Independent Study Process

Independent Study Process for CDL - Creating Totally Individualized Studies (TIS)

STEP 1 – MENTOR Request/Prearrangement By Mentor (Choose One )

Mentor Request for Independent Study (IS):

  1. MENTOR sends email request to appropriate AOS/AAC at least 8 weeks before term starts.
  2. MENTORincludes the following information:
    • Student Name
    • Term for IS  
    • Title
    • Number of Credits
    • Level of Credit
    • Liberal or Non-Liberal
    • Gen Ed?
  3. GO TO STEP 2

Prearranged IS by Mentor:

(Mentor doing IS as an instructor with his/her Student or pre-arranged with another Faculty member)

  1. MENTOR sends email to AAC with the following information:
    • Instructor Name
    • Student Name
    • Term for IS
    • Title
  2. GO TO STEP 3B


  1. AAC checks with AC regarding possibilities and responds to Mentor with one of the following messages:
    • WILL DO A SEARCH - “A search will be done to find instructor for the IS request. Please allow two weeks for search. The search is not a guarantee that the request will be filled; however our best effort to fulfill your request will be made. If you have a recommendation for an Instructor, or if you should, in the meantime, find another option for study, please notify me.” (GO TO STEP 3)
    • WILL NOT DO A SEARCH - “We do not have instructors that meet your request needs. Please check with College Wide Offerings for other options.” (END OF SEARCH)


3A - IS Search Cannot Fulfill IS Request – AAC does the following:

  1. AAC sends the following message to Mentor who requested IS: We were unable to fulfill your IS Request at this time. Please seek alternative options such as College Wide Offerings or Study Topic. (END OF IS REQUEST)

3B – IS Request is Fulfilled by Search or Prearrangement – breakdown of each person’s responsibility (AAC, Mentor, Instructor):

AAC does the following:

  1. AAC confirms instructor with AC and then confirms via email with the person who will be TEACHING the IS and includes the following information in the confirmation:
    1. IS Term; Student Name; Title of Course; Number/Level of Credits; Liberal/Non-Liberal; if Gen/Ed etc.
    2. LC due two weeks before term begins.
    3. LC amendments during term to be sent to AAC.
    4. LC Guidelines are attached in email and includes a checklist covering Steps 3B-6 for instructor.
  2. AAC emails the mentor who requested IS, and notifies mentor of the following (If the mentor is the instructor, bypass this and go below to No. 3*):
    1. Who the instructor is, the instructor’s contact information (usually email address).
    2. Indicates that Mentor needs to contact Instructor with student information and have student register for course.
  3. *AAC emails Jean Parker (Registration) and Jodie Williams (Instructor Payroll) with the name of the Instructor; Student Name; Term of IS; Title of Study; Number/Level of Credits.
  4. AAC - GO TO STEP 4.

MENTOR does the following:

  1. Has student register for IS.
  2. Emails instructor with student contact information.
  3. Emails student with instructor contact information. 

INSTRUCTOR does the following:

  1. Receives confirmation from AAC regarding IS and Learning Contract Guidelines, including checklist that covers Steps 3B – 6.
  2. Receives student information from Mentor regarding IS.
  3. Connects with Jodie Williams via email regarding compensation.
  4. Contacts Student regarding Learning Contract/Independent Study.
  5. Develops Learning Contract and consults with Area Coordinator as needed.

STEP 4 – PRE-TERM (2 weeks prior to start of term)

INSTRUCTOR does the following:

  1. E-mails Learning Contract to AAC 2 weeks BEFORE term starts.
  2. Notifies student that Learning Contract has been submitted for processing and student should receive “official” copy by the start of term. 

AAC does the following:

  1. When LC EMAILED, AAC does the following: 
    1. AAC; sends copy to AC for review and to get permission to submit for processing.
    2. AAC gets okay from AC and emails Learning Contract to Debbi Staulters.
    3. Go below to No. 3*;

    (Note: ONLY ESC faculty with access to DOCPAK may enter the LC in DOCPAK automatically without sending to AAC.)

  2. When LC NOT EMAILED to AAC or SUBMITTED to DOCPAK, AAC does the following:
    1. AAC checks DOCPAK to see if it has been entered; if yes, go below to No. 3*.
    2. LC not in DOCPAK - AAC emails/phones instructor regarding status of LC and reiterates the LC needs to be submitted so student can receive it by the beginning of term. (go back to Step 4/AAC No. 1)
  3. *When LC is SUBMITTED in DOCPAK, AAC does the following:
    1.  AAC reviews LC, notifies AC that LC was submitted and is in docpak for review.
    2. When LC is acceptable by AC and/or AAC; approval made and LC is processed and sent to Student through records and registration.
  4. AAC – GO TO STEP 5.

STEP 5 – TERM RUNS (Break down of Instructor & AAC roles)

INSTRUCTOR does the following:

  1. Engages in study with student.
  2. Sends any Learning Contract Amendments to AAC in a timely manner.
  3. GO TO STEP 6.

AAC does the following:

  1. If instructor sends amendments; make changes to Learning Contract.
  2. If instructor hasn’t sent in amendments; email instructor mid-term/end of term and ask if any amendments need to be incorporated in Learning Contract.
  3. GO TO STEP 6.

STEP 6 – TERM ENDS (Breakdown of Instructor and AAC roles)

INSTRUCTOR does the following:

  1. Submits CE to Debbi Staulters (Note: if instructor has access to system; submit to system). (END OF PROCESS)

AAC does the following:

  1. Approves CE. (END OF PROCESS)