For high-performing students seeking educational challenges, the ISSP offers the opportunity for independent study and college courses.

Since 1967, the Independent Study and Seminar Program (ISSP) has been distinguishing talent and developing leaders. To find out more about this program that is offered to our students, please

Independent Study and Seminar Program (ISSP)

It is the mission of the Independent Study and Seminar Program to help students distinguish themselves in and out of the classroom by nurturing exceptional talent, engaging curiosity, and fostering self-confidence and originality. ISSP creates unique opportunities through independent study, college courses, and seminars that equip students to succeed in academics and the community.

What is ISSP?
ISSP supports high performing, college bound students by providing opportunities including college courses, IS Courses, college preparatory workshops, and academic and artistic programs. ISSP Coordinators work with students to find the opportunities that best fit their interests, strengths, and schedules, serving as their mentors along the way. In ISSP’s College Before College Program, coordinators guide students as they select and register for college classes. In addition, coordinators support students throughout their time in the college classes with weekly conferences and evaluations. ISSP serves students who consistently excel in their studies, as well as providing incentives for all students to earn higher marks in order to take advantage of the program’s benefits.

Philosophy and Goals:
Students who participate in ISSP gain much more from the program than a powerful transcript. ISSP is designed to help prepare them for personal, social, and academic success as they embark on their college careers. ISSP students proudly mirror the cultural and intellectual diversity of an increasingly global community.

Intellectual Courage
ISSP exposes students to a variety of academic and creative experiences. Subsequently, students learn how to pursue a subject on their own and transfer that knowledge to other areas of study.

Students gain skills through ISSP that are directly applicable to their regular academic courses. The program also fosters critical and independent thinking to aid them as they pursue higher learning.

ISSP invites students to embrace learning opportunities not provided in their regular class schedule, while enhancing their creative and problem-solving abilities.

Maturity and Responsibility
Students must balance the demands of a high school education with the additional challenges offered through ISSP. They become more open-minded, develop time management skills, accept set-backs as part of success, and grow to appreciate that learning is a lifelong process.

When students succeed in ISSP programs, they are empowered to pursue new opportunities. ISSP Coordinators help customize a course of study and experiences outside the classroom that fuel students’ desire to learn and help them realize their true potential.

Application Process:
Students taking an Independent Study course are required to complete a written proposal prior to the beginning of their course which includes: course goals and objectives, course particulars detailing content, including text/s, exam/s, presentation/s, project/s and scope, specific explanations on how the student’s grade will be assessed, and the expected outcome for the student in terms of the relevancy of course to student’s needs and studies. The first step is for the student to speak with the principal to obtain his/her permission. The ISSP Coordinator will then furnish the student with the ISSP Contract. After completing the proposal, it must be approved by the Coordinating Teacher, Independent Study Coordinator, parent and an administrator. Also used in evaluating the student for an IS course are teacher recommendations, previous grades, test scores on Differential Aptitude Tests (DATs) and Torrance Test of Creativity (exams given to only freshmen and sophomore students recommended by teacher or guidance counselor), PSATs, SATs, demonstrated special projects, and personal interviews. These are among the criteria used in accordance with state guidelines.