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Online/Distance Learning

Online/Distance Learning Coursework


As of January 1, 2016, there is no longer a restriction on the number of units for online coursework and/or distance learning (e.g. video classes, “independent study courses from institutions”) per semester.  All online classes, even those provided through approved institutions, are still considered to be independent study courses.  Any online course must first be approved through the Graduate Work Approval process.


Online classes will be evaluated on the same basis as other courses; therefore, it is important that you provide the same information on the Graduate Work Approval, and attach any supporting information (e.g. catalog description and prerequisite requirements).

Be sure to mark “This is an online class” in Section II of the Graduate Work Approval form.  As with all graduate work approvals, requests for approval of online courses must be submitted a minimum of 20 days prior to the start of the course.

Independent Study (Within CUSD)


Individuals wishing to complete independent study projects in lieu of coursework must submit a Graduate Work Approval.  All independent study projects must be related specifically to CUSD priorities and be relevant to the current assignment of the requestee.  Independent study projects must be developed in conjunction with the site administrator, and be evaluated for their completion prior to the granting of column advancement credit.

Conference/Workshops for Credit


Please note that any conference attendance that offers an opportunity for university credit, regardless of whether that institution is on the pre-approved list, must first be pre-approved through the Graduate Work Approval process.  Specific information regarding the conference and requirements for credit must be provided at the time of submittal.  Credit will not be allowed for attendance at a conference during contracted instructional time or if the registration was paid by CUSD (  Site administrator must verify evidence of completion of activities.

Appeal Process


Per article 14.5.2 of the CUSD/CUEA contract, a process is available for individuals who wish to appeal denial of coursework.  One appeal per course is allowed.  See Appendix 4 for complete details and forms.

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Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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