The mission of Frisco ISD’s Independent Study and Mentorship (ISM) program is to provide advanced academic students an opportunity to conduct a self-directed, in-depth study of a topic of their choice while gaining real-world experience under the tutelage of a mentor in the community. The program provides an environment that allows ISM students to explore future career interests, to develop a professional product, and to serve their community.
In the fall semester, the students develop a research portfolio that has a collection of secondary resources, such as articles, surveys, and Internet research. They will also have a section of primary resources, such as interviews, observations, original work and visits with their mentor. Along with their research, students are required to provide items such as a mission statement, a resume, and a topic proposal.
In the spring semester, with the help of the mentor, students focus on creating a product that is related to their topic. The product is required to have a real-world application. Depending on the topic, the emphasis may be on the process as much as the product itself. In May, the students will give formal presentations to invited guests. They will present their research portfolios and products. The mentors are asked to be present to formally evaluate the student and the product