About Self-Directed Courses

Thomas Edison State University developed Self-Directed (SD) courses to provide incarcerated students with degree-earning options. SD courses do not require internet access or online resources and can be completed independently using texts, study guides, and other materials. Course materials include a schedule for completing assignments, proctored examinations, and/or the final project within the 12-week term. Assignments and completed exams are sent to a course mentor and feedback is provided - all via U.S. mail. Students are provided with the required materials to foster a self-reliant learning experience where the student can work through the content completely autonomously.

For a list of courses currently offered, please visit the Self-Directed for Incarcerated Students section of the University website.

Self-Directed Course Registration
A student’s speak-on-behalf-of (SOBO) may register the student for Self-Directed (SD) courses via Online Student Services (OSS), or students may register through the U.S. mail using the paper undergraduate course registration form.

Self-Directed Course Tuition
Tuition for Self-Directed courses is the same as online (OL), Guided Study (GS), and e-Pack® (EP) courses. Please see the University’s tuition and fees for more information. Materials for SD courses are provided to students once they register. In most cases, the cost of those materials is included in the tuition. Some courses require a high volume of materials that necessitates additional printing and shipping fees.