Online Independent Study Courses

Independent Study courses are self-paced, project-based courses designed to enhance curriculum development and encourage individual growth. They provide a framework for exploring a topic or strategy, but allow teachers to choose their own foci and readings (from a recommended list). Course topics range from teaching methodologies and ecoliteracy to Common Core and classroom management, with an option to design your own course if you don’t see your topic of passion represented (Special Project for Individualized Learning).

In our new online format, assignments are submitted for grading online but can often be completed without a computer. The specific activities vary from course to course, but every Independent Study course requires students to:

  • Read at least 100 pages per credit from professional books or journals
  • Complete a Professional Reading and Review for each text
  • Write a one-page reflection paper documenting what you have learned and how you plan to use your new knowledge
  • Complete an annotated time log to verify you’ve spent at least 15 hours per credit on the course requirements

Registration for Independent Study courses is open year-round and students have up to three (3) months to complete each course. Browse our current offerings and find your course today!

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Independent Study Courses

Do your students ask you, “Why do I have to learn this?” Do you know adults who wish they had planned more for their careers when they were younger? Are you interested in helping your students prepare for a fulfilling career? In this course you will explore ways to help your students better prepare for a fulfilling future.

Educators often participate in professional development in a variety of different formats. You might take an online course, seminar, or webinar. You might attend a workshop or training. Often participants in these types of professional development opportunities are presented with valuable information they can apply to their everyday work. However, handouts and ideas get filed away when daily life takes priority. This course will help educators to prioritize the information presented, determine how to apply the most relevant information to their work, and plan or create a project demonstrating their ability to apply the strategies they have discovered.

The majority of states have adopted the common core standards. As an educator or administer, are you wondering what these standards might mean for your state, your district, your school, and your classroom? Participants in this course will read and view information about the standards relevant to their discipline and grade. They will analyze the status of standard implementation in their states, evaluate how the standards affect teaching and learning in their daily lives, and apply standards to their own experiences.

Meeting the needs of all learners is just one of the challenges that teachers face each day. Today with high stakes testing and scripted curriculum's this challenge seems even more insurmountable. We know that no matter how well curriculum is written it focuses on just one group of learners and we search for ways to modify instruction so that all students are successful.

This course is designed for teachers who have a specific project in mind related to an area not covered by any of the existing courses. This course requires participants to plan and research an area of inquiry related to their specific curricular requirements. Prior approval of instructor required.

All teachers want to use the best teaching and learning strategies to promote the highest success for students. This course will explore the research that shows which classroom strategies actually work. Teachers will experiment with these strategies and reflect on their effectiveness with their own students.

New technologies have given us insight into the brain and its functions. From these scientific studies we can now identify sound teaching practices. This course will present current material in a format that is immediately applicable to the classroom. Teachers will explore current research and teaching strategies that support the brain in its learning.

There are many different definitions of media literacy. This topic can be controversial in that some people believe that many youth exhibit negative behavior as a result of media effects. Like other important issues, research shows that many variables interact to influence behavior. The goal of this course is to evaluate current research and define the aspects of media literacy that have the most potential to affect your students.

Teachers regularly attend conferences and seminars designed to help them develop professionally. Often participants are overwhelmed with information and ideas, but they have difficulty dedicating the time to applying their knowledge to everyday practice in the classroom. This course will help educators to prioritize the information presented, determine how to apply selected information to a lesson plan, and develop a lesson plan.

Students of all ages have preferred learning styles, and they learn best when they receive information that is a fit for their style. They also learn better if they can adapt to a variety of styles. Teachers also have preferences and tend to emphasize their preferred style, but both teachers and students will benefit if lessons address the full spectrum of styles. The main goal of this course is to help you understand the different learning styles and practice integrating them into your lesson plan.

Web 2.0 technologies are the most recent phase of our interactions with the World Wide Web. This course will discuss how on Wikipedia you can look up words and phrases and you can also add or edit information to that and many other sites that are known as wikis. Wikis are collaborative tools. Rather than sending files back and forth to edit using word processing software, you and your students can share the information and edit it all together in one space.

Ecoliteracy combines the sciences of systems and ecology to foster a deep appreciation of nature and mankind's role in it. A focus on environmental education and ecoliteracy involves teaching children and adults how to investigate their environment and to make intelligent, informed decisions about how they can become responsible stewards. These experiences help shape children's understanding about ecosystems and the shifts our society needs to make in order to create a sustainable future. This course gives educators the opportunity to explore ways to incorporate ecoliteracy and environmental issues into their curriculum.

Bullying significantly impacts the learner and the learning environment. Students in fear of being bullied can hardly be expected to do their best academic work in class. This course is designed to assist the educator in analyzing the issues involved with school bullying and developing solutions to effectively deal with bullying behaviors. It will also help the teacher to support the victims and learn how to take preventive measures. This class may be one of the most significant classes you take.

Teaching self-control and responsibility begins with the teacher’s classroom management plan. Participants in this course will develop effective strategies for handling real day-to-day situations and learn how to resolve and prevent discipline problems. As part of this course, teachers will create an effective classroom management plan based on their own personality, grade level, and teaching style.

This course is designed to help you incorporate strategies to help English Language Learners (ELLs) in your classroom. As educators we want all students to be successful and to be an active participant in your lesson. The goal of this course is to make you aware of how language is acquired; how to use the best strategies, and materials to make your lessons understandable and successful to ELLs. You will learn ways to help your student become an active member of your class and increase your student’s English academic language.

*Textbook required. More information will be provided upon registration and/or start of course.


  • Open Enrollment


  • $90 per credit


  • Online


  • Up to 3 months

All courses will be awarded letter grades unless Pass/No Pass is specifically requested. Please email us after registration if P/NP is required.