduation and be charged the corresponding fee. If the Division III is passed by the February or March deadline, the degree will be voted the following May. See the Extensions for Division III Work section.
For students whose committees are available to meet and write the evaluation in January, all final meetings must be held by the Friday of the first full week of January. All final presentations, including film screenings, gallery shows, and theater productions, must take place by this date. If a final meeting does not take place by this deadline, the student will request a February or March extension for graduation and pay the corresponding fee. The degree will be voted the following May.
All Division III evaluations for students completing in a fall term will be due in central records by the Friday of the second full week of January term classes.
Degrees will be voted at the first faculty meeting of the spring term in February.
Both committee members must sign the Division III pass form online by the appropriate deadline. The final evaluation by the Division III committee must address each part of the contract. The committee's recommendation for graduation is presented by the dean of faculty to the faculty as a whole, who vote to recommend awarding of degrees.