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Meeting of the Board of Regents | April 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010 - 8:30am

sed seal                                                                                                 




EMSC Committee


John B. King, Jr.


Preliminary Draft Regulations to Implement the Regents Policy on Receiving Course Credit for Independent Study


April 5, 2010






Issue for Discussion

Do the Regents approve the preliminary draft regulations to implement their policy on receiving course credit for independent study? 


Reason for Consideration


Review of Policy.

Proposed Handling

In March 2010, the Regents approved a conceptual policy on receiving course credit for independent study.  This month, preliminary draft regulatory language to implement that policy will be before the Regents EMSC Committee for discussion.   The draft regulations will be published in the State Register for public comment and will be brought back to the Regents for action in July. 

Background Information

In an effort to offer additional opportunities for attaining initial course credit in a particular subject area in greater depth, Board action is recommended regarding independent study - occasions where students want to pursue a course of study in greater depth than is offered in the school’s curriculum. Currently, students are required to complete 22 units of credit in order to graduate from high school, but they typically complete more. Schools offer a number of elective courses, but may not offer specific courses that the student wants to pursue.

In these cases, it is important to provide guidance to insure that a student is appropriately pursuing and mastering the state learning standards in the subject area and to insure appropriate levels of rigor and quality for independent study programs implemented by local schools. Further, it is important that a student be given the opportunity only after it is determined that there is a high likelihood of success (e.g.,  a grade point average of 85 overall or in the given subject area).  As detailed below, the proposed regulation generally limits independent study to three elective credits that may be used to satisfy diploma requirements, and a certified teacher must oversee the student’s work.





              Pursuant to sections 101, 207, 208, 209, 305, 308, 309 and 3204 of the Education Law.

Paragraph (9) of subdivision (d) of section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education is added, effective August 11, 2010, as follows:

(9) Credit for Independent Study.  Students enrolled in a school district, a charter school or a registered nonpublic school may earn a maximum of 3 units of elective credit towards a Regents diploma through independent study, pursuant to the following:

(i) a school district or a registered nonpublic school shall, and a charter school may, provide its students with an opportunity to earn such credit through independent study;

(ii)  in the case of a school district or a registered nonpublic school, the student's participation in independent study shall be approved by a school-based panel consisting of, at a minimum, the principal, a teacher in the subject area for which independent study credit is sought, and a guidance director or other administrator.  The panel shall approve the student’s participation in independent study based on the following criteria:

(a)  the student has demonstrated readiness and has a high likelihood of success (may be indicated by a given grade point average in general or in the given subject area) in each subject in which he or she seeks to undertake independent study; and

(b)  the student has accumulated the expected number of units of credit for the student’s grade level; and

(c)  the student has passed the appropriate number of Regents examinations or other assessments required for graduation, for the student’s grade level.

(iii)  The principal, after consultation with relevant faculty, shall award credit to the student for successful completion of the independent study and demonstrated mastery of the learning outcomes for the subject.

(iv)  For purposes of this paragraph, independent study shall be:

              (a) academically rigorous and aligned to the New York State commencement-level learning standards;

              (b) overseen by a teacher knowledgeable and experienced in the subject area of the independent study;

              (c) based on a syllabus on file for each independent study; and

              (d) of comparable scope and quality to classroom work that would have been done at the school district, charter school or registered nonpublic school awarding the credit.

(v)  For purposes of this paragraph, credit for independent study may be awarded for elective courses only, and shall not be awarded for courses required for the Regents diploma as specified in subparagraph (iv) of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of this section.