What’s Special about the ISP?


If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,

it expects what never was and never will be” Thomas Jefferson


·     Working Adults: ISP’s students range in age from 20 to 80, with an average age of 41.  Thus, at the ISP, lifelong learning is practiced in every class, every day.

·     Small Classes: At the ISP, students receive individual attention, with an average class size of about 15-20 students.  Likewise, the ISP has seven well-trained resident academic advisors who form close ties with students and who chaperon their undergraduate career.

Typical IS class—note the small size and the wide range of ages

·     One meeting a week: To meet the needs of older-than-average working students, ISP classes are typically offered on evenings and weekends, just once a week. 

·     Convenient Locations: To improve accessibility, ISP classes are offered on campus, at various other locations in SouthEast, and online.

·     Online Classes: ISP offers a growing selection of online classes.  Such classes can be taken from the convenience of the student’s home or hotel—from Saginaw, Paris, Lagos, or Antarctica.  For example, an undergraduate from Kathmandu who has never set foot in the United States has successfully completed an intermediate writing class at the ISP. 

·     Interdisciplinary Orientation: While traditional academic programs typically focus on one discipline (e.g., chemistry, French), the ISP, as its name suggests, is committed to broad-based education, to an understanding of reality itself, to exploring the interconnections among such disciplines as chemistry and French.  A World War I class at the ISP, for instance, may deliberately step outside the traditional confines of historical scholarship and touch upon psychology and animal behavior to understand the roots of this war, and upon literature, poetry, and music, to bring that sad war to life. 

·     General Education Classes: The ISP is the only self-contained program at Wayne State University—its students can graduate without taking a single class outside the program.  This applies in particular to classes that meet Wayne State University’s general education requirements, since each and every one of these requirements can be met within the ISP.

·     Quality Instruction: The ISP is committed to innovative educational approaches, to interactive learning, to the notion that learning can profoundly transform people’s lives.  For instance, the ISP takes seriously research showing that students often fail to understand the key concepts of any given course.  The ISP attempts to bypass this problem through guided discovery exercises, dialogues, active student participation, critical thinking exercises, and exciting readings. 


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Interdisciplinary Studies Program