At Hampshire, "Special Projects" are robust supervised or mentored learning experiences that students have at or away from Hampshire with organizations (such as schools, labs, companies, or nonprofit organizations) or with community groups. Special Projects can be essential to a student’s education and should result in substantial learning. Special Projects may be paid or unpaid. They can be internships, practica, or other independent projects that are evaluated by a qualified supervisor at the organization or community group (approved by the student’s advisor). Special Projects can take place at any time of the calendar year and can be initiated at any time after a student enrolls at Hampshire up until the add/drop deadline in the final semester of Division III. They must engage a student in learning for 180 hours or more. As Special Projects can be started and completed off the semester schedule, they do not count toward full-time student status for a given semester in Division I and II. In Division III Special Projects must follow the Division III Policy Guidelines for Advanced Educational Activities. For outside institutions (graduate programs, scholarship organizations, transfer institutions, etc.), the College treats a successfully completed Special Project as the equivalent of a four-credit course. Please note that the special projects policy went into effect for projects beginning in summer 2018 and beyond.
In order to maintain full-time student status in Division I and II, in addition to any Special Projects in progress or completed, students must register for a minimum of three courses, which may include independent study or teaching assistantships in the spring and fall semesters. In Division III Special Projects must follow the Division III Policy Guidelines for Advanced Educational Activities.
If a Special Project is to be included in either Division II or III, it must be completed and evaluated by the appropriate divisional deadline.
The student secures the site and completes a registration form (pdf) detailing the scope and length of the project, reviewed by both the student's advisor and the site supervisor.
The site supervisor may be anyone approved by the student's advisor except another student, a Hampshire faculty member, or faculty associate.
The student brings the completed form to central records. Central records registers the special project with the student's advisor as the faculty member of record. When used as an Advanced Educational Activity In Division III, the forms are due the last day of add/drop in the student's final semester, and the students should list the Special Project on their contracts by the Division III revision deadline at the latest.
The last possible date for students to complete a Special Project and submit a site supervisor evaluation to their advisor and central records in order for it to be included on the student's transcript is the last day of classes in the student's final semester.
Upon conclusion of the project, the student writes a reflective self-evaluation and obtains a written evaluation from the site supervisor stating that the Special Project has been completed, and that the hour requirement has been satisfied. The students submit this to their advisors. The students may also, but are not obliged to, bring a copy of the site supervisor evaluation to central records for inclusion in their transcripts.
Only one registration is allowed for an individual Special Project, even if the number of hours of engagement exceeds 180.
The student's advisor completes an evaluation on TheHub, which may be brief or detailed, but at least certifies for the student's official transcript that the experience was completed and that the hour requirement of a minimum of 180 hours engaged in learning was satisfied. The evaluation ideally contains evaluative comments shared by the supervisor. If this process is not followed, the Special Project will not be included in the student's transcript.
If the students do not complete, or separate from the College without completing, a registered special project it will be removed from their transcripts without a "W" notation.
Special Projects can be started and completed off the semester schedule. When an advisor signs a student's form, the expectation is that the student will follow the procedure outlined above. If the advisors are satisfied that the Special Project has been completed, they are asked to write their evaluation on TheHub as soon as possible after that, ideally within 30 days or at the end of the current semester. In Division III, the deadlines for Advanced Educational Activities apply.