Seeking Approval for OCS
To pursue off-campus study for academic credit, students must first obtain Denison approval for such study and then apply for admission by the educational partner. Denison approval is granted through the four-stage OCS Proposal process.
The student is also responsible for completing an abridged application with the appropriate educational partner. If the student receives Denison approval, OCS then forwards her/his proposal materials to the educational partner to complete the application file and allow for a final admission decision.
To be eligible for consideration, a student must enter the OCS Proposal process before Thanksgiving Break. Late proposals are only considered if there are documented academic, personal, family, or medical issues. Denison approval for off-campus study is granted on a rolling basis.
Second semester sophomores with a well-articulated academic trajectory, juniors, and first semester seniors are eligible to participate in off-campus study. First semester seniors, however, must also petition to have the senior residency requirements waived in order to receive final OCS approval. Students normally seek approval for one semester and/or a summer of off-campus study during their Denison career, though approval for an academic year of off-campus study is also possible. Note that institutional financial aid may be applied to a maximum of one semester of study – see Financing Off-Campus Study.
Denison approval is granted only if the student is adequately prepared both academically and personally for the proposed off-campus program. The Denison evaluation criteria are as follows:
- The proposed off-campus study program represents a well-defined continuation of the curricular and pedagogical goals of a Denison liberal arts education and the individual student’s academic program.
The student’s academic record, as evaluated by Denison, demonstrates clear evidence of curricular preparation and academic achievement appropriate to the proposed off-campus study program and the specific learning goals associated with the student’s proposal.
- The student meets the Denison minimum eligibility requirements for off-campus study:
A student must complete a minimum of forty-eight credits prior to participation on an off-campus program. Transfer students must complete one year of study at Denison prior to participation on an off-campus program. These residency requirements do not apply to summer study.
- A student must be enrolled at Denison the semester preceding off-campus study participation. A student who applies institutional aid to a program must also enroll at Denison the semester following the program. Failure to do so will result in a student being charged for the institutional aid that was awarded for off-campus study.
A student must be in good academic standing the semester preceding participation on a program. Denison reserves the right, however, to withdraw approval if there is a problematic shift in a student’s academic performance before the start of a program, even if a student is technically in good standing.
- A student whose disciplinary probation ends during the first two weeks of classes at Denison for the semester during which she/he will be studying off-campus is eligible to propose off-campus study. A student whose disciplinary probation extends beyond that date is not eligible to pursue off-campus study until the following semester. Denison reserves the right, however, to withhold approval for any student who has a documented history of behavioral issues deemed inappropriate for off-campus study.
A student whose proposal is evaluated and approved while she/he is on disciplinary probation must address two special requirements. In such cases, the student is required to provide a statement addressed to the educational partner that explains the nature of the infraction and how it should bear on the partner’s admission deliberations. The student must also agree to grant the educational partner access, as seems appropriate, to the information contained in the Denison judicial records. If a student receives conditional approval and an additional disciplinary offense is adjudicated before participation on the off-campus study program, the approval will be withdrawn.
Denison strives to accommodate the off-campus study proposals of all appropriately qualified students. However, there are two related points that have an impact on this policy.
- First, to facilitate optimal integration into the range of experiential learning contexts and communities associated with off-campus study, Denison has established a limit of ten participants per program for medium group programs and five participants per program for small group programs.
- Second, in order to utilize on-campus housing resources effectively, Denison will seek to split participation evenly between the fall and spring semesters. This is accomplished by awarding fall semester opportunities on a first-come, first-served basis according to the completion date for the OCS Proposal Stage I.
Students who are not awarded a slot may request to be placed on the waiting list, which is also ranked according to the completion date for the OCS Proposal Stage I.