Posted October 24, 2013 by James Rhodes in Hot Topics

Online learning, career prep gain popularity for high school students

Two well-liked trends in American education are converging to help the academic and career interests of high school students nationwide: on-line studying and Profession Technical Education (CTE) courses.

After deemed an option for higher education only, online understanding continues to attract younger students in kindergarten via 12th grade. In specific, complete-time virtual public schools, that afford students the opportunity to find out anytime and anywhere there is an Internet connection, are a growing kind of K-12 education.

An estimated 275,000 students in kindergarten by means of 12th grades are obtaining their entire educations on the internet from full-time virtual public schools like those supported by on the web college provider Connections Academy, according to &ldquoKeeping Pace with K-12 Online & Blended Understanding,&rdquo a report by Evergreen Education Group. Nevertheless other folks are selecting revolutionary new blended schools like Nexus Academy, where online studying is combined with unique, brick and mortar campuses.

Why are children opting to go to school on the internet? The motives are varied.

Connections Academy&rsquos 2013 Parent Satisfaction Survey showed that 50 % of parents said their kid does not discover nicely in a traditional school, while 43 percent expressed the want for flexibility. Forty-two percent wanted a change from their existing college atmosphere and 37 percent wanted a protected finding out environment. Plus, virtual public schools and blended schools are tuition-totally free and part of the public education program.

At the very same time, interest in Career Technical Education is blossoming &ndash and for excellent reason. The U.S. Division of Education discovered that students enrolled in CTE applications have a higher college graduation rate of a lot more than 90 %, compared to the typical national freshman graduation price of 75 %. Additionally, 70 % of students concentrating in CTE places stayed in post-secondary education or transferred to a 4-year degree program.

Responding to the increasing demand for CTE and on-line learning, Connections Academy recently expanded its classic college-prep curriculum to contain a series of Profession Technical Education courses – all delivered on the internet. Now, in addition to college prep, virtual school students can take courses like Introduction to Law, Accounting, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Health-related Terminology and far more.

&ldquoCareer education isn&rsquot a new thought, but elevated awareness for CTE, coupled with the delivery online and to younger high college students, is truly exciting,&rdquo says Dr. Patricia Hoge, chief academic officer for Connections Academy. &ldquoProviding career education, even introductory courses, is a wonderful way for students to &lsquotry-out&rsquo a career that interests them. And due to the fact courses like ours are delivered on-line, they offer far more flexibility and personalization for students although their teachers are better in a position to focus on the needs of men and women.&rdquo

Educators also say two elements might be boosting student demand for each e-learning and CTE courses: the want for 21st Century understanding abilities and workforce readiness, and the request for scheduling flexibility for older students to pursue internships and/or portion-time employment.

At present 14 million students are enrolled in CTE courses – encompassing each state, with applications in nearly 1,300 public high schools and 1,700 two-year-colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Many classic brick and mortar schools and districts are also creating the new on the internet CTE courses accessible to their students.

Educators and employers see CTE courses as helping the nation address our challenges of economic improvement, student achievement and global competitiveness. Students adore their true world relevance, mixed with core academics.

Students and parents interested in on the web CTE courses or complete-time virtual school applications that incorporate CTE finding out possibilities nevertheless have time to enroll for the coming school year in many states. To find out a lot more, pay a visit to the Connections Academy or Connections Finding out by Pearson web sites.

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James Rhodes