Find A Sponsor

How to find a sponsor for individual study

What to expect

Typically, a potential sponsor will be more favorable to sponsoring contracts developed by students they have already worked with in the past. However, it is important to realize that there is no guarantee that you will be able to find a sponsor. Approved faculty and staff sponsors are not obligated to sponsor your contract. Please consider the following:

  • A contract proposal is meant to fill a specific purpose or offer deeper study into a concept touched on in a program you’ve taken. 
  • A contract is not intended to substitute for an existing program that you would otherwise be able to take. Sponsors will take this into consideration when deciding whether or not they will accept your proposal.
  • Well developed contract proposals will be met with the most willingness from sponsors – it is in your best interest to develop your contract around a topic you are passionate about and ensure that it meets the standards of college level learning before approaching a potential sponsor.
  • A sponsor may participate in helping you shape your independent learning proposal before finalizing it; however, they typically will not consider your proposal unless you already have a draft contract when approaching them.

Who can sponsor a learning contract

Any full-time member of the faculty who has been teaching at Evergreen for at least one year can sponsor independent learning. Additionally, there are some members of the college staff and some part-time faculty who are authorized to sponsor a limited number of contracts. 

For Evergreen Tacoma Students: Proposals for Individual or Internship Learning Contracts will be pre-approved by the Tacoma Program Individual Study Review Committee prior to being approved. If approved, students may proceed with developing the actual learning contract. 

For Graduate Students: Sponsors for graduate learning contracts must be pre-approved by the Directors of each program. Refer to your Graduate Program Office to find out which faculty are approved to sponsor.

Determining an appropriate sponsor

Your sponsor must be someone who has sufficient expertise in the area in which you are working to support and evaluate your work and your learning, and to award appropriate academic credit. You will want to make sure that there is no conflict of interest between you and your potential sponsor. For more information go to: Deans Criteria: Appears to be conflict of interest.

Initial steps to find a sponsor

  1. Contact current or past faculty with whom you have worked. Someone who knows your work, academic background and abilities and who has helped you develop your academic direction.
  2. Get a recommendation from current or past faculty with whom you have worked. Program faculty may also be able to recommend whom among their colleagues you might want to consider working with.
  3. Summer Contracts: Check the summer sponsor list for faculty willing to take contracts over the summer.

Additional steps

If the above steps do not help with finding a sponsor, follow these additional steps:

  1. Create a draft contract to share with a potential sponsor (go to My Evergreen and choose Individual Study Contracts). Do not complete the sponsor section until you have a verbal/written commitment from a sponsor.
  2. Use the faculty subjects index to identify faculty who have appropriate expertise, or check out the faculty directoryNote: Most sponsors will prefer to speak with you in person about your contract so try not to rely only on email.
  3. Talk to an academic advisor during drop-in advising times to discuss your proposal and get suggestions for sponsorship.
  4. Go to an Academic Fair with a few copies of your draft contract and share it with potential sponsors.