Independent Study in Idaho

Sherrie Metlen, ISI Program Manager: phone 208-885-9258 
ISI office: 875 Perimeter Drive MS 3081, Moscow, ID 83844-3081; phone 208-885-6641 or 877-464-3246; fax 208-885-5738;

Independent Study in Idaho (ISI) was created in 1973 by the Idaho State Board of Education as a cooperative of four accredited Idaho institutions led by the University of Idaho (UI). Other cooperating members include Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC), Idaho State University (ISU), and Boise State University (BSU). The ISI office is located in Moscow, Idaho, on the UI campus.

Each member-institution of the ISI cooperative is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the region's accrediting agency. Although ISI does not offer degrees, credits earned upon course completion transfer to most colleges and universities.

ISI courses, sponsored by the cooperating institutions, are delivered online. Idaho residency is not required. A complete list of ISI courses, course syllabi and ISI policies and procedures are available on the ISI website

Students take ISI courses to begin college programs early, graduate on time, resolve on-campus scheduling conflicts, satisfy prerequisites, or to pursue professional development and personal enrichment. Courses are not on a semester or quarter calendar so students can begin anytime, work from anywhere and take up to one calendar year to complete a course. Students can work at their own pace within limits set by the course instructor on the number of assignments that can be submitted per week. Plan on a minimum of three months to complete a course.  Independent Study in Idaho courses are designed for students who work well independently with limited interaction with instructors.


Provide greater access to educational opportunities that engage a cross-section of ethnic, socioeconomic, traditional, and non-traditional learners by offering flexible enrollment in quality courses with online delivery.

Focus Areas

ISI offers a greater number of courses in specific subject areas.

  • Modern Languages and Cultures

  • Psychology

  • Library Science

  • Courses for Education Professionals (K-12)

Idaho Teacher Librarian Endorsement (K-12)

The UI-sponsored library science courses are only available through ISI. Coursework leading toward competency as defined by Idaho Standards for Teacher Librarians for the Idaho Teacher Librarian (K-12) endorsement includes collection development/materials selection, literature for children or young adults; organization of information (cataloging and classification); school library administration/management; library information technologies; information literacy; and reference and information services, and a qualifying score on the Idaho Praxis II test number 5311. Coursework for endorsement through ISI requires 21-semester credits, in addition to a three-credit practicum.

When the coursework, practicum, and the Praxis II Test 5311 are completed, and if the student is completing an endorsement for Idaho, he/she must contact the Certification Officer at Undergraduate Programs and Certification, College of Education, University of Idaho, 875 Perimeter Drive MS 3084, Moscow, ID 83844-3084 for institutional recommendation signature approval for completion of requirements.

These courses may be approved for endorsement in other states. Teachers outside the state of Idaho should check with their state's Department of Education to determine requirements and to obtain written confirmation that ISI credits are acceptable for their state's endorsement.

University of Idaho Library Science Teaching Minor

ISI’s library science courses also meet the requirements for a 24 semester-hour credit teaching minor in library science from the UI. For more information on obtaining a minor, contact the UI College of Education

Because library science is not a teaching field, the teacher librarian must also qualify for a standard Idaho elementary or secondary teacher’s certificate.

Education Professionals (K-12)

Independent Study in Idaho courses may be used toward renewing teaching credentials and for certification. Contact your state Department of Education to determine if ISI courses are applicable.

Course Delivery and Services

Online Course Delivery

ISI students receive a Registration Confirmation Email which includes the student’s Vandal number and information on how to activate Vandal Accounts to access ISI courses online. ISI courses are delivered online through BbLearn (Blackboard Learn) learning management system.


A VandalMail email account will be assigned upon registration. All ISI students are required to activate and use their VandalMail email account for ISI course-related correspondence or set up email forwarding from VandalMail to another email.

Exams and Proctors

Most ISI courses require completion of a specific number of proctored exams which are delivered in hard copy format. Students are responsible for finding an acceptable proctor. View complete information concerning proctors and submit a Proctor Information Form.

Disability Support Services

To request disability-related services, visit the course sponsoring institution's website. Refer to Cooperating Institutions.

Library Services

University of Idaho library resources are available to ISI students, including electronic journal databases and eBook collections. ISI students who are Idaho residents and non-residents who live within a 50 mile radius of the UI may visit the library to obtain a guest card. All ISI students may contact their local library for information about borrowing materials through interlibrary loan. For more information see Library Resources.

Registration and Fees


Students can register for ISI courses anytime without applying for admission to any of the cooperating schools. Admission to any of these institutions is not granted upon registering for an ISI course. ISI does not offer degrees; however, credits earned transfer to most colleges and universities. Most colleges and universities have transfer credit limitations. University of Idaho students working toward a degree are required to obtain written approval from their advisor to register for an ISI course and to ensure that ISI course credits are applicable toward their degree. It is recommended that students at other institutions obtain signature confirmation that ISI credits will be accepted. The University of Idaho DOES NOT calculate ISI course credits or transfer credits into the institutional GPA. Students at other universities may want to contact their registrar to find out if ISI course grades will be calculated into the GPAs.


Non-residents pay the same fee as residents. Fees include registration and online course access, but do not include textbooks and other course materials. Refer to the ISI website for current fee information.

Purchasing Course Materials

A list of required course materials is provided on the VandalStore website and in the syllabus for a course on the ISI website.

Financial Aid

ISI does not offer financial aid. Federal and state agencies, businesses, student financial aid services, and veterans’ organizations may offer financial assistance to fund ISI course fees. ISI accepts most tuition assistance payments, such as Advanced Opportunities through Idaho public high schools. Students are advised to check with their financial aid office to determine if anything is available for ISI courses. Courses taken through ISI do not count toward a student’s credit hour load and cannot be used to establish full-time or part-time student status to determine eligibility for financial aid or loan deferment.

Military Benefits

The Veterans Assistance Office at the UI can help students apply for education benefits. Contact the UI Veterans Assistance office before enrolling.

Drops and Refunds

To drop an ISI course, submit the Drop Course Form. A dropped course without a final grade will not appear on your academic record or transcript.

Refund Schedule

Courses dropped within 45 days of registration may qualify for a refund. See ISI Refund Schedule for details.

Exchanging Courses

A course may be exchanged for another within 45 days of registration. For details see Course Exchange.

Course Extensions

A one-time four-month course extension may be purchased for most courses. See Course Extensions for details.

Grades and Transcripts

ISI does not issue transcripts. Official transcripts can be purchased from the credit-granting institution. To determine the credit-granting institution, refer to your course or note the abbreviation listed in the course syllabus on the ISI website.