Contract learning is a type of independent study which is appropriate when a student cannot access regular courses needed for graduation that semester or when desired learning objectives cut across disciplines. From the latter, with the help of a faculty instructor, the student takes responsibility for planning and carrying out his/her own learning. The student's role in the process is that of initiator of planning and executor of strategies to achieve agreed-upon objectives. The faculty instructor's role is to facilitate self-directed learning, act as content expert, and evaluate the student's learning.
In order to qualify for contract learning, a student must have successfully completed 60 credits towards the degree. Contract Learning is available only for matriculated students and must be developed at least one month prior to the term start date so that an instructor can be secured to teach.
Once the student has determined, in consultation with his or her academic counselor, that the proposed learning fits into the degree plan, the student completes the learning contract form and submits it with the fee to the contract learning administrator. The administrator submits the proposal to the appropriate mentor for comment. Terms of the contract are negotiated between the instructor and student. The final contract is signed by the student, instructor, and administrator and is submitted for final approval to a faculty member from the area of study. Once the reviewing faculty approves the contract, the student fulfills the terms, communicating with the mentor as agreed upon. The instructor evaluates the finished contract and submits the grade.
Once the student is enrolled in the independent study, the student is responsible for the tuition and fees associated with the course. The same policies that apply to other courses, apply to independent studies.