Individual Study

Individual Learning Contracts

An Individual Learning Contract (ILC) is negotiated between a student and faculty/staff sponsor who has knowledge in the area to be studied. In consultation with the sponsor, the student initiates the agreement to undertake work at an advanced level, develop specific learning goals, and identify and complete learning activities. The sponsor agrees to provide appropriate oversight, support, and advice.


Plan Ahead - Meet with an Academic Advisor.
The earlier you plan and begin to create a draft contract the more likely you will be able to find a sponsor and be successful in developing your contract. Use an Activities Timeline to help you consider the amount of work you will need to do to earn the credit you are seeking. It is important to contact a potential sponsor at least a full quarter in advance of the quarter you would like to do a contract and make sure there is no conflict of interest between you and the sponsor. This is the first step to negotiating the terms of the contract with a potential sponsor. 

Negotiate and Get Feedback
Once you have a commitment from a potential sponsor, you will negotiate and get feedback from him/her on specific learning objectives, learning activities, subcontractor support, academic support, evaluation, and appropriate award of credit. Also, as you develop your contract, be sure to review the Academic Deans' Review Criteria that the deans use to approve or not approve your contract prior to registration. Use the online contract process to share a draft contract to begin negotiation with your sponsor.

When developing a contract both the student and sponsor should discuss use of technology with regard to working on the contract over the term. The faculty sponsor’s requirements for use of technology by the student must refer to technology that the college currently administers and supports.

You must negotiate with an approved sponsor (a faculty or staff member) well in advance of the quarter for which you will be doing the activities of the contract. For example, if you want a contract for fall quarter, spring quarter is the time to negotiate. If you both agree to commit to the contract, that faculty or staff member becomes your sponsor.

Questions?  Contact Academic Advising or 360-867-6312