By the time students reach their senior year in high school, they have usually developed interests in specific areas. Therefore, they will be given the opportunity to pursue those areas through the following senior course options. These options are designed to allow students the opportunity to learn one or two subjects well. As Dorothy Sayers says, “Whatever is mere apparatus may now be allowed to fall into the background, while the trained mind is gradually prepared for specialization in the “subjects” which, when the Trivium is completed, it should be perfectly well equipped to tackle on its own.” (from “The Lost Tools of Learning”) These options should aid the transition from the completion of the Trivium to the more specialized study that is a part of a college or university education.


This is a 1-credit option in which a student arranges for instruction in an area of academic interest. Students must work a minimum of five hours per week on their independent study. Examples of programs that have been successful in the past include college classes (traditional and online).


The internship is a ½-credit option intended to provide seniors with the opportunity to study a career. Students must work a minimum of 2 hours per week on their internship. A wide variety of internships may be approved (interning with an elementary or secondary CCA teacher, riding along with police officers, observing at a local vet clinic, etc.). Students are not allowed to be paid for the time they spend as an intern.

Procedures for Both Options

  1. At least two weeks before the beginning of each semester, students must submit a written proposal to the director. Late proposals will not be considered. Proposals must describe the following:
    1. the main purpose of and goals for the program
    2. the work that the student will be doing weekly to achieve these goals
    3. the number of hours per week that the student will be participating in the program
    4. which CCA staff member will be supervising the program. All independent studies need to have a staff member who has agreed to supervise before the proposal is turned in.
    5. a description of the final project that will be presented at the end of the semester
  2. Proposals that do not address each area listed above will not be considered.
  3. The proposal may be approved as written, approved with modifications, or denied. Students will receive written notification of the decision.
  4. Students have two days to resubmit proposals that have been modified and/or denied.
  5. By the second day of the semester, seniors must be enrolled in a total of eight credits. If they are not, a course of study will be prescribed for them.

Guidelines for Both Options

  1. Credit will not be granted for work completed before a proposal is approved.
  2. Final Project: Students must submit a paper (6-8 pages for an independent study, 2-3 pages for an internship), which adequately summarizes the work that was completed over the semester. For independent study students enrolled in a class with a cumulative final exam, this exam can take the place of the paper.
  3. Students are required to complete a weekly report and submit these reports to their supervising teacher. The student’s final grade will be based largely on the content of these reports and the paper.
  4. Failure to make satisfactory progress in the first semester will disqualify the student from participating in the independent study and/or internship program during the second semester.
  5. Students may only request approval for one semester at a time.