The Odyssey Program

Propose Your Own Project

Proposing your own Odyssey project allows you to customize your experience and explore your own interests. Maybe you learned something in class that made you want to explore further, you read an article that intrigued you, or you had a conversation with a professor that inspired you. By proposing and undertaking a project, you determine what you learn.

How does a project go from concept to completion?

1. Start with collecting some background information. You can begin on the internet to find activities, organizations, businesses, museums or research centers that will be pertinent to your project. Make some initial contacts to find out details.

2. Develop your own idea and plan for its execution. Select a faculty or staff sponsor as early as possible in the process. Look for someone who has expertise in the area you are interested in or who at least will share your enthusiasm for the project. You may wish to speak to several people before selecting the one with whom you wish to collaborate. Please note that for projects in the AC and UR categories your sponsor must be a member of the Hendrix faculty. For all other categories your sponsor may be a member either of the faculty or of the administrative staff.

3. Consider the categories carefully and select the one that matches your project the best. In your written proposal you must speak to the criteria of the category you have selected. If the match is not good, your proposal may be sent back to you for revision.

4. Give your project a concise but descriptive title.

The Proposal

Work with your sponsor to write a narrative. The on-line proposal form is divided into several sections, and each has a 500-word limit. For credit only, you should only be concerned with the first four sections. For a funding request, you may need to write additional information for the final section.  Write your narrative in Word so you can keep track of the count for each component. Show your draft to your supervisor for suggestions. You are also encouraged to bring a draft of the proposal to the Odyssey Office for advice.

Section One:

Project Abstract: Provide a brief overview of the project and its category and what you plan to do. Include the timeframe and location. Use your background research to set the scene, introduce the organizations or locations involved, and describe your reason for doing this Odyssey.

Section Two:

Project Plans:  Give details on how you will see this project through. Use your background research to set the scene, introduce the organizations or locations involved, and describe your reason for doing this Odyssey. How will you get there? Where will you stay? What steps will you take to explore your topic?

Section Three:

-Learning Goals: Provide 3-4 learning goals and explain why they are relevant for the project and important to you.

Section Four:

-Odyssey Category: Include any details about category specific criteria (such as hours, reflection piece, or public presentation) and how you plan to meet them. Consult the Odyssey Categories menu at for more information, if necessary.

Section Five (optional):

-Additional Information: Include additional information or elaborate on anything that you need to here. This might include project-specific requirements that are requested by your project supervisor. If you are seeking funding, you can use this space to provide further details about the financial support you need to complete the project.

 Complete the Online Form:

Once your project description is complete and approved by your sponsor, submit an online Proposal Form and paste the narrative into the form sections. Please note that the form must be submitted before you begin the project or very shortly after you have begun. Project proposals that do not require funding are accepted year-round. If you do need funding, the form will walk you through those additional steps. You may find this budget worksheet helpful and you are welcome to upload it with your proposal.  The Odyssey Office does not accept proposals retroactively.

Your supervisor will approve the proposal online, and then the Odyssey Office will review it for credit. You will receive notification by e-mail when your project is approved. Be sure to add the completion deadline to your calendar.

Once you have completed your project and met all the requirements of the category you have selected, submit an online Project Completion Form to the Odyssey Office. Write a brief project description (150 words or fewer) describing your experience and what you have learned.  If an hours log is required, share it with your supervisor with the draft of your transcript paragraph. Your credit will not be registered as complete until you have submitted your form, your supervisor approves it, and the Odyssey Office finalizes the credit.

Please note: the Odyssey Office does not support or condone missing classes to complete an Odyssey project. The only exception to this policy is for travel to a conference that occurs during the academic year, and under these circumstances, it is the student's responsibility to make up all course work missed.