Because we are keeping the program small, more exclusive, in 2014 and beyond, I have the luxury of negotiating directly with coordinators, directors, and chairs regarding PSP participants receiving credit from their home institutions. In such an instance, the PSP participant will pay tuition to her or his own institution, and the PSP will reduce the program cost significantly. All participants who earn credit through their home institutions will pay only $2,200 in program costs if they are granted Vaclav Havel Scholarships. This cost does not include housing in the Masaryk dorm
After applying to the Prague Summer Program and paying the refundable $100 application fee, and after receiving confirmation that s/he has been granted a Vaclav Havel Scholarship, the PSP participant will negotiate independent studies/directed readings with one or more faculty members of his or her program or department.
The PSP participant will pass on the contact information of the professor of record to me, the PSP director (credit hours will vary according to whether the PSP participant’s home institution is on the quarter or semester system, and according to department/program conventions).
I will contact the professor(s) of record and negotiate the terms of the independent study (or independent studies).
I will deliver detailed reports to the professor of record on July 13, 20, and 27. In the final report I will recommend a grade based on attendance, quality of participation, the additional recommendations of the PSP permanent faculty with whom the participant will conduct manuscript conferences, and based also on a minimum 1000-word personal essay the subject of which will be negotiated in-country. The recommended grade will be accompanied by a detailed justification as well as a copy of the personal essay and the portfolio of work the student submitted over the course of the program. It will be up to the professor of record as to whether s/he reports the recommended grade to his or her student. All communications will be by e-mail and e-mail attachment. I will gladly communicate with the professor of record by Skype if s/he desires.
Additional credit may be earned by contracting with me for a directed-reading regime centered on expatriate American writers, modern Czech literature in translation, or continental Jewish literature in translation. The procedures for such a regime would mirror that described above, though with the caveat that there would be only one detailed report delivered on July 27. Individuals seeking directed-reading credit will meet with me once a week, keep a detailed “reading diary,” and submit a minimum two thousand word personal essay focused on the reading regime. Both the reading diary and the essay will be submitted to the professor of record in the single report that will include the recommended grade.
As of this writing, the Prague Summer Program is negotiating with several institutions to grant both undergraduate and graduate credit to program participants. But transferring credit can sometimes be problematic; many writing programs will not accept transferred “workshop” credit, counting it rather as some form of elective credit. Indeed, in the majority of cases this is what writing programs and English departments will allow.
A final note: Even after the PSP has secured a means by which students may garner transfer credit, most PSP participants seeking academic credit may wish to follow the procedure described above. There are two main advantages: one may bypass what is often a sticky bureaucratic process, and one’s own department/program may more directly enforce its quality controls and standards.
Prague Summer Program for Writers