Independent Learning Options

Through Independent Learning (IL), students are able to earn college credit without coming to campus and attending class. There are three modes of learning: Term-based online courses, Self-paced Independent Learning courses, and contract independent study.

Term-based online courses require internet access and weekly interaction amongst instructors and students.

Self-paced Independent Learning courses are courses which have been designed by faculty members so that students can study and complete the course at home. Course materials are available online through Canvas but do not require online interaction.

Term-based vs Self-paced

  Term-based Course
Self-paced Course
Enrollment Deadline Start of quarter None - enroll anytime
Technical Requirements Course delivered on the internet via Canvas
Internet to access course materials in Canvas. An e-mail account if course has e-mail option
Course Features Courses have fixed start/end dates corresponding to WWU's quarter. Interaction with instructor and other studens via internet. Weekly participation required. Post at your convenience 24/7. Enroll and begin course work anytime. Self-paced. Course materials developed for distance learning. One-to-one interaction with instructor.
Assignment Delivery Internet/e-mail/digital drop box in course template. Regular mail, fax, e-mail if e-mail option is available, or in person at our office.
Completion Time Within one academic quarter (10-12 weeks) Courses designed for completion in 10-12 weeks, maximum time allowed is 6 months.
Refunds WWU refund deadlines apply.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Full refund less registration fee available within 30 days of enrollment.

Classfinder now has an attribute to search for Term-based online classes (OL) in the GUR search box.

Prerequisite Requirements
Courses with prerequisites include a notation in the course description. The student is responsible for ensuring that prerequisites have been satisfied with a grade of C- or better before registering for a course. A student who has registered for a course without satisfying prerequisites or obtaining permission may be required by the instructor to withdraw from the course.

Accreditation and Transfer Information
Western Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities, Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer work at the bachelor’s and master’s level. The following colleges and departments that offer courses through Independent Learning bear additional accreditation: College of Business and Economics – The International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; Engineering Technology – Technology Accreditation Commission/Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, In.; Music – National Association of Schools of Music. The University holds membership in the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States. Independent Learning courses are courses from the WWU General Catalog and will apply to a WWU transcript the quarter that you enroll. If you want to apply credits taken through Independent Learning towards a degree at another university, check with your campus advisor at your home institution before enrolling to be sure that the credit will be accepted.

Contract Independent Study
Independent Study is a project that you design with a WWU faculty member of your choice. You and the instructor develop a contract which encompasses your goals for the project. Independent Study through Independent Learning is only for those students who are not admitted to Western. Admitted Western students set-up independent studies through the Registrar’s office.

During summer quarter all Independent Studies go through Summer Session. |    Extended Education |   WWU |   360.650.3650