Individual Study

Guidelines for Sponsors

Individual and Internship Learning Contracts are remarkable aspects of student learning that we champion at Evergreen. Student success in these opportunities is directly related to degree of preparation on the part of the students. 

Signs of a successful sponsor and student contract commitment:


Student approaches faculty or staff sponsor with a completed draft of a contract at least a quarter before the quarter in which the sponsorship is desired.

Tip: Students are encouraged to use the online contract process to create a draft for you to provide feedback early in development.  Communicate to the student that you would like him/her to create a draft contract using the examples online and have the student release a draft for your review.  Use the Academic Deans' Contract Review Criteria to clarify the subject matter and conditions of the contract.

An important academic element is awarding of credit--the sponsor, subcontractor or site supervisor should have academic qualifications or professional expertise in the area of credit awarded.

Tip: Advanced preparation is particularly important if the student needs to secure a subcontractor or site supervisor as well as a faculty sponsor. Sometimes turning a student's proposal down can be an important learning experience--the results of their previous choices may have a direct effect on their current desires.

Student has a record of completing programs and of receiving full credit.

Tip: Once a student has released a draft of the contract with you listed as the sponsor, you can view his or her academic history by logging into your Sponsor Contract View online. 

Student has the academic or experiential background to pursue advanced study in a contract and can demonstrate an understanding of the quarter timeline and meeting the workload within this timeframe. In addition, the student understands the time invested per credit hour matches our expectations in programs--rough rule of thumb is 400 hours' work for 16 credits.

Tip: Use the Activities Timeline to help the student understand his/her workload and managing it within the timeframe. In addition, it provides a detailed grid illustrating time invested per credit hour earned.

Students commonly seek individual or internship contracts when all else has failed for them--late registration, programs full or cancelled, multi-quarter programs not accepting new students after first quarter.

Tip: Lack of self-motivation in these areas can be a predictor of failure in an individual or internship contract.  These cases often show up well after the start of the quarter in which the sponsorship is requested.  While it's theoretically possible for a student to write a novel in a quarter, facts indicate that it's unlikely. A common request for individual study is for traveling and keeping a journal. Without further academic work, these activities in themselves are not creditworthy--journals are, by definition, rough drafts.