Apr 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Self-Paced Degree Program Information

The UIU Self-Paced Degree Program started in 1973 and was one of the first of its kind in the nation. Self-paced courses of­fer a challenging and rewarding opportunity to earn credit for college courses without attending an organized class. Students may study at their own pace and at the time and place of their choosing. Self-paced programs have proven highly beneficial for those who desire to continue their educational goals for the completion of a degree or to meet requirements for certification or to fulfill lifelong learning.

Self-paced courses involve individual teaching of a student by an instructor on a one-to-one basis. Interaction and feedback between self-paced course faculty and students takes the form of written assignments, testing, evaluations, guidance, and as­sistance via such media as print/written word, telephone, fax, e-mail, and other electronic technologies. Computer access and/or a proctored exam will be required as determined by the self-paced instructor. A student must be self-motivated and self-disciplined to successfully complete a self-paced course.


Flexibility and Convenience

A student may enroll in a self-paced course at the beginning of each calendar month during the year. Coursework is completed entirely at a distance - no on-campus attendance required. A student may be admitted to the program at any time during the year. It is recommended that a student enroll in one or two courses initially. The student may work with an admissions counselor to enroll in a course prior to formal admission. For international students in the U.S., no more than one, three credit hour self-paced course per semester can be used to meet the minimum full-time enrollment requirement in accordance with federal immigration regulations.

Self-Paced Degree Program Registration

  1. Course Registration: All Upper Iowa University students register through myUIU, Upper Iowa University’s web portal. Access to myUIU is on the University website at uiu.edu. Step-by-step instructions for course registration are listed on the Academics tab and also can be found under the Student Help portlet. Note: Students who are unable to use myUIU may contact their academic advisor for assistance.
  2. Payment: Tuition and any course-related fees are due prior to start of class.
  3. Financial Aid: Federal Financial Aid may be available for students enrolled in the Self-Paced Degree Program.
  4. Military Tuition Assistance (TA): Active-duty Army, Army Reserves, and Army National Guard personnel must register through the ArmyIgnitED portal.

All other military personnel using military tuition assistance (MTA) will have their education officer approve the class and submit the completed TA form to their academic advisor. All military tuition assistance forms must be received before the first day of the session. Students who need assistance applying for Military Tuition Assistance, are asked to contact the respective education office.

  1. Auditing Self-Paced Degree Program Courses: By advance permission of an academic advisor, a student may enroll for courses on an audit basis. As an auditor, a student will not be required to take examinations and will earn no college credit. A special tuition fee of $95 per semester credit is charged (see Center/Online/Self-Paced/International Undergraduate Tuition and Fees ). Note: Financial aid is not available for auditors.

Self-Paced Degree Program Refund Policy and Course Withdrawal

If a student decides to withdraw from a course before the end of an enrollment period, the student’s charges, financial aid, tuition assistance, and/or veteran benefits could be affected. All students should consult with the Business Office and Financial Aid Of­fice to understand the financial impact of withdrawing prior to initiating the withdrawal process. Tuition adjustments are independent from academic and finan­cial aid deadlines. Upon receiving a request for withdrawal, using the number of lessons submitted as compared to the total due, a refund of tuition is made according to the following guideline.

On or before the first day of the enrollment period* 100%
After the first lesson through 10% of the enrollment period 90%
After the first 10% through the first 25% of the enrollment period 50%
After the first 25% of the enrollment period 0%

*Enrollment is measured by the number of assignments to be submitted during a six-month period of time, as determined by the University, during which semester credits are earned toward graduation. The refund/repayments shall be calculated using the percentages noted above as determined using the number of assignments completed and the number of assignments yet to be submitted.

For example, if a student submitted 2 of 17 assignments, they completed 11.76% of the class assignments. The student would be refunded 50% of the tuition cost.

For students from Wisconsin, Maryland, Georgia, Oregon, or Arizona, state laws apply.

Students who withdraw from a course prior to submitting the first assignment, or who are administratively withdrawn for non-submission of assignments, will be charged an administrative fee of $99.

Course withdrawal may impact financial aid eligibility. A financial aid counselor is available to discuss this decision.

Upper Iowa University is required to use a pro rata schedule to determine the amount of Title IV aid the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. If financial aid funds have been released to the student because of a credit balance on the student’s account at Upper Iowa University, the student may be required to repay some or all of the amount released to the student. This policy is subject to federal regulations. Contact the Financial Aid Office for details.

Withdrawing from a course in progress may result in significant student account charges. Consult with the Business Office before withdrawing. For more information on financial aid implications, go to uiu.edu/financialaid.

Self-Paced Degree Program Administrative Withdrawal

A grade of AW (administrative withdrawal) is recorded for any course from which a student is administratively withdrawn. At least one complete assignment/unit must be received and verified by the instructor within the first 60 days of the enrollment period or the student will be administratively withdrawn from the course. Students who are administratively withdrawn for non-submission of assignments, will be charged an administrative fee of $99.

Non-Attendance (NA): Never attended grades are not applicable to the Self-Paced Degree Program.

Self-Paced Degree Program Delivery Options

Self-Paced Degree courses are offered in paper and web formats. All course requirements may be completed entirely at a distance with no on-campus attendance.

Web-based Format Option

After enrollments are processed each month, learners will receive a link for accessing the web-based course materials, including textbook information, and detailed instructions for completing the course. As a student moves through the course, each assignment will be submitted electronically using uiuLearn (D2L Brightspace), UIU’s learning management system. The use of uiuLearn requires access to a computer or laptop, the Internet and a web browser. (Google Chrome is recommended). Access will be given to the classroom the first day of the course.

Technical Requirements for Web-Based Format Option

It is UIU’s goal to make the student’s learning experience the best it can be. One way to achieve this goal is to ensure that certain essential tools are available when the student accesses their web-based course. Information related to technical requirements for the Upper Iowa University learning management system, uiuLearn, can be found under the browser information section on the uiuLearn Student Tutorials page.

Learning Management System for Web-Based Format Option

Upper Iowa University utilizes the D2L Brightspace learning management system (LMS). UIU has branded the LMS with the name uiuLearn. All students who enroll in web-based classes are expected to complete the student orientation tutorial and have appropriate knowledge to use the system effectively. The system is supported by a 24/7 helpdesk chat as well as via email and phone at helpdesk@d2l.com or 877-325-7778. Failure to post correctly and submit assignments/exams as required does not provide the basis for appeals of tuition and/or resubmission.

Paper-Based Format Option

A student will receive a print or PDF version of the course syllabus. The course guide will include textbook information and detailed instructions for completing the course. The guide provides structured lessons that contain an introduction, assigned readings, and written assignments. Course guides for the paper-based option will be sent by U.S. mail or to the student’s University email address.

Individual Guidance and Instruction

Success in a Self-Paced Degree Program is largely determined by self-discipline, motivation, and amount of time devoted to study. A student should carefully consider commitment to work, home, family, social, and community activities in deciding how much time is available for study.

Another key to success is the individual guidance and instruction received. Each lesson will be evaluated by the course instructor and returned with comments regarding the individual assignment. Comments and questions may also be submitted with assignments.

Academic Advising

Questions about applying course credit toward degrees or majors at UIU should be directed to the program/location academic advisor. If a student is taking courses to transfer to another institution, the student is responsible for acceptance of credit at the institution in which the student is enrolled. If a student wishes to transfer credit to another school from UIU, the student should make specific arrangements with that institution prior to enrolling in any course.

The Honor System

It is expected that students submit their own work. The written answers to all lessons, tests or examinations submitted by each student for grading and/or credit in a Self-Paced Degree course must be his/her own work. While a student may wish to study and discuss with others, work submitted must be that of the individual student. Self-paced students are subject to the Academic Misconduct Policy. Students who violate the Academic Misconduct Policy will be at the instructor’s discretion receive an F for the work and/or course. If this occurs there will be no refund. See Academic Misconduct Policy on U.S. Center Program Information .

Lesson Submission

As a general rule, allow one to three weeks for assignments/units to be graded and returned. This can vary depending on the method of submission. After the lesson has been returned, review it carefully and make any inquiry about the lesson immediately. Delays in return of assignments and examination results may be expected around scheduled holidays and breaks.

No more than three assignments/units may be submitted in a one-week period. Courses may have their own guidelines - read the syllabus carefully. The minimum time allowed to complete a course is two weeks per credit hour; a three-credit course cannot be completed in less than six weeks.

If a student must complete a course in a short time (between minimum time allowed and end of enrollment period), the student should make sure the instructor is aware of this and is available to correct lessons. The student is responsible for completing assignments and exams early enough to ensure the grade is available when needed. The final exam must be completed and received by the Self-Paced Program Office at least two weeks before the grade is needed. This is especially important if the student plans to graduate.


The course materials a student receives at the beginning of the course will explain what exams are required, when to request the exams and what material will be covered. For the web-based format option, exams will be taken through the learning management system. For the paper-based option, a student will need to make arrangements to complete examinations under the supervision of a qualified proctor (someone to administer the exam).

For the paper-based option requiring a proctor, a student must bring a photo I.D. to the exam.

Approved exam proctors are:

  • school principals
  • probation officers
  • case managers
  • superintendents
  • guidance counselors
  • full-time school or public librarians
  • testing centers at an accredited community college/college/university
  • embassy officials
  • military education officers or test control officers
  • company education directors, directors of training and development or human resource directors (student must be employed by the company).
  • professional testing center
  • UIU Center staff

Teachers, employers, relatives, close friends, and other UIU students cannot serve as proctors. Exams will not be sent to residential locations.

Communications Concerning Studies
Upper Iowa University
Self-Paced Degree Program
PO Box 1857
Fayette, IA 52142-1857

Direct phone: 563-425-5200
Toll free phone: 800-553-4150
Fax: 563-425-5287
Email: selfpaced@uiu.edu

Time Limits

Students are allowed six months from the date of their enrollment to complete a self-paced course. A student should begin work on the course immediately upon enrollment and begin submitting lessons for grading and evaluation on a regular basis. If no coursework has been received by the instructor within the first 60 days, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the course. A steady work flow will ensure successful completion of the course in the least amount of time.

After the original six-month enrollment period has passed, the student no longer has the option to withdraw from a course. The student must finish the course or will be issued a final grade based on the work submitted as compared to the total required.


Students will be allowed to request one four-month extension at the end of their original six month enrollment period if:

  • A minimum of one assignment has been received for grading per guidelines AND
  • All course units and exams are not completed and submitted OR
  • A course withdrawal has not been initiated.

Note: The fee for a self-paced extension is $99 per course. The request for an extension must be submitted no earlier than one month before the end of the course and no later than a week before the end of the course.

Extension details

  • When the extension is granted an incomplete grade is issued and the student will receive a four-month enrollment period to complete the course.
  • Students do not have the option to withdraw from a course after the initial six-month enrollment period.
  • An ‘I’ grade posted to the student’s official record will be replaced with a final letter grade; however, the incomplete will remain on the official transcript as a notation.
  • If the course is not completed by the end of the incomplete period, the instructor will assign a final grade (A-F) based on work completed in relation to the total course requirements.
  • If credit is not earned by the end of the extension period, students can reenroll and repeat the entire course for credit.

Note: Students are not reported as enrolled during the incomplete period and are not eligible for student loan deferment.