I work randomly as an adjunct professor...I will say that some specific requirements of the course are mandatory and I cannot waive the requirement for any student or change the details on the requirement. For each course we have 3 mandatory "signature" assignments, these are non-negotiable for me and the student. We also must also incorporate a few additional assignments depending on the course.
I am a believer in field work, for my graduate degree I did over 1000 hours of non-paid volunteer based work relative to my chosen area of study. It sucked...full time student, full time employee, and doing 1000 hours of volunteer work. The thing is...it was hard, but you learn how to manage your time and you get a lot of first hand experience and knowledge that you would never get sitting in a classroom. Class work only barely skims the surface of what you will need to learn to be proficient at a skilled profession...first hand experience is where you learn. Even if your volunteer work is not specifically what you want to ultimately do you can still take a lot of experience from that and apply it in the future.