All projects must have the following characteristics:
Students are responsible for proposing a project that can gain the approval and support of the sponsoring department or cross-disciplinary minor.
2. Methodological Competence
The project must demonstrate methodological competence by identifying an area to be explored and proposing a method of inquiry appropriate for the topic.
3. Achievement, Synthesis, and Reflection
The project must draw on and extend knowledge, skills of analysis, and creative achievement developed through previous academic work. The project must include a reflection on the social context, the body of literature, or the conceptual framework to which the project is a contribution.
4. Public Presentation
A St. Mary’s Project must be shared with the larger community through posters, presentations, or other means. Students will give a public presentation at the completion of the project, and students should work with their mentor to ensure that a presentation is scheduled. In the spring semester this presentation generally will be made during the St. Mary’s Project Presentation Days, May 5 and 6. Poster presentations will take place on Tuesday, May 6 from 9 AM to noon. Each student will be required to present their poster for 1½ hours of the poster session. Posters may be put up at 8:30 AM on the day of the presentation and taken down at 1 PM. Fall presentations will be arranged at the end of that term by the student’s mentor. Presentations to professional and community groups may also satisfy this requirement.
The project is supervised by a faculty mentor in the major or cross-disciplinary minor. The responsibilities of the mentor are to assist the student in the development of a plan for the project, to supervise the work of the project, and to evaluate the in-progress and finished work. Department chairs are responsible for the allocation of faculty mentors, taking into consideration student preference as well as faculty expertise and workload.
As for any course work, students are expected to plan for and to bear reasonable costs associated with St. Mary’s Projects. These costs have been set at $200, comparable to costs associated with 8 credits of other academic work. Although departments may have somewhat different procedures for preparation of student budgets for projects, all departments expect students to prepare an SMP Budget Projection Form outlining the anticipated costs of the entire project.
Students should indicate on this form their anticipated $200 contribution to these costs. Students need to collect and keep receipts for all of their expenditures. When students seek reimbursement for costs over their $200 anticipated contribution, they fill out the SMP Expenditure Reimbursement Form and submit receipts for each item mentioned in the form to their mentor.
Grants to support costs greater than the $200 student contribution are available after the student’s $200 of expenses are incurred in most departments. Students should consult with their SMP mentor to determine how reimbursement is structured in that department. Applications for these grants should be discussed with the faculty mentor before they are submitted to the department chair, who must approve the application.