Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration – The Individually Designed Major. The Fairhaven Interdisciplinary Concentration provides an opportunity for developing an individually designed major for the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Arts in Education degrees. It allows maximal flexibility in formulating a program to meet personal and career goals, bringing together each student’s vital interests from more than one discipline into a cohesive whole.
The self-designed concentration process allows students to work with a faculty committee to articulate a sound rationale for their area of study and to develop a plan including courses, independent study projects, senior projects and, where applicable, internships and apprenticeships. Students are assisted in completing the concentration by faculty and other advisors and by the Concentration Seminar course. At the conclusion of the program, a senior project and a concentration summary and evaluation help each graduate to evaluate her or his own work and to look toward the future.
Concentrations have been developed in a wide range of areas not available through traditional majors. Further information pertaining to the concentration, its possibilities and prospects, may be found in the Student Guide to Fairhaven College.
Fairhaven Admission and Declaration Process
Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies has selective admission and enrolls first-year students, transfer students, and students from other WWU programs fall, winter, spring and summer quarters. New applicants to Fairhaven and to the University complete the WWU Undergraduate Application (available online or in print form). Indicate interest in Fairhaven College in your application. Send the standard application, transcripts, and required test scores to: Office of Admissions, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9009.
In addition to the WWU application, Fairhaven requests a personal statement, two letters of recommendation and an interview (in person or by telephone). For more information or to make an appointment, please call 360-650-6680.
Students currently enrolled in other University programs may apply to transfer to Fairhaven’s program by the quarterly application deadlines. Current WWU students applying to Fairhaven do not need to submit transcript test scores or the WWU Undergraduate Application.
Visitors are welcome and with advance notice, appointments can be arranged with Fairhaven advising and admissions staff, students or other WWU staff.
Fairhaven Grade Requirements
At Fairhaven, the A-to-F grading system is not used. Classes and studies are taken on a “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” basis. Academic credit is granted after requirements have been satisfactorily completed and the student has submitted a written self-evaluation of his or her work to faculty instructors. Faculty respond with a written evaluation of the student’s progress. The student-faculty evaluation becomes a part of the student’s academic file, and forms part of the student’s credentials for applying for employment and for graduate programs.
The official transcript, held in the University’s Registrar’s Office, lists all Fairhaven and other WWU classes (normally graded) and studies completed (A cumulative GPA is not displayed on the official transcript for Fairhaven Students). Fairhaven College follows the Student Records Policy of Western Washington University found elsewhere in this catalog. Fairhaven issues a separate official set of narrative evaluations to supplement the official transcript by request.
Fairhaven Core Program
A core program, unique to Fairhaven College, includes a series of courses designed to widen students’ exposure to areas of study, to connections among disciplines and to interdisciplinary theory and practice. Its purpose is to help students become perceptive, probing learners who can ask questions and pursue answers with care and confidence. Skills in reading, writing, presentation and analysis are emphasized. Each course deals with methods of knowing and understanding, themes, modes of creativity and practical applications to be found in each area of study.
Elements of this core contribute to its unique character:
❑ Courses are conducted in a collaborative seminar format
❑ Class sizes seldom exceed 20 students
❑ A strong mentoring/advising relationship is established
❑ Interdisciplinary studies mirror the shape of complex problems
❑ Instruction is shared by all Fairhaven faculty members — artists, scientists, philosophers, historians, poets — who adapt the diverse themes of their disciplines to core studies
❑ Evaluation takes the form of narrative assessment
Fairhaven students complete Fairhaven’s core program in lieu of the WWU General University Requirements. A student who leaves Fairhaven for another WWU program must complete the GUR. Fairhaven College also offers the opportunity for self-motivated students who have demonstrated exceptional learning skills to design an individualized alternative to parts of the core program, making systematic use of existing course challenge procedures.
There are core courses in each of three curricular stages. Students need not complete one curricular stage before advancing to the next.