Lecture / Laboratory

College level courses have traditionally been taught as lectures presented by the instructor. In addition, laboratory experiences may be required as a means of giving students opportunities for practical application of the material presented in lectures. Many courses now involve students in discussion and small group learning experiences within the class period.

Independent Study

Independent study is an approach to learning which serves as an alternative to regular classroom instruction. Through Independent Study projects, students develop the necessary skills and insight for self-directed learning, while still being guided and evaluated by an instructor. Each Independent Study should result in a demonstration of improvement in learning habits through the presentation of a quality product resulting from experience. To be eligible for an Independent Study, a student must be of junior or senior standing with a grade point average of 2.00 or higher. Each independent study is limited to one semester, and a student may take no more than one independent study at a time. Only nine semester hours of independent study credit may be applied toward graduation requirements. Letter grades are used for Independent Study projects. Courses published in the Catawba College Catalog may not be taught as an Independent Study. The purpose of the Independent Study is to allow students to explore topics outside of the currently established Catawba curriculum.

Permission to register for an Independent Study project is secured through consultation with the student’s major advisor and requires the approval of the department in which the Independent Study is to be undertaken. Upon approval by the department, the proposal shall become a contract for an approved program of study by the student and will be signed by the Department Chair. Independent Study request forms and policy guidelines are available in the Registrar’s Office. Independent study is not offered to satisfy a B.B.A or B.A.E. degree requirement.

Topics Courses

Topics courses are offered by many departments to enable faculty and students to explore specialized topics in the field that are distinct from standard departmental offerings. The “Topics” specification may be used to try out a new course before it is put into the catalog or to offer a course that is infrequently in demand.


A tutorial is a guided individual study of an existing course, usually taught by the faculty member traditionally teaching the course. Permission for a tutorial must be secured from the Academic Standards and Policies Committee. Tutorial request forms and policy guidelines are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Internships and Practica

Among the many learning opportunities provided, additional educational experiences are available through internships and practica. Each internship or practicum should result in a unique and individual learning opportunity for the student which cannot be provided by conventional classroom experiences.

Practicum is defined as field experience in which formal evaluation, supervision and direction are determined by the supervisory professor and student. Internship is defined as field experience in which formal evaluation, supervision and direction are provided by an outside agency in concert with the supervisory professor and student. The grade for the internship is assigned by the supervising faculty member. To be eligible for an internship, a student must have a GPA of 2.00 or higher. The internship must be approved by a faculty member in the department in which credit for the internship is sought and must be approved before the student begins the work he/she plans to count as an internship. Students may enroll in internships only in their majors and minors, unless an internship in another department is warranted by interdisciplinary concentrations within a course of study. Although internships can be required as part of a major, internships cannot be substituted for other required courses in the major. The grades of “S” and “U” are used as final grades for Practicums and Internships.

The total semester hour credit assigned to the field experience may vary in accordance with the dimensions of the particular experience, but the amount of academic credit must be ascertained at proposal time. A minimum of three hours work per week for one semester hour of credit is required. A maximum of twelve hours credit in Practica and/or Internships may be applied toward graduation requirements.

Practicum and internship applications are to be completed online. Form links are found under the “Forms” tab at catawba.edu/registrar. The form must be received by the Registrar’s Office prior to the last day to add a class for the term in which the fieldwork will be completed. The form includes an appropriate description of the fieldwork and requires appropriate approvals as indicated on the applicable form. At that time the student indicates the criteria for formal assessment and evaluation, and the number of credits sought. Internships and practica are not offered to satisfy B.B.A. degree requirements.

Prerequisite and Corequisite Courses

A prerequisite course is one that provides content and/or academic skills deemed necessary by a department for satisfactory achievement in a later course. If a course has a prerequisite, that prerequisite course must be passed with a minimum grade of D before admission into the course is permitted. A co-requisite course is one that provides parallel content and/or academic skills. Concurrent enrollment in the course and its corequisite course thus is expected.