See PDF copy of this policy.
Part 1. Purpose. RCTC students may seek approval to earn credits through an independent study project that either focuses on a normal course listed in the college curriculum or that is in a special area of interest. Students may apply six (6) credits of independent study toward a certificate or degree. Independent study cannot be used to validate existing knowledge or competencies. RCTC provides a Credit for Prior Learning option if a student believes that previous learning or experience meets RCTC course competencies.
Part 2. Definitions.
Subpart 1: Regular Independent Study enables a student to complete an RCTC course when it is not possible to attend a required class because of unavoidable conflicts. The normal course work of a previously approved course is completed by the student under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member.
Subpart 2: Specially-Designed Independent Study enables a student to develop, with a faculty member, an educational plan for enrichment or focus on a special area of interest. Independent study courses should start and end as near as possible to the beginning and end of the regular semester. Students who intend to engage in a specially-designed course with a specific instructor should have established a working relationship within the discipline (this normally means that the student has taken at least one course in the discipline). The specially designed educational plan is completed by the student under the supervision of an appropriate faculty member.
Part 3. Procedures.
- Obtain a copy of the Independent Study form from the Admissions & Records Office or Support Staff for an Academic Dean or Division Coordinator.
- Seek a faculty member to work with.
- Meet with the faculty member, fill out the appropriate form and attach a copy of the course outline/syllabus, learning activities, methods of evaluation, grading criteria, and timeline for communication/meetings with the instructor to this form. Meet with the Academic Dean, Division Coordinator and AASC Chair for approval and signature. The Dean, Division Coordinator, and AASC Chair will review the attachments before signing the form and call the Vice President of Academic Affairs Executive Assistant to have the course added to the computer for registration. A copy of all approved independent study course material will be filed in the Office of the Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- Register at Admissions and Records Office.
- Pay tuition at the Cashiers Office. Note: Tuition for Independent Study has been approved by the MnSCU Board of Trustees at a differential rate (higher).
Part 4: Standards. Following completion of all required course work for an Independent Study course, the faculty member who taught the course will submit a final grade for the student to the Registrar’s office.
Date of Implementation: Fall 2007
Date of Adoption: 2/12/2002
Revisions Adopted: 2/12/2002