Q: Why take the CISLA challenge?
The mission of the Center is to encourage students to become politically concerned, socially engaged and culturally sensitive and informed. The CISLA experience prepares students to internationalize their major and to become a responsible citizen of the global community. We seek to engage students as citizen leaders of tomorrow by preparing them today with the type of skills, knowledge, wisdom, virtue and eloquence required of people in positions of leadership.
Q: What are the three CISLA questions and why are they significant?
- What are the dynamics of contemporary society?
- What is the relevance of the past in understanding the present and the possibilities of the future?
- What are the spiritual, material and ethical challenges of modernity?
The founding members of CISLA carefully crafted these three questions to ask you to put your own work into a broader context. The three questions are regularly discussed in IS 201 and IS 401 and must be addressed throughout your time as a CISLA scholar, and in the addendum to the final senior integrative project.
Q: Do I have to take IS 201 during my sophomore year?
IS 201 is offered during the spring semester and it was designed to be taken as early as possible in the CISLA program. It will give you a broad base of knowledge and will help you address the three questions. If you cannot take IS 201 because you are approved to go on a SATA program, you can postpone it until your junior year. However, this would mean that you couldn't plan to study away spring semester of your junior year. Taking the class senior year would be too late to reap the benefits and is not acceptable.
Q: Do I have to register for IS 201?
There is no need to pre-register for IS 201. The CISLA staff upon your acceptance to CISLA will automatically register you. IS 201 is designed for CISLA and will always be open to CISLA students. You should pre-register for four other courses, but be sure to leave the IS 201 time open in your schedule. If you are accepted, it is easier to drop a course than to add one.
Q: Do I have to sign up with the Office of Career and Professional Development if I am applying to CISLA?
Yes, all students applying to CISLA must sign up and complete the mandatory sophomore, junior and senior year workshops.
Q: Why are CISLA students required to take four support classes?
We are asking you to design a support of six courses, two of which are IS 201 and IS 401. The other four should give you additional information and background about either your geographical area or your senior integrative project (SIP.) We want you to know more about the culture, politics and history of where you intend to go. You may use a foreign language culture or literature course, but not a foundation language.
Q: Can I use a course that I have already taken? Can I use a course from a study away program?
Yes, as long as it is relevant. You may take one, and only one, course at the 100-level and it is possible that you may already have a course that would work. One of your CISLA support courses may be taken satisfactory/unsatisfactory. The odds are if you study away for a semester or for a year you will be able to find at least one, maybe two support courses that will count. As you list your support courses in the application, you can state that you intend to take a support course during study away. If you are able, you should list the course specifically; if not, simply state that you intend to take a support course during study away.
Q: What happens if I can't take a support course that I have planned?
This often happens. Call the CISLA office and make an appointment to discuss the matter.
Q: What if I change my mind about the proposal and the classes after the application has been approved?
Change is implicit and we have created this program to be flexible. As you change your ideas, simply put it in writing and we will review and approve any changes. If you need to discuss your ideas, make an appointment. We are happy to go over any concerns. Any significant changes to your project (e.g. location, main topic) must be approved by December 31st of your junior year.
Q: When do I have to declare my major? What if I change my major?
The College asks you to declare a major in March of your sophomore year. If you are not positive about your major when you apply to CISLA, simply put down what you assume your major will be. If you change it at a later date, please notify us. Keep in mind that if you change your major you may need to re-examine your support courses.
Q: Can I do Study Away?
Yes. Studying away either in a traditional program or SATA for one or two semesters doesn't interfere with your CISLA requirements and usually enhances your overall experience. As you prepare your proposal and know that you are planning to go abroad, you can indicate that you plan to take a support course abroad. If you take a support course at another school, simply submit the syllabus to us for approval.
Q: Can I go on study abroad in one place and do an internship in another?
Yes. Usually you will study abroad in an area that speaks the language that you intend to use during your internship. That means you can study in Spain and go to Latin America on an internship, or study in France and go to West Africa. Occasionally a student who has command of more than one foreign language will study in a different linguistic area. This is acceptable, but you must be certain that you have an excellent command of the language where you are to do your internship. If you have a plan that is unconventional, come see us to discuss it and explore possible options.
Q: What is the difference between the Senior Integrative Project, an Honors Thesis and an Individual Study?
The S.I.P. can be done either as an honors thesis in the major or an independent study (usually in the major). An honors thesis is eight credits of work over two semesters and represents a substantial piece of research. An independent study is four credits and is done during either the fall or spring semester. In both cases the requirements, criteria, deadlines and approvals are department-specific so you must establish contact with someone in the department in which you plan to do the S.I.P.
Q: If I am a double major, can I do my integrative project in either major? Can I do my integrative project in my minor?
Yes, you just need approval of the departmental adviser for the project.
Q: What if I don't get a 3.0 this semester?
Students are accepted to CISLA based on the GPA and other criteria. If at any time your cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0, we will call you in to discuss the matter and your status in CISLA will be considered provisional. In any event, we will not give you the stipend to do the internship if you do not have a 3.0 GPA.
Q: I hear that IS 201 is really hard; will I be able to take five courses?
IS 201 is demanding, but not more so than many courses at the College. You should determine for yourself if you can manage five courses. It is always a question of time management.
Q: What is the difference between my CISLA adviser and my major adviser?
Your CISLA adviser is assigned to help you with the application process. After you are admitted, you will not need to use the CISLA adviser. Talk to your faculty adviser for changes in your proposal to see if it is feasible, and then to CISLA's Director to confirm that the changes are acceptable.
Q: Do I have to get written recommendations from the faculty that I have named?
No, we will call them on the phone for your recommendation. You should just let them know that you have applied to CISLA and that your CISLA adviser will be contacting them for a recommendation.