The Distance Learning Masters degree is a low-residency program.

Individualized Masters Degree
A low residency masters program

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Academic Advising

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The program director, an experienced standing faculty member with a terminal degree who is firmly rooted in Burlington College, will act as the primary advisor for the students in the program. In such a variable and flexible program, strong academic advising will be crucial to the student’s success. While there are no ‘required courses,’ except an individually-tailored research methods course and the final capstone project, the academic advisor will oversee student degree plans ensuring that students have systematic, substantial and sequential opportunities to learn important skills and understandings and to actively engage in important problems in their discipline during studies supervised by vetted faculty.

At time of admission, the program director identifies a faculty-advisor with relevant expertise after initial conversations with the student. These two individuals form the student’s advising team. Both support the student in creating the degree plan. The advising team will identify the student’s needs for instructors during the first semester so that the program director can find the right faculty; optimally, the faculty-advisor will become one of the instructors during the first semester. This faculty-advisor may provide guidance to the student throughout the program or not. The College wants to allow for continuity or for flexibility depending on the student’s learning needs and goals. See Sample Degree Plan.

Following the first semester, the advising team reviews student and instructor narrative evaluations summarizing learning activities, confers, and works with the student to create the study plan for the second semester. The student may choose to attend the residency during the second semester, or schedule at least one advising meeting to include both members of the advising team and the student at the same time. This can be done in person if possible, by conference call, or through other technological means. At the beginning of the third semester, or the student’s final semester when the capstone project is to be completed, attendance at the penultimate residency is required. There advising can take place face-to-face, as the student’s advising needs are likely to be greater at this point. Workshops for students entering the final semester will be offered. A reader for the capstone project should be identified at this time.