Environmental Sciences

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Directed Individual Studies?

What is the Honors Program?

What is the EVS Applied Service Learning Course?

What is the EVS Undergraduate Practicum?

What is the EVS Graduate Practicum?

How do I apply for ASL or Practicum credit?

When is the deadline to apply for ASL or Practicum?

How do I register for ASL or Practicum courses?

How can I find a host organization for ASL or Practicum?

When are the next meeting dates for ASL and Practicum students?

Are Practica and ASL paid positions?

Are summer options available?

Directed Individual Studies

Directed Individual Studies (DIS) are collaborative efforts between students and faculty on specific research projects. DIS projects have numerous benefits, including the chance to participate in meaningful, targeted research in your area of interest. DIS also foster a relationship between students and faculty that can enhance the careers of both over time.

DIS classes are created for a single semester. The faculty member submits a DIS form outlining the student's role in the project to the Registrar and works with the student to ensure timely completion of the tasks outlined in the form. If you are interested in pursuing a DIS, talk with a faculty member whose work interests you and see if they have opportunities for you to participate in their research.

If you have a specific project you would like to pursue, you can also talk to a faculty member whom you believe might share your interest. Be sure to research what faculty are doing before making an appointment to talk with them. A little preparation will serve you well in this regard. Back to Top.

Honors

UNCW has a robust Honors program and provides two levels of participation; Departmental Honors and University Honors. Both satisfy the Applied Learning requirement. Honors projects span multiple semesters (usually 2 or 3). They also require a thesis and defense of the thesis before a formal committee. Participation in both Departmental Honors and University Honors requires a formal application. Information on the application process and the requirements for the programs can be found at their respective websites (Departmental Honors, University Honors). Back to Top.

Applied Service Learning

The Applied Service Learning (ASL) program provides students with a chance to explore work with an environmental organization while fulfilling the Applied Learning requirement. ASL classes require a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work with the organization for one (1) hour of academic credit. ASL opportunities are similar to community service for the host organization and students will not necessarily be integrated as a team member of the agency for which they serve. Students wishing for a more in-depth interaction with an environmental organization should consider participating in the Undergraduate Practicum program instead.

Students are required to submit time sheets signed by their official supervisor at the organization and will be required to submit a reflection paper toward the end of the semester. All undergraduate EVS students enrolled in Applied Service Learning are required to attend 4 mandatory class meetings; attendance and participation in these meetings will contribute to the overall course grade. These class meetings will introduce students to how to find an placement, create resumes and cover letters, interview, and will include a final reflection meeting. Any undergraduate EVS students who are not enrolled in the course may attend and participate in the meetings upon permission from instructor. Credit for attending these meetings a semester early, prior to enrolling in ASL, is available.

Students should visit the Prerequisites and Application Process page of the EVS website to see if they qualify for this course and how to apply. Back to top.

Undergraduate Practicum

EVS Undergraduate Practica are available only to undergraduate students in the EVS Department. Practia constitute the highest level of Applied Learning activity in EVS for undergraduate students. The Undergraduate Practicum provides students with a chance to explore work with an environmental organization while fulfilling the Applied Learning requirement. Practica positions provide opportunities for students to engage with the agency by embedding themselves in the daily activities of an agency. Practica classes require a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer work with the organization for one (1) hour of academic credit but students can enroll for up to 6 credits (i.e., 240 hours). In general, most students register for 3 credits (120 hours). 

Students are required to submit weekly logs of their activities and will be required to submit a reflection paper toward the end of the semester. All undergraduate EVS students enrolled in Practicum are required to attend 4 mandatory class meetings; attendance and participation in these meetings will contribute to the overall course grade. These class meetings will introduce students to how to find an placement, create resumes and cover letters, interview, and will include a final reflection meeting. Any undergraduate EVS students who are not enrolled in the course may attend and participate in the meetings upon permission from instructor. Credit for attending these meetings a semester early, prior to enrolling in Practicum, is available.

Students should visit the Prerequisites and Application Process page of the EVS website to see if they qualify for this course and how to apply. Back to top.

Graduate Practicum

EVS Graduate Practica are available only to graduate students in the EVS Department. Graduate students interested in undertaking a practicum should first contact the EVS Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Jamie Rotenberg, to discuss benefits of a graduate practicum in their degree program and to make sure they have sufficient academic standing to participate in the Practicum program. Back to Top.

How Do I Apply for ASL or Practicum Credit?

Students should check the Prerequisites and Application Process page on the EVS website to ensure they meet the prerequisites for these courses.  On that page, students will also find a list of steps of how to apply for credit.  All paperwork must be completed by the first day of classes in the beginning of the semester. The paperwork can take time so it is imperative that students act early on this process! If you have an interview or think you may be securing a position close to the start of classes, you should contact the ASL and Practica coordinator, Dr. Rachael Urbanek, before the deadline for applications. Please refer to the UNCW Academic Calendar for the first day of classes in each semester. Back to Top.

When is the Deadline for ASL or Practicum Applications?

Applications for ASL and Practicum are to be emailed to Dr. Rachael Urbanek by the deadlines below. If a student is still waiting to receive an offer from a host organization and thinks they will want to register for either course, they must contact Dr. Urbanek prior to the deadline to discuss their options for the application process. Back to Top. 

Fall 2017 Deadline:  9 August
Spring 2018 Deadline: 2 January
Summer 2018 Deadline:  9 May

How Do I Register for ASL or Practicum Courses?

In order to register for ASL or Practicum courses, students must first find a host organization. Once a student has accepted a position at a host organization, they must follow the application process to apply for credit. Please see the Prerequisites and Application Process page on the EVS website for this process. Once an application is approved, the student will receive an override to register for the course. Back to Top.

How Can I Find a Host Organization for ASL or Practicum?

The EVS department has a listserv open to all students seeking EVS ASL or Practica. To sign up for the listserv, click here. All students are encouraged to attend the first 3 meeting dates for the ASL and Practicum course in the semester prior to their enrollment into ASL or Practicum. These meetings review how to find a host organization, create resumes and cover letters, and interview, which are all skills necessary to land a position! Students can also make an appointment with the ASL and Practica Coordinator, Dr. Rachael Urbanek to discuss their career goals. Back to Top.

When are the Next Meeting Dates for ASL and Practicum Students?

All undergraduate students enrolled in ASL and Practicum are required to participate in 4 mandatory in-class meetings as part of their grade. Attendance and participation at the first 3 meetings in the semester for any student not already enrolled in ASL or Practicum will contribute to their grade if they enroll in either the ASL or Practicum course within the next 2 semesters (includes summer). Students interested in attending the first 3 meetings early must email Dr. Rachael Urbanek for permission. Students must attend all 3 meetings in the beginning of the semester to earn credit for attendance and participation for their future enrollment.

Spring 2018 Meeting Dates (Teaching Lab 1013 5:00-6:30PM):

  1. January 8: Introduction to ASL and Practicum Requirements; Tips to Finding a Host Organization
  2. January 9: Creating Resumes and Cover Letters
  3. January 10: Interviewing
  4. April 30, May 1-3: Final Reflection Discussion - TBD - For students enrolled in Spring 2018 only

Summer 2018 Meeting Dates (Teaching Lab 1010 6-9PM):

  1. May 16: Introduction to ASL and Practicum Requirements; Tips to Finding a Host Organization
  2. May 16: Creating Resumes and Cover Letters
  3. May 16: Interviewing
  4. July 24: Final Reflection Discussion - TBD - For students enrolled in Summer 2018 only

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Are Practica and ASL Paid Positions?

Both paid and unpaid positions are acceptable for ASL and Practica. However, the majority of the placements students find are unpaid. Students cannot earn ASL or practica credit at a host organization for which they are already employed without permission from the ASL and Practica Coordinator, Dr. Rachael Urbanek. In these situations, duties and responsibilities above and beyond that of the current employment of the student will be expected. Back to Top

Summer Options

Students may participate in Directed Individual Study (with approval of supervising faculty), Applied Service Learning, and Practica during the summer session. However, students must be enrolled in the associated class for the summer to receive academic credit for their work (i.e., students cannot perform work prior to the semester in which they are registered). Most students prefer to undertake their Practicum in the summer because doing so allows for more hours with the host organization in a shorter time and provides the opportunity to participate in more activities with the host. Summer also allows for more flexibility in scheduling Practicum work. Students have until the last day of classes in the second summer session to fulfill the minimum number of hours (required 120 hours minimum during summer) for the Practicum class. Back to Top.