How Online Summer Learning Can Help High School Students

With growing demand for summer online programmes from students across the globe, more and more institutes are now designing and offering a wide range of courses for the benefits of the learners. Shayla Davie and her twin sister Kim enrolled in an online summer course at their mother’s suggestion, after completing their freshman year.

Kim Davie says “I wasn’t all for it.”

That was last year. This year both the sisters are willingly pursuing another online summer course from the International Connections Academy to prepare for next fall’s schedule.

Kim adds “You could still work the class into your schedule. Any free time you had, you could use it.”

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Why study summer courses online

Whether you are determined to get an edge over others, managing difficult subjects, retaking advanced classes, getting ready for college entrance exams or simply securing a head start, online summer courses offer a great opportunity for high school students who aspire to study a college degree.

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Michael Boothroyd, executive director of SAT and ACT programmes at Kaplan Test Prep, says “You might be traveling or you might be doing a summer enrichment program, things like that. So online programs obviously travel with you.”

Today, learners have a lot of options. Among the 75 per cent of school districts in the nation that provides some type of online or blended learning options, most of them offer their courses during the summer time, according to Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Currently, there are over 24 states with statewide virtual schools, where courses are organised by private establishments such as Connections, along with conventional college test-prep firms such as Kaplan which have moved online.

Are these classes valuable?

Patrick says “I think it’s really important for students to determine the goal of why they want to enroll in a summer school class.”

However, learners keen on studying online must find out how much it will cost them, as some public school systems ask for fees, along with the level of educator’s involvement and course format. The format of the class can actually be widely diverse and can even contradict with other plans for summer.

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The courses offered by the International Connections Academy, would require you study for around 2 hours daily. Where as the courses that have been especially developed for gifted or high-performing learners, like Northwestern University‘s Center for Talent Development’s Accelerated Summer Option, you can invest around 6 hours daily for the concise 9 week honours and Advanced Placement courses.

Make your summer count

The associate director of the Center for Talent Development, Eric Calvert says that generally the programme is not meant for learners who want to squeeze their summer learning into a busy schedule which comprises of camps, vacations or other learning opportunities. However, this is mostly not a problem as these type of online courses usually attract learners who are focused on learning, says Calvert.

Michael Boothroyd of Kaplan Test Prep adds “I think students should make the most of that time, particularly if a rising junior is an athlete or a scholar athlete or involved and really committed to fall extracurricular activities.”

What are your thoughts on summer online programmes? Feel free to share your views and add to the discussion by commenting below.

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