Guidelines for Independent Travel Study


The College of Continuing Education provides the following guidelines to help you achieve the standards for Independent Travel Study. These guidelines will also assist you in planning your travel in such a way as to make the achievement of your objectives possible.

  1. Academic credit: You may earn credit consistent with the following:
    1. Credit is limited to one semester unit per week of travel.
      1. One to six units of undergraduate credit may be earned.
      2. One to four units of graduate credit may be earned.
    2. The minimum involvement in all activities–planning, travel, assignment completion, evaluation–is 30 hours of participation for one semester unit of credit. It is very likely that the time you spend in all activity phases will be considerably greater than this.
    3. Credit is awarded in partnership with Sacramento State’s Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Therefore, your program objectives can include several academic disciplines–for example, geography, history, art.
    4. The course number used for Travel Study is 191 if 60 or more semester units of college credit have been completed prior to departure. The course number 191 is upper division credit and may be applied in some graduate programs. If at the time of departure, if the student has earned less than 60 units, the lower division course number 91 is used. High school students may also participate and must have a letter from their principal stating that they are in good standing. Graduate students who wish to receive graduate credit should use the course number 291, and separate proposal form.
    5. Sacramento State is an accredited institution and the units it grants should be accepted at other institutions; however, students should check with the university or college where they would like to transfer the units to verify their acceptance. Sacramento State and other institutions in our twenty-three campus system accept up to 24 units of coursework taken through extension, if these units appear on the transcript of the host institution.
  2. Faculty sponsor: Your faculty sponsor functions as your instructor for the program. The College of Continuing Education will identify a faculty sponsor consistent with the content and objectives of your program. Your sponsor will review your contract form, make suggestions for strengthening it and will evaluate the materials you submit at the end of your travel program. The faculty sponsor will also submit your final grade.
  3. Timetable for submission of Independent Travel Study Contract: Independent Travel Study projects cannot be approved after travel has taken place. Therefore, it is necessary that you submit a contract for Independent Travel Study well in advance of the beginning of your program. In order to secure the proper authorizations and to identify a faculty sponsor, the College of Continuing Education should receive your request to take independent Travel Study and your completed contract at least six weeks prior to your departure.
  4. Evaluation: Projects are graded on a credit/no credit basis. Letter grades are not authorized for independent Travel Study.

Materials should be submitted for evaluation according to the following schedule if a grade is to be entered in the transcript for the semester in which the Travel Study occurred:

Summer Travel – September 1
Fall Travel – December 1
Winter/Spring Travel – May 1

An incomplete will be entered on the transcript if materials are not evaluated by the above dates. One additional semester is permitted in which to change an incomplete to a credit or no credit grade.

  1. University/Student agreement: Complete as required, sign and submit.
  2. Travel Study release form: Complete as required, sign and submit.
  3. Registration and fee payment: Complete as required, sign and submit with fee payment. Make checks payable to Sacramento State. 8. Proposal Contract for Independent Travel Study: Select the appropriate contract (undergraduate or graduate).

Undergraduate Proposal Contract for Independent Travel Study

Prior to departure on a travel program for academic credit, it is necessary to submit a completed Proposal Contract for Travel Study. This completed form must include the following information:

  1. A general description of your Travel Study project. Between 30 and 60 words in length, this general description should indicate clearly and concisely the purpose and content of your Travel Study experience. The following example may help you in writing your own description:

“Explores the cultures of Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom. Concentrates on comparing and contrasting these cultures, especially their educational systems at the intermediate school level. Includes visits to metropolitan centers and rural areas.”

  1. Objectives you plan to meet through this project. This part of the contract deals with this question: What do you expect to get out of this project in terms of specific knowledge or skills? You should list at least two specific objectives. For example: “At the conclusion of this project, I shall be able to:
    1. Distinguish among the cultures studied, the use of folk literature in the early elementary grades and to demonstrate this knowledge in written or oral language.
    2. Demonstrate in a written paper, knowledge of the relationships between family patterns and political groups, as these are found in England, France, Italy and West Germany.”
  2. How you plan to meet the objectives listed in your contract. What kinds of activities will you participate in to meet the objectives you have set for yourself? These activities might include listening to lectures, including those of tour guides; discussion with persons in key situations; interviewing selected persons; reading materials made available through a local library, or through a college/university library; gathering materials, for example, those you might use in classroom teaching.
  3. Materials you plan to submit for evaluation. Required project materials include:
    1. A research paper at least 10 pages in length (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 10-12 pt. font)
    2. Travel journal (typed or hand-written)
    3. Itinerary and map of places visited

These materials have to be consistent with your learning objectives. If for example, your objectives include one in which you demonstrate knowledge of a specific nature (architectural forms of Gothic cathedrals in the United Kingdom and Western Europe), you would most likely submit an anecdotal record of your visits to various cathedrals accompanied by appropriate pictures. If on the other hand your objective was to compare the architectural forms of these cathedrals, you would have to submit evidence that in fact you had made appropriate comparisons.

Students should present a Journal or daily log that provides a chronology of their travels; a Journal by itself is inadequate as a demonstration of a content objective or a skills objective. In addition to a Journal, a typed report is required such as an analytical paper or anecdotal record accompanied by slides or pictures; collections of artifacts; or audiotapes.

Optional project materials can include: CDs or DVDs of a pre-recorded oral presentation, a PowerPoint slideshow, original music, etc.

  1. Your itinerary. List all places on your itinerary in the chronological order in which visits will take place.

Graduate Proposal Contract for Independent Travel Study

Please review the instructions given for undergraduate credit and note the additional requirements listed on the graduate credit proposal contract.

We provide these guidelines to assist you in planning and participating in an effective and academically worthwhile Travel Study project. If we can be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact the College of Continuing Education.

Our address is:

Travel Study Division Sacramento State – College of Continuing Education
3000 State University Drive East
Sacramento, CA 95819-6103
Telephone: (916) 278-4554
Fax: (916) 278-3685