American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Independent Study vs. Self-Study

What is the Difference?

Self-study and independent study, two ways for individuals to continue their professional education, are gaining widespread popularity. Outlined below are their similarities and differences.

Self-Study

Self-study materials offered for ASHA CEUs are:

Independent Study

Independent study plans that qualify for ASHA CEUs are:

Prepackaged continuing education products that have been planned and evaluated by an ASHA Approved CE Provider. They are peer reviewed to ensure accuracy and currency.

Planned and initiated by the learner with the assistance and approval of an ASHA CE Provider designated as an Independent Study Provider.

Intended for use by an individual learner, but developed for, and marketed to, a large audience of potential users.

Are intended for the individual learner who plans and undertakes a unique learning experience to meet personal learning needs.

Typically in a fixed format (e.g., tapes, videos, journals).

Made up of materials and learning formats of the learner's choice (subject to approval by the Independent Study Provider).

Offered by the ASHA CE Provider for a fixed period of time (e.g., 12 months, 3 years), to be completed by the learner according to his/her own schedule. The instructions for earning ASHA CEUs should specify the date by which documentation regarding course completion (e.g., exam, coursework) is due back to the Provider and the date by which the learner can expect his/her ASHA CE Registry record to reflect participation in the self-study course.

Scheduled by the learner and Independent Study Provider. May start in one calendar year and end in the next; However, the Independent Study plan should not exceed 12 consecutive months. The Independent Study Provider files the Independent Study plan no more than 45 days after the learner has completed the learning activity.

Subject to a pre-assigned CEU limit that reflects the average time a sample group of learners took to complete the self-study. Users of the self-study materials typically may not deviate from the self-study format and can earn only the amount of CEUs assigned that self-study.

Limited to 2.0 ASHA CEUs per Independent Study plan. However, there is no limit to the number of plans that can be submitted to the ASHA CE Registry on a learner's behalf. The number of CEUs that will be awarded for the Independent Study activity is subject to negotiation between the learner and the Independent Study Provider.

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