SBUBolivar, Missouri Est. 1878

SBU Extended Learning

General Information


OLIS courses are designed for you - the individual who wants to study out-of-class, at his or her own pace. You may be required to use a library or to conduct other kinds of research. Online independent study courses are self-paced. OLIS will e-mail you as to the course URL, your user ID, and a password. Once you log into the course, you find information designed to help you complete the course. Most of your interaction with the instructor is electronic messaging, though a few courses require some items to be sent to the instructor via the U.S. Postal Service.

Although self-motivation and individual responsibility are key aspects of online independent study, you will receive guidance and instruction from the instructor. In most cases you will be asked to complete and submit your assignments to your instructor. You should submit comments and specific questions with each assignment, as this is the best way to create a dialogue that parallels classroom interaction. Thus, the medium is different, but the results are the same: mastery of the course content. In addition, an online independent stuy course should help you become better organized and more self-reliant.

An OLIS self-paced, online independent study course is delivered using Blackboard Learn®. The course can be described as an asynchronous online independent study in which access to syllabus, bibliograhpy of resources, course and project requirements and project consultation using e-mail communication can be achieved anytime, anywhere via the Internet and a Web browser. Since these courses are offered through Blackboard Learn® you must not only demonstrate a certain degree of computer literacy, but meet certain minimum computer hardware/software standards as well.


OLIS courses may be taken for credit by anyone who wishes to enroll. There are no admission requirements. However, enrollment in an OLIS course does not constitute admission to a degree program at SBU. For credit purposes, in most cases, the same eligibility applies that would apply for the regular residence classes. It is your responsibility to check the requirements and prerequisites. Please see the University's general catalog for specific information.

THE UNIVERSITY established in 1878 SBU is a liberal arts university of the Missouri Baptist Convention that is committed to scholarship and service. Therefore, the University maintains a standard of academic excellence, challenging the student to integrate the essence of the Christian faith into the whole university experience.

ACCREDITATION SBU is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the National Association of Schools of Music, and the National League for Nursing. The Missouri Department of Education approves programs in education. The University is a member of the Christian Coalition of Colleges and Schools and The Association of Christian Distance Education.


OLIS courses are prepared and taught by faculty members of SBU. The content and study requirements closely parallel those of the same courses taught in the classroom and are fully acceptable toward degree requirements within the limits set by the University. Students are responsible for making sure that the course fits their degree requirements and that they have appropriate approval. Courses numbered 100 and 200 in this catalog are lower division. Courses numbered 300 and 400 are upper division. Graduate credit courses are not available by OLIS.


Non-SBU Student: If you have not been officially admitted to the University, you may secure an OLIS enrollment form from this site and and enroll directly through the OLIS office.

College credit earned through OLIS can be an integral part of your college program. As an SBU student, you may not enroll in more than two OLIS courses at the same time (no more than two active OLIS courses). You It is recommended that you take only one course at a time until you find your optimum work rate.

OLIS hours DO count in the load limits restrictions as detailed in the University catalog under Load Limit for Credit Hours. If you exceed load limit restrictions, the University will require you to reduce load hours. When and where applicable, you will be subject to exisiting OLIS withdrawal and grading policies (101708). If you have been placed on academic difficulty, special guidance, or probation you are not permitted to enroll in OLIS courses.

Load limits without special permission include all college courses, OLIS, correspondence or otherwise, being taken at SBU or elsewhere. Advisors will approve schedules with additional hours when the student's GPA range is one of the following:

Cumulative GPA Fall/Spring January/June/July
2.50-3.00 18 Hours 5 Hours
3.01-4.00 19 Hours 6 Hours

Note: More than 6 hours in a J-term is not permitted. More than 20 hours in a fall or spring semester is not permitted. - 2010-2011 SBU University Catalog

Undergraduate Students: OLIS Enrollment - If you are an SBU Bolivar campus student (i.e., a student who has been officially admitted to the University and is working on a degree), you must obtain the approval of your academic advisor. If you are an SBU off-campus center student, you must obtain the approval of your center director or designated advisor.

Graduate Students: OLIS Enrollment - If you are an SBU graduate student (i.e., a student who has been officially admitted to a graduate program and is working on a degree) you must obtain the approval of your academic advisor. As an SBU student, you may not exceed the maximum credit load through enrolling in OLIS courses. All credit is in semester hours and may be applied to the baccalaureate degree requirements (B.S., B.A., B.A.S., B.M., B.S.N.) and the associate degree requirements (A.S., A.A.) at SBU provided the following stipulations are met:

1. STUDENT STANDING - As an SBU student, you may enroll in correspondence provided your GPA has not placed you in any form of academic difficulty.

2. GRADUATION DEADLINE - All OLIS coursework (including examinations) must be completed and submitted for grading in accordance with regulations printed in the University Academic Calendar. If all OLIS work is not completed and submitted by the appropriate date, the University will remove the student's name from the graduation list and program.

All SBU students who expect to graduate in May 2015, December 2015, or May 2016 should submit all assignments and examinations according to the schedule outlined below. These dates have been determined by the University for the timely submission of grade reports to the Registrar for graduation.

May 16, 2015 April 30, 2015
December 18, 2015 December 3, 2015
May 14, 2016 April 28, 2016


Colleges and universities set regulations governing acceptance of distance study for credit. You are expected to check the regulations of your institution. If you are planning to transfer SBU credit, be sure to check with the other institution before you enroll.

If you are an SBU student taking OLIS courses as part of a degree program, you must consult with and receive signed approval from your academic advisor. Inquiries about the content of a particular OLIS course may be referred to the OLIS office. Submission of assignments without prior enrollment approval from an advisor may invalidate your credit. In sequential courses where one course is a prerequisite to another, you must pass the first course before you begin work on the second. Therefore, it is best not to enroll in both courses at the same time. If you are an SBU student, you may not enroll in more than two OLIS courses at the same time. It is recommended that only one course be taken at a time until you have found your optimum work rate. If you are an SBU student, you may not exceed the maximum credit load allowed by the University through enrollment in an OLIS course.

You must meet the same academic standards and are subject to the same regulations regarding honesty in your work on assignments and examinations as those set for students in residence programs. You are required to do your own work. Violation of this regulation may result in failure in the course and dismissal from the University.


Enrollment Dates: An enrollment beginning on or after January 1 or on or before May 31 will be considered a spring enrollment (SC). An enrollment beginning on or after June 1 or on or before August 31 will be considered a summer enrollment (MC). An enrollment beginning on or after September 1 or on or before December 31 will be considered a fall enrollment (FC). NOTE: An OLIS enrollment begins immediately at the time of registration. Your official OLIS course begin and end dates may look different than what appears in the University administrative system. There is no pre-registration in OLIS courses . A final grade will be documented using the original enrollment period as defined above. The Registrar performs grade documentation.

The minimum time in which a course can be completed varies according to the difficulty of the work, the number of assignments and availability of instructors.

* A minimum time of eight weeks is required for completion of a 3 credit hour course.

* A minimum time of six weeks is required for completion of a 2 credit hour course.

* A minimum time of four weeks is required for completion of a 1 credit hour course.

The University is not saying that a 3-semester credit hour course can be completed in six weeks; we are saying that you must allow at least (8) eight weeks (and preferably more) in which to complete the course. In fact, most OLIS courses cannot be completed in the bare minimum time in any event.

The maximum time allowed to complete the course, including taking the final exam, is (4) four months from the official date of enrollment. A one-time (2) two month extension may be granted from the original course expiration date. The OLIS office must approve any exceptions to this policy. To request your first and only extension, you may go to the forms page and print an extension form. Send the form to:

Online Independent Study (OLIS)
Department of Extended Learning
1600 University Avenue
Bolivar, Missouri 65613-2597

In order to complete a course after expiration of the original (4) four month period or (6) six month with extension, you must re-enroll (An SBU student must have advisor's signature), submit appropriate payment and progress through the course again.


As you complete your writing assignments and exams, you may have questions about the course content or procedure. You may contact your instructor by including a note with a completed assignment. Some instructors indicate other ways to contact them in a welcome letter at the beginning of the course. Most of the instructors for the Online Independent Study program are professional educators, working in full-time positions. Please respect their means for making direct contact with you.

Should any unusual problem arise in the course of your work or any excessive delay occur in the return of your assignment, please inform the OLIS office immediately.


The Online Independent Study office is open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. throughout the year. OLIS is located in the Department of Extended Learning located on the 2nd floor of the Jester Learning & Performance Center on the SBU Bolivar campus. The OLIS office observes the following holidays:

New Year's Day

Good FridayMemorial DayIndependence DayThanksgiving DayLabor DayChristmas Day

Also, the University is closed between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Back to OLIS Page

Extension Form

Enrollment Form

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