University of Maryland Individual Studies Program

IVSP 317: Progress Report

The progress report is a written analysis of progress toward completion of degree requirements. This self-analyzing report is required of all Individual Studies students each semester you are enrolled as an IVSP student. You should register for IVSP 317 (Satisfactory/Fail) in the semester that you plan to graduate. It is worth one credit and is based on the completion of all semester reports and your attendance at three IVSP events every year (minimum). You will get your section number from the IVSP Staff.

IVSP 317 is an integral part of individualized and independent study. It is a tool to assist you in making connections between classroom work and your experiences in internships, independent study, or personal research. It provides you with an invaluable forum for on-going self-evaluation and critical reflection on your experiences.

Reflection Guidelines

The report must be submitted to your personal IVSP Faculty Mentor, with a copy to, by the last day of exams. The format is a short, written paper approximately 5 pages in length. 

Use the following questions to help guide your reflection:

1. How were my courses and other learning activities challenging this semester? What did I learn? Contribute? What program changes have occurred since my last report or my prospectus?

2. What are the basic questions and issues in my area of study? What am I doing to better understand those questions? To answer them? What are the methodologies and ways of looking at things within my field? Have I articulated them? Mastered them? What's changing in this area of study? Am I keeping up with new course offerings? New and important readings? What questions most fascinated me this semester?

3. What unexpected learnings have come my way this semester? How have non-academic experiences (job, travel, extra-curricular activity, community service, etc.) impacted on my growth and learning?

4. What about balance? Do I have a good mix of formal course work and independent study? Of the practical/applied and the theoretical/academic? Am I over-specializing? Am I too general?

5. Am I taking advantage of resources? Who else is studying/teaching in my subject area? Do I seek them out? What about people outside the University? Have I used my IVSP Advisor effectively? Am I well prepared for whatever meetings we have? Have I found others on- and off-campus for the expertise I need?

6. What basic skills useful to my program or my future are challenging for me (e.g., writing, speech, statistics, computers, research methods, design, math, etc.)? How will I gain those skills?

7. What type of career exploration have I engaged in this semester? Have I decided what I wish to do? What alternatives should I explore? Have I talked to people working in my field? Have I checked out graduate schools? Have I visited the Career Center? Are there ways I could learn more about some options (an internship, conversations with employers, visits to graduate schools, etc.)?

8. Finally, how do I feel about this past semester? Am I challenging myself? Am I fully utilizing the resources of UMCP? What are my concerns, uncertainties, and fears about my program? What have I learned from my disappointments? What have I enjoyed most about being an Individual Studies major? What have I learned--not about subject matter, but about myself, the way I work, what I believe and where I'm heading?

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Individual Studies Program  Campus Location: 2407 Marie Mount Hall
Appointments: 301.314.0023  Email:
IVSP is a degree granting academic program of the Office of Undergraduate Studies
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