Directed Studies and Special Topics Courses

Policy Number: 
Policy Responsibility: 
Vice-President, Academic
Program Council
May 2, 2019

Context / Purpose: 
  • To ensure consistency across JIBC in definition and usage of the terms directed studies and special topics.
  • To establish institute-wide procedures regulating the development and scheduling of directed studies and special topics courses.
  • To support curriculum flexibility and development through the use of these course options; ensuring that they maintain program integrity while enhancing student learning.

Policy Statement: 

Directed studies and special topics courses are intended to enhance and support student learning by providing opportunity to go beyond or outside the regular topics offered in JIBC courses and programs. All of these courses must be approved as per the regular approval processes for course outlines.


Directed studies courses and special topics courses are not seen as part of a school or division’s regular course offering, but are intended to capture a particular topic or instructor expertise. Special topics courses cannot be a required course for completion of a program. Directed studies courses are normally meant to provide individual or small groups of student(s) opportunity to complete their programming to meet their graduation requirements and must align with the established intent and goals of program.


Dean – Administrative head of a School.

Directed studies – an individualized or small group course offered on an ad hoc basis in support of a credentialed program and supervised by an instructor. Directed studies courses cannot be used to replace a required practicum, field placement or capstone projects. The directed studies course code and name will be identified as XXXX-3900, e.g. LIBS-3900: Directed Studies.

Registrar – The registrar of the Institute.

Special topics – a course taught by an instructor on a topic that is not covered in other JIBC courses. The special topics course code and name will be identified as XXXX-1175, e.g.  PLCE-1175: Special Topics - Fentanyl.


The procedures for directed studies and special topics courses as they related to this Policy are set out in Procedure 3112-001.

Last updated May 17, 2019