Independent Minds, Working Together

Petition Process for Off-Campus Study

**For an exception to policy or for special one-time endorsement of a non-endorsed program**

Please complete the Petition Form (.pdf), (submit to the OCS Director along with your application) and the following steps if you wish to petition for an exception to OCS policy or for special one-time endorsement of a non-endorsed program:

  1. Meet with the OCS Director to discuss OCS policy and procedure, the petition process, and the intended off-campus program (if applicable).
  2. Meet with your academic advisor (in your major or intended program of study) to discuss how your program choice relates to your major and course of study at Wooster. You should also discuss credit transfer with your department chairperson, if applicable.
    NOTE:  Failure to meet with the OCS Director and your academic advisor prior to submitting your petition will result in its refusal.
  3. Complete all elements of the petition below and email your petition to the OCS Director by February 1st of the year preceding off-campus study.
       a. Petition Form (.pdf)
       b. Student Statement of Academic Rationale (see Petition Form)
       c. Letter of support from your academic advisor (in your major or intended program of study)
       d. All other supporting materials as necessary (see Petition Form)
  4. Your petition will be reviewed by a faculty Advisory Committee on Off-Campus Study. The Committee’s decision is final.  You will be informed in writing as soon as possible as to the decision.  Each approval is on a one-time basis, for a particular student.  Approval of the petition guarantees transfer of credit to the Wooster transcript (for grades of “C” or above) and transfer of financial aid.
  5. Once approved, students must follow the same procedure for off-campus study as students on regularly-endorsed programs.  You must submit complete application materials to the OCS office, and you must complete your program's separate application.
  6. If your petition is not approved, the OCS staff will work with you to find an alternative solution, should you so choose.

Criteria for Special One-Time Approval of a Non-Endorsed Program

The College of Wooster has made a special effort to include on its list of endorsed programs those that meet The College’s academic standards, that correspond to the mission of OCS and that represent a wide choice for students in regards to location, world regions, curriculum, language, or academic calendar.  Thus, students are advised to give serious consideration to programs included on the endorsed list before petitioning to attend a non-endorsed program.

The following criteria must be met for approval of a non-endorsed program:

  • The mission of the program corresponds to that of OCS and of The College of Wooster.
  • The program will enhance the student’s academic experience.  The program meets the students’ academic needs in a particularly relevant manner, and better than any other program on the endorsed list of programs. Note: climate, city size, cost or personal/family matters are not valid academic reasons.
  • The program’s academic quality is consistent with that of The College of Wooster, per course syllabi/descriptions provided.   Programs are academically related to the Wooster curriculum, and students are evaluated by college or university faculty.
  • The student is academically prepared for the program (includes prior course work and foreign language proficiency).
  • The program must include 14 weeks of class time.
  • Students are encouraged to attend programs in a single country.  In general, touring or shipboard programs are not recommended. Circumstances where multi-country programs enhance the students’ academic experience in a specific manner will be considered.
  • The program must be sponsored by an accredited U.S. College or University, or by a foreign accredited university or institution.
  • For programs in non-English speaking countries, students must take at least one course in the language of the host country during the program.
  • The program must provide a cultural experience different from that on The College of Wooster campus.
  • The program must provide adequate support services to study abroad students.
  • The program must ensure students’ safety.  Special consideration will be given to countries currently under Department of State Travel Warnings or Advisories.