North Carolina State University
SACS Compliance Certification
August 15, 2003

Comprehensive Standards: Educational Programs 3.6.1 (appropriate instruction)
The institution ensures that its graduate instruction and resources foster independent learning, enabling the graduate to contribute to a professional field of study.

North Carolina State University is in compliance with this standard.

NC State University’s graduate programs are designed to foster independent learning, as the following requirements demonstrate.  Most of our graduate programs require students to complete theses or dissertations.  Most graduate programs that do not require a thesis or dissertation require independent study courses or clinical rotations, which also train the student to contribute toward a professional field of study.  These requirements are applied to both on-campus and distance education students.

Graduate programs with a thesis or dissertation requirement follow guidelines established by NC State University’s Graduate School and promulgated in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide.  While conferring with faculty advisors, the student is responsible for formulating, researching, writing and editing the dissertation.  As these guidelines indicate, “the ultimate responsibility for all aspects of thesis or dissertation preparation remains with the student.” 

In master’s and professional programs without a thesis requirement, independent learning is fostered in advanced courses at the 600, 700, 800 and 900 levels, which include seminars, advanced individual or group projects, internships, clinical experience and other techniques.  Many departments also require their non-thesis master’s students to complete independent study courses, which result in written reports that are presented to the faculty and defended by the student.

The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at the College of Veterinary Medicine adopts a different approach to satisfy the goals of fostering independent learning and developing the student’s ability to contribute towards a profession.  Students in the program are required to take two credit hours of special topic selective courses per semester during the first three years of the curriculum.  These courses offer a variety of learning experiences to supplement standard course requirements.  During the fourth year, students are required to take three credit hours of Clinical Conference and successfully complete twenty blocks of clinical rotations.  As the program description states, clinical experience emphasizes “actual ‘hands-on’ clinical practice and is demanding both physically and mentally.”  This requirement ensures independent learning and the student’s ability to contribute towards the profession.  


N.C. State University
Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Sep-09 14:40:59