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Independent Study Program

Independent Study Program

Students often have intellectual, artistic, or career interests which cannot be fully pursued within the existing high school curriculum. These students may apply for an Independent Study course. The study offers elective credit and yields a pass/fail grade. Following is an overview of the Independent Study Program. Specific information, including detailed guidelines for application and course credit regulations, are available from the Independent Study Coordinator at each high school.

Who is eligible for Independent Study?

Any high school student who has a minimum 2.0 GPA may apply for the Independent Study Program. Students must complete an application form which includes a written description of the Independent study project, two teacher recommendations, and parental and mentor permission. A committee which includes the Independent Study Coordinator, guidance counselors, and administrators evaluates the application.

What types of independent studies have been done in the past?

Fine Arts
Music Composition and Production
Advanced Film Study
Advanced Basketry and History
Writing for Publication
Literacy Criticism - Harlem Renaissance
Readings in Contemporary Literature
Women's Studies
Medical Drawing
Emergency Medicine
Sports Medicine
Automotive Restoration
Science and Math
Advanced Computer Programming
Marine Biology
Social Studies
Civil War Reenactment
Archaeology Dig
National History Day
Foreign Language
American Sign Language
Physical Education
Golf Theory and Application
Coaching Theory and Practice
Sports Management
Kinesiology of Swimming

Students may design independent studies in any field. These are examples only; future projects may be completely different. Students may take an AP class as Independent Study when the class is not offered at the school. In this case, the student may choose to take the AP exam but receives elective credit.

What is the application process?

  • Pick up an Independent Study packet from the Independent Study Coordinator at your school.
  • Attend informational meetings in the fall (for spring semester study) or late winter (for fall semester study). Dates will be announced to all students.
  • Consult with teachers and other adults about Independent Study topic. The Independent Study Coordinator will assist.
  • On own, or with help of Independent Study Coordinator, find a potential mentor (person who will oversee and assist with the independent study and help evaluate project).
  • Submit completed proposal to the Independent Study Coordinator for evaluation by Independent Study Committee.

What will be considered in an application?

A successful application will clearly outline a course of study which is outside the existing curriculum, can be completed in one or two semesters, and develops a product or experience which is of sufficient intellectual, artistic, or career achievement to warrant academic credit.

Steps to Remember

  • Attend informational meetings in fall (for spring semester) and late winter (for fall semester).
  • Complete an application and find a potential mentor.
  • Submit your application to the Independent Study Coordinator.
  • Receive notification from Independent Study Coordinator about your application.
  • Contact the Independent Study Coordinator at the school for additional information.

Contact your school's Gifted Resource Teacher for more information.


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