The 30 Most Technologically Savvy Online Schools Part-2

15. Sam Houston State University – Huntsville, Texas

15. Sam Houston State University – Huntsville, Texas

Huntsville, Texas’ Sam Houston State University boasts seven lecture theaters spread out across two campuses that have been equipped with interactive television technology. This enables classes to be streamed live to distance learners, with the added benefit of adjustable cameras and multiple microphones. Julie Combs, director of the Center for Research and Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership, believes this “allows students from many different regions to join a class in a face-to-face format.” Online undergraduate and graduate programs are both run by the school, which utilizes Blackboard to organize course content while also enabling web-based students to use the university’s library, career services and writing hub.

14. Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

14. Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

More than 40 online master’s programs are available through the University of Southern California’s Distance Education Network at the Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles. A number of interactive applications – such as Skype, Cisco WebEx and BlueJeans – are used to encourage teamwork, and remote students even have access to a toll-free number to contact their professors for assistance. Lectures are streamed live from distinctive “studio classrooms” before being archived along with the relevant notes. The school’s commitment to distance learning is also seen in its innovative Viterbi iPodia program, which strives to “create a true ‘classrooms-without-borders’ paradigm around the world.”

13. Westfield State University – Westfield, Massachusetts

13. Westfield State University – Westfield, Massachusetts

Massachusetts-based Westfield State University’s distance program is called PLATO, or People Learning and Teaching Online. Six bachelor’s completion courses and four minors as well as numerous other online classes are offered, all backed up by free eTutoring from Smarthinking. Podcasting is encouraged through the use of Audacity software, while image and video capture is made possible by TechSmith’s Jing application. Blackboard Collaborate is the university’s latest web conferencing tool, and students receive considerable concessions on Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite software thanks to the school’s licensing agreements. Meanwhile, faculty members are put through their paces at Web Camp, an acclaimed training program for effective online teaching, helping the school rank number 1 in 2013 and number 3 in 2014 for Training and Faculty Credentials by U. S. News & World Reports.


12. Washington State University – Pullman, Washington

12. Washington State University – Pullman, Washington

“Our faculty and course designers work together to ensure the online classroom is engaging, lively and interactive,” states Washington State University’s official website. The school’s online learning platform, Angel, is the property of Blackboard and is largely maintained on campus in Pullman, Washington. Instructors are also encouraged to utilize a variety of technology to deliver course content. Students can employ digital pens to easily review notes from lectures and may record presentations using screen capture software like TechSmith’s Camtasia. “Virtual field trips” are promoted, as is the option of creating digital games directly in Angel. The online community is further supported by access to a student government, virtual mentors and extracurricular events.

11. Northern Illinois University – DeKalb, Illinois


With official Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts and more all accessible from the university’s own social media “SmashUp” page, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois is proud of the “community-building” capabilities of its technologies. One faculty member responsible for the online courses stated, “If you are not moving ahead in this field, you are falling behind.” That’s why iOS and Android platforms can deliver course content to online students, and software like Adobe Connect and Blackboard are used alongside podcasting, blogging and a custom “lecture capture” classroom. In 2014 the school topped U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs list.

10. Western Carolina University – Cullowhee, North Carolina

10. Western Carolina University – Cullowhee, North Carolina

Distance students at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina can augment their education with the use of live streaming video and audio as well as with remote access to their instructors. The school began offering distance education in 1997, and it constantly endeavors to take “maximum advantage of the changes in information and communications technologies.” So whether enrolled in a fully online course or a hybrid degree, learners still have access to the university’s Hunter Library – including the ability to directly receive information and research services 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, and from 8:00 a.m. to midnight on weekends. Students may use the library’s comprehensive database to retrieve digital texts and request materials from the physical collections.

9. East Carolina University – Greenville, North Carolina

9. East Carolina University – Greenville, North Carolina

At Greenville, North Carolina’s East Carolina University, distance education is made easy with the use of collaborative communication applications from Blackboard and Saba. Furthermore, each online learner is given access to the school’s own Onestop student portal, which enables them to customize the system’s interface and browse a variety of relevant materials. The school boasts over 80 online courses, with live talks between students and teachers available in some of them. Coursework is submitted digitally, and tutors are also on-hand during stipulated hours so that distance learners can feel connected to the main campus.

8. St. John’s University – New York City, New York

8. St. John’s University – New York City, New York

At St. John’s University in Queens, New York, nearly three quarters of all distance courses are taught by current on-campus staff, and every full-time remote (and on-campus) degree learner is given a new laptop. Additionally, distance learners have the opportunity to access important aspects of university life such as the library and ministry. Daily communication with lecturers is encouraged, and much of the program involves active engagement in online discussion boards. These exceptional features have helped the school reach fifth place on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Education Programs list for 2014. Recent graduate Errol Adams says that his online course “kept [him] abreast of all the advances in technology throughout [his] profession.”

7. University of Denver – Denver, Colorado

7. University of Denver – Denver, Colorado

“Our philosophy is to embrace technology to improve and accelerate learning for busy adults,” states the University of Denver’s official University College website. The physical campus is based in Denver, but the online learning platform Canvas is accessible to distance learners 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can enjoy real-time messaging with peers, stream multimedia and contribute to talks via web conferencing tools. Master’s and bachelor’s degrees are available, along with other courses and certificates, and there’s also the option to be fully online or part of a blended class – although the course content in both cases is identical. What’s more, with technical support on hand all day, every day, there’s no excuse for being late with an assignment.

6. Regent University – Virginia Beach, Virginia

6. Regent University – Virginia Beach, Virginia

As a Christian-affiliated school, Regent University in Virginia Beach offers its online students not just 24-hour technical support, but around-the-clock spiritual guidance as well. Benefits include access to the school’s digital library, writing center, internet-based seminars and workshops (at the Center for Student Development) and the ability to stream content from Regent’s chapel. Blackboard Collaborate is used to create a virtual learning environment incorporating scheduled face-to-face educational exercises, while a personalized Regent webpage is offered to each student to allow ease of access to learning accounts and emails. A variety of undergraduate and graduate online degrees are obtainable – more than 50 in total – alongside several hybrid courses.

5. University of Wisconsin-Platteville – Platteville, Wisconsin

5. University of Wisconsin-Platteville – Platteville, Wisconsin

Desire2Learn, Pioneer Administrative Software System (PASS) and Atomic Learning are three technologically savvy means used to deliver online courses at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. PASS is responsible for program registration and financial support. Desire2Learn, meanwhile, is the school’s education management system of choice; it’s a solution that in addition to taking care of media content and prospectuses, can connect with Atomic Learning’s digestible video tutorials to improve learning. In 2014 University Business magazine selected the school as one of its eight “Models of Efficiency” in the U.S. – an acknowledgement of “innovative approaches for streamlining operations through technology,” according to the university. Faculty member Dawn Drake explains, “We find technology to support what we do to help students get the education they need.”

4. New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering – New York City, New York


The 2014 U.S. News & World Report list of Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs placed the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering in New York City at number twelve. The school’s director of online and virtual learning, John Vivolo, says that the programs are “diverse, interactive and ever-evolving” in terms of the technologies that they use. Lectures are available to be viewed live or at a later date – even through smartphones and tablets – while content is also delivered via the Blackboard learning system. Plus, distance students can remotely access the university’s library resources and career services and benefit from frequent communication with peers and staff by utilizing online discussion boards and webinars.

3. Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Science, Columbia University – New York City, New York

3. Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Science, Columbia University – New York City, New York

Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York City topped U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Graduate Engineering Program list in 2014. Its graduate remote-learning school, the Columbia Video Network, has been described by one student as providing an “Ivy League, world-class education” and having an “outstanding” choice of classes. All of the relevant course resources are accessible online, and distance learners are taught identical lessons to those of their on-site peers. This is achievable through the use of bespoke on-campus classrooms, which record live lectures that can then be streamed or downloaded by online students – with the additional benefit of high-resolution footage. There’s also a special Student Center system that makes virtual collaboration possible.

2. Wilmington University – New Castle, Delaware

2. Wilmington University – New Castle, Delaware

There are in excess of 80 fully online classes on offer at New Castle, Delaware’s Wilmington University. Each virtual classroom is kept to an average of 17 learners, fostering a “personalized” educational experience with easy communication between instructors and peers. This can be accessed through the school’s Blackboard discussion boards, email, Skype or the web conferencing tool, Collaborate. Attendees may even take advantage of the online student association’s monthly meetings for all web-based students in a comfortable webinar format utilizing Blackboard Collaborate. Advanced multimedia content is added to Blackboard by Kaltura Building Block software, while faculty can use Swivl to record classes. Learners also benefit from an array of online student services – from writing workshops to mentoring – as well as around-the-clock technical assistance.

1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach, Florida

1. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach, Florida

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida has been offering distance education opportunities since 1971. Today, it presents an array of master’s, associate and bachelor’s programs, with the university ranking joint fifth on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list for 2014. Students enrolled in an online course can benefit from an impressive range of services, such as 24-hour tech support, seven days a week and a variety of apps for tablets and smartphones. Embry-Riddle Worldwide also employs an innovative, staff-developed piece of software called EagleVision Home, which enables remote students to experience live classes in a virtual environment and interact with peers and faculty in real-time.

Reasons Why Kids Should Go to School

Reasons Why Kids Should Go to School


A portrait of elementary school classmates in front of a chalkboard. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images


Close to 50 million children attended America’s public schools in 2010. Five million more students occupied lockers in private schools. Prekindergarten and kindergarten enrollment numbers are breaking records accoring to the United States Department of Education. More than 3 million teachers dedicate themselves to teaching these youngsters. The important lessons of reading, writing and arithmetic are just three reasons that these children and teachers will fill the classrooms.

Gain Social Skills

Family Education lists the development of important social skills as one of the leading reasons to send a toddler to preschool. By interacting with other children at an early age, kids learn how to take turns, how to listen and how to share. Playing with other kids also helps children learn about their own personalities, and their own likes and dislikes. The independence that kids gain in preschool is also a lesson that is hard to learn at home.

Social development doesn’t stop in kindergarten. Throughout elementary and secondary school, children learn how to negotiate, compromise and interact with their peers. Without learning these valuable skills as children, individuals would struggle in a professional setting when they are old enough to start working.

Learn Other Viewpoints

Public School Review explains that children who learn only at home have an individual learning experience, whereas children who learn in school do so through relationships. Learning through relationships is more reflective of the adult world in which people contribute to society by working together. Children in school systems hear other people’s ideas and viewpoints. They learn to merge different beliefs to create their own values and principles. In a school setting children learn to listen to various thoughts before forming their own opinions.

Qualify for Jobs

According to the Education Commission of the States, more than half of today’s employers insist on hiring people who have at least graduated from high school. That is up from 20 percent in the 1940s. The organization claims that young people with high school diplomas also earn more and are less likely to turn to public assistance or crime than those who haven’t graduated. A high school diploma shows colleges, technical schools and potential employers that a student has important life skills such as problem solving abilities, negotiation skills, and the ability to focus. A diploma is not given lightly. It is earned by students who go to school and succeed.

When Educators Make Space For Play and Passion, Students Develop Purpose

Students and their teacher watch the progress of their paper rockets during a “tinkering day.”

Harvard education specialist Tony Wagner has been advocating that we reinvent the education system to promote innovation for years. He’s clear that content should no longer be at the center of school. Instead, he says a teacher’s main job should be to help students develop key skills necessary for when they leave school. He contends there are seven essential things young people need to be successful lifelong learners:

  1. Formulate good questions
  2. Communicate in groups and lead by influence
  3. Be agile and adaptable
  4. Take initiative and be entrepreneurial
  5. Effective written and oral communication skills
  6. Know how to  access and analyze information
  7. Be creative and imaginative

Wagner worries that unless the U.S. starts focusing on cultivating these skills, the nation will no longer produce innovative people who drive job growth. He interviewed dozens of innovative young people and asked them about their experiences in school. One third of those he interviewed couldn’t name one teacher who had impacted them. The other two thirds named teachers, who upon further investigation, were outliers in their schools. Their teaching styles and approaches were at odds with the dominant school culture.

Wagner found that all of these tremendously influential teachers ran classrooms that emphasized interdisciplinary learning, real team collaboration, risk taking, creating learning as opposed to consuming knowledge, and cultivated intrinsic motivation in students. These teachers made room for playful exploration and student passions in the classroom, helping their students to develop the purpose that drives them. He co-authored “Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era” with Tony Dintersmith.

Technology And Learning Is Perfect ?

Instructors face the same challenges with online learning and the use of technology in the classroom as they face with conventional instruction: getting students to read and think critically about the information with which they are presented. Moreover, instructors will be required to use distance learning technology more and more in the future. Some in politics and higher education are advocating expanding online course offerings, especially at public institutions of higher education, because it can “expand the supply of seats” and the number of students an institution can accept, thereby increasing a university’s tuition revenue. Clearly, if the politicians have their way, online learning will only increase in the future (Ruiz, 2011a).

Online instruction and learning is one of the most important pedagogies of the twenty-first century. Instructors should integrate the use of technology and online sources into all of their instruction so that students see that, whether in a conventional class or an online course, the amount of work is similar and just as important. Demonstrating to students that research and learning is hard work, work that technology can make “easier” if approached properly, will better prepare our students for advanced learning and their professional careers. Instructors must demonstrate to students that work in regular courses is not more arduous than in online courses and that technology and online sources are important components of all learning. Instructors can help students realize that the technology they use must be used for more than mere communication or entertainment—it can be used for learning about the world around them. Above all, instructors must also impress upon students that independent learning will be vital to their professional careers later on. Students should embrace these independent learning skills now, in the classroom, in whatever subject they are studying to be better prepared for the job market upon graduation. Online learning exposes students to the skills they will need long after they have left the campus.

Therefore, all students should be required to take at least one serious online course in their college career in order to learn how to master the process of information gathering and presentation, and to use the technology effectively. There is no easy way out of critical thinking, research, and learning, not even with today’s advanced technology. Instructors can prepare students effectively only when we clearly demonstrate to them the connection between technology and learning, and how vital this connection to their future careers. It is the most important pedagogy of the twenty-first century.

The 50 Best Online High School Diplomas Part-1

Online-StudentAn Online High School Diploma may be your ticket for graduating high school as well as your springboard to a first-rate education. Having a high school diploma has significant advantages over passing the GED, or the General Education Development test, which is supposed to certify academic skills at the high school level, but sets the bar much lower than a good high school education.

Many reasons exist why people are discouraged or prevented from completing high school in the traditional way. It’s important to realize, however, that adults with a high school diploma or GED earn an average of $11,000 per year more than adults who haven’t finished high school (US Census Bureau). Furthermore, those with diplomas make considerably more than those with GEDs. For more about the advantages of a diploma over a GED, see our article “High School Diplomas versus the GED.”

The variety and availability of online high school diploma programs can be both liberating and frustrating. Diplomas from quality online high schools are academically equivalent to those earned in the traditional high school setting, and should be recognized as such by potential employers and colleges and universities. However, searching for an online high school diploma program without knowing certain facts and pitfalls can waste time, money, and energy.

In determining the quality of a potential online high school program, accreditation and state approval are of prime importance. Programs accredited through agencies recognized by the USDE (U.S. Department of Education) are your safest bet in terms of legitimacy. These are usually regional or national accrediting agencies.

Regional accreditation is the most accepted in terms of transferring coursework or pursuing a college degree. If a school isn’t up front about their accreditation status or the accrediting agency isn’t recognized by the USDE, you may want to look elsewhere. Legitimate online high school programs must also be state-approved. This means they must be approved in the state from which the diploma will be issued, regardless of the state in which the student resides.

In determining the value of an online high school program, you will want to consider the following: rate of successful program completion, ease of communication with the school and with teachers, flexibility and delivery of classes, counseling and tutoring services, individualized programming, availability of specialization (engineering, religion, arts, etc.), dual credit offerings, and extracurricular activities or clubs.

The cost for an online high school education ranges anywhere from $0 – $10,000+ per year. This depends on the type of high school and whether government funding is available. All schools should provide an itemized list of costs and should explain how tuition is charged (by credits, by class, by semester, etc.).

Four Basic Types of Online High School Diploma Programs

There are four types of online high school diploma programs: private, public, charter, and college/university sponsored. Many parents of homeschool students turn to programs offered by private, accredited high schools for curriculum and assistance. Each program type has its place; it’s up to you to figure out which is right for you.

Public & Charter Online High School Diplomas:
Public and charter school programs are government funded, are offered by particular states or districts, and are free to resident minors. They are usually accredited regionally and are state-approved. Online public schools have rigid guidelines, have limited course selections, and often cater only to certain resident populations. Charter schools offer more flexibility with either specialized or individualized programming, but they run the risk of losing funding and are viewed as less stable. They are also often not available to students outside of certain districts.

Each state’s department of education maintains a list of funded online programs, including charter schools. Because these programs are based on each state’s approved curriculum and are restricted to certain populations based on residency and age, it is meaningless to rank these programs.

Private Online High School Diplomas:
Private online high schools vary greatly in terms of quality, recognition, and cost. This avenue demands the most research (which we’ve greatly assisted in) but also offers some top-notch education programs at great values. Private online high schools are usually offered nation-wide and have limited government oversight. They offer great programs in terms of catering to the needs of individual students, offering specialized interest programming, and meeting a variety of learning styles.

Homeschool graduates most often use private online high schools for the curriculum, even though they may receive their diplomas through their resident states. Many of these private schools have programs that cater specifically to the needs of homeschool students. The drawback of private schools: They can be very costly. Furthermore, even the most exciting programs need to be properly accredited for a valuable education.

College & University Sponsored Online High School Diplomas
University sponsored online high school diploma programs offer many programming advantages and often have regional accreditation. Most university sponsored programs offer a high quality education, flexibility, and advanced and dual credit programs. However, these programs often have more selective admission standards, have less interaction with instructors or services, and can be expensive.

University sponsored programs tend to work best for students who can monitor their own progress and work independently. Motivated students may have the opportunity to complete a full year of college courses by the time they graduate from high school. This can be a significant value for students planning to pursue college degrees. For the purpose of classifying high school diploma programs, programs offered by colleges and universities are usually not public, even if the institution is a public college or university.


The Best Online High School Diploma Programs

Best-schools-sealThe following private and university-affiliated high school diploma programs have all received regional accreditation, except for the two that are independent school districts in the state of Texas. To find more about accreditation, click here.

The listed schools were evaluated based on their programming, academic oversight (accreditation status at publication time), state approval, performance, inclusivity, personal attention, and cost. Refer to the cost table provided to identify tuition ranges.

$ = $1,000 or less $$$ = $4,001 – $5,000
$+ = $1,001 – $2,000 $$$+ = $5,001 – $6,000
$$ = $2,001 – $3,000 $$$$ = $6,001 – $7,000
$$+ = $3,001 – $4,000 $$$$+ = $7,000 or more


1. Northstar Academy

Northstar-Academy-logoNorthstar was the first online Christian school to receive accreditation and has maintained it ever since then. Northstar offers quality academic courses, learning materials and resources, instructor support and an interactive community of online users. Students can enroll at anytime with classes forming monthly.

The course selection at NSA includes almost 200 core and elective courses, including Advanced Placement courses. Many courses are designed “in house” and deliver a Christian worldview. Students can pursue the Standard, Advanced, or the AP International high school diploma. Additional programs/initiatives offered include the following: homeschooling assistance, supplemental courses, Christian school support programs, dual credit college courses, ESL courses, parent-led courses, and Bible studies and interest clubs. Tuition is calculated on a per course basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
Cost: $+

2. Indiana University High School

Indiana-University-High-SchoolIU High School offers high school diplomas to both youth and adult learners. IU has been educating distance learners since 1925 and its reputation attracts students from around the world. Meeting the needs of online students, the school provides high quality courses, an experienced, professional staff, licensed and certified instructors, and academic advisors. This program supports students from a diverse population, including homeschoolers, gifted students, artists and athletes, incarcerated students, children of military personnel, and home-bound students.

Online courses are offered through Dragon or Oncourse, with Oncourse being IU’s course management system. Through either system, students can access course content, view course syllabus and grades, and apply for exams. While courses are self-paced, IUHS requires a minimum of six weeks on each course and lessons to be done in the order presented and turned in one at a time. This allows instructors to give helpful feedback to assist in future lessons. Students can pursue one of three high school diploma options: general education, college preparatory, and academic honors. Additional programs/initiatives available include print courses, supplemental coursework, AP courses, and dual college credit courses. Tuition is calculated on a per course basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).
Cost: $$

3. Forest Trail Academy

logohighresForest Trail is committed to offering an educational foundation that will serve for both students pursuing continued education or entering into a career path. The College Prep high school diploma track requires foreign language classes and for half the program credits to be in specified rigorous-level courses. Parents and students can access the Advisor System, which offers assistance in course and program selections and college exploration and application.

Forest Trail encourages students to socialize through various cross-curricular online activities. Programs and initiatives offered include the following: vocational education diploma, part-time status, summer school, high school equivalency certificate, and a prescriptive/adaptive program. Tuition is calculated by academic year for programs and by credit for supplemental courses.

Accreditation: AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and National Association of Private & Home Schools (NAPHS).
Cost: $+ – $$

4. Christian Educators Academy

Christian-Educators-AcademyCEA uses high-quality curriculum, professional Christian teachers, and a wide variety of courses to tailor instruction to meet the needs of each student. A low student-to-teacher ratio allows teachers to get to know the students and to encourage positive intellectual and emotional development.

Students can choose from three high school diploma options, creating a 3-5 year graduation plan: college preparatory track, honors/advanced placement track, and standard academic track. While students can start courses when they want and work at their own pace, they are given a year to complete up to 6 courses. Additional programs and initiatives include: remedial courses, Literacy Advantage, honors/AP, career-vocational training, and home schooling assistance. Tuition is calculated on an academic year basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED and Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).
Cost: $$

5. Christa McAuliffe School of Arts and Sciences

Christa-McAuliffe-Academy-A&SThe Christa McAuliffe School of Arts and Sciences upholds a Personalized Education Philosophy, using curriculum and teaching methods based on current brain and educational research. Students engage in self-paced, mastery-based courses, that are personalized to their interests, goals and learning styles. Students can access their classes at anytime and have regular interaction with instructors.

CMSAS offers several high school diploma options based on student goals: standard, college prep, and career prep. Many extracurricular activities are available, such as language clubs, a student newspaper, and a technology club. Other programs/initiatives offered include Honors/AP coursework, adult high school completion, service promotion, and a global adventure program. Tuition is calculated on an academic year basis.

Accreditation: Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and The Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA).
Cost: $$+

6. University of Missouri—MU Online High School

Mizzou-online-high-schoolMU Online offers more than 180 courses with a variety of delivery methods for learners, both minors and adults, to take towards earning a high school diploma. Students can choose between self-paced independent study and semester learning. In semester learning courses, students progress through the class with an instructor and classmates as a group. This method offers online live chats and discussions, increased time with instructors, weekly calendars, and assignments with due dates. Self-paced courses have rolling enrollment and can be completed in as few as six weeks. Students can choose to take core classes, electives, languages, and even college credit class through this delivery method.

MU Online offers two high school diploma tracks, the general and the college prep. Students can take dual credit courses, earning high school and university credit through one course. All students are required, through the State of Missouri, to pass a test on the Missouri Constitution and the U.S. Constitution which is incorporated into the American Government or Civics courses. Other programs/initiatives include supplemental courses, textbook repurchase program, personal development and character education, career planning courses, and practical arts courses. Tuition is calculated on a per unit basis, dependent on course type (averaged below).

Accreditation: AdvancED, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).
Cost: $$

7. Penn Foster High School

Penn-Foster-High-SchoolPenn Foster has been educating students for 120 years and now is the largest high school in the U.S., with over 40,000 students. Penn Foster offers a career-focused education that is affordable. More than 150 courses are provided that enable high school students to acquire core competencies, as well as college and career preparation. Courses integrate contemporary learning strategies and interactive media.

Extensive student support services, including an online library, provide for student needs and interests. The program is organized so that students take the same courses, at the same level, in the same order, except for electives. Traditional students and adult learners can both enroll in the high school diploma program on a year-round, rolling basis. Additional programs/initiatives available include the following: DANTES, veterans education benefits, Early College program, and a Career Services department. Tuition is calculated on a monthly basis.

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), and Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Cost: $

8. James Madison High School

James-Madison-High-schoolJames Madison High School, a part of Ashworth College, enrolls thousands of students each year. Courses are offered open enrollment and are self-paced. James Madison helps students pick up wherever they left off in their high school education, whether they need just a few classes or the whole high school diploma program.

James Madison strives to develop students in effective communication, critical thinking, professional and life skills, and qualifications for advancement. Students are assisted and encouraged by the student services staff, tutors, and certified teachers. Courses included web-based eBook supplemental materials, such as study guides, learning objectives, reading and practice assignments, teacher tips, and exam books. Students can pursue a general track or a college prep track high school diploma. Additional programs/initiatives offered are as follows: adult diploma completion programs, at-risk programming assistance, homeschooling courses, and summer school. Tuition was calculated based on a full program amount.

Accreditation: AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
Cost: $

9. Mother of Divine Grace School

Mother-of-Divine-GraceMODG seeks to develop students to be active learners, effective communicators, independent thinkers, and multifaceted individuals. MODG pursues this goal through classical methodology consisting of interdisciplinary studies and courses that augment the stages of learning and promote an awareness of being a member of a universal, Catholic community.

MODG has a strong reputation for high academic standards and preparing students for college. College-bound coursework integrates religious study and classical academia, including Latin. An Alternative Course of Study is also provided that is still rich in religion and the classics. MODG also promotes the fine arts with courses in music, visual arts, and performing arts. MODG offers families three program types based on the level of independent learning desired: assisted, directed, and enhanced directed. Additional programs/initiatives offered include: supplemental course attendance, apprenticeships, homeschooling assistance, and teacher services/learning support. Tuition is calculated per academic year based on program desired.

Accrditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Cost: $$

10. University of Nebraska High School

University-of-Nebraska-High-SchoolThe mission of UNHS is to assist students in developing “skills, attitudes, and knowledge that will enable them to be thoughtful, committed and successful people in whatever calling they choose”. Students can pursue either a general studies or a college preparatory diploma track. Students at UNHS are able to transfer qualifying high school or home school credits, earn their diploma anytime of the year, and graduate early. The high school diploma program is offered to adult learners, as well as minors.

All diploma programs offer open enrollment, self-paced courses, and experienced, certified teachers. While courses are self-paced, students are required a five week minimum per course and assignments must be done in the order outlined and turned in one at a time. This allows instructors to give helpful feedback to assist in future lessons. Various course delivery formats, content levels, and instruction methods are made available as part of UNHS’s individualized study approach, which strives to meet the different learning styles of students. Students can access coursework, grades, and instructor feedback through WayCool, the UNHS course management system. Additional programs/initiatives include printed courses, placement tests, Online Worldwide, and AP and dual college credit courses. Tuition is calculated on a per credit basis, non-resident (Nebraska residents have a lower tuition rate).

Accreditation: AdvancED, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).
Cost: $+

11. Liberty University High School

Liberty-University-Online-High-SchoolStudents at Liberty receive a customized learning plan that draws upon the variety of courses and formats offered for academic success. The “structured, yet flexible” program offers open enrollment, continuous access to curriculum and grades, and self-paced classes.

LUOA’s curriculum is taught from a biblical perspective with Christ-centered instruction. Certified teachers and trained staff offer oversight and encouragement and assist in administrative and technical matters. Online classes are interactive and engage students in the learning process. Electives include classes such as America’s Colonial Foundations, British Literature, Essentials of Business, Spanish, and State History. Students can pursue either a General Education or an Advanced Studies high school diploma. Additional programs/initiatives include Christian homeschooling, dual enrollment/EDGE courses, standardized testing, and part-time and supplemental courses. Tuition is calculated on a per credit basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
Cost: $$+

12. National High School

National-High-SchoolCustomized educational plans, cutting edge technology, schedule flexibility, and self-paced courses allow National students to achieve peak academic performance. Through National’s Learn Center, students can access course syllabi, assignments, exams, and instructional guidelines, as well as interact with teachers and other students through dedicated chatrooms, email, and message boards. School administration offices can also be contacted through the Learning Center.

National’s curriculum offers a strong foundation and was developed internally with the assistance of SACS and the Georgia Department of Education. Courses were designed to promote strong critical thinking skills, analytical, and communicative skills. Additional programs/initiatives offered include credit recovery, advanced and remedial courses, home school integration, enrichment program and adult diploma completion. Tuition is calculated on a monthly basis.
Accreditation: AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
Cost: $+

13. Laurel Springs School

Laurel-Springs-SchoolA personalized learning approach is the hallmark of Laurel Spring’s educational system. Students are given five learning assessments to discern their developmental stage, interests, talents, learning style, and strengths. Teachers, who are credentialed with advanced degrees, work as a team with parents to ensure a curriculum that matches the student. Laurel Springs provides one-on-one time with teachers, individually-graded assignments, and real-time events and clubs.

While two options are available for high school diplomas, both are considered College Prep tracks. Laurel Springs has developed programming that is particularly sensitive to and enriching of students that are gifted/talented, performers, or competitive athletes, such as their Personal Project Portfolios and integrating experiences. Teachers and counselors are engaged in each student’s pursuits. Additional programs/initiatives offered include college/career counseling, home schooling assistance, educational travel options, parent support groups, and summer school. Tuition is calculated on an all-inclusive academic year basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Cost: $$+

14. Sevenstar Academy

Sevenstar-AcademyAcademically rigorous courses are designed to teach a Christian worldview and to develop critical thinking. Over 90 online classes are available, with an additional 100 dual credit courses from partner Christian colleges and universities. Christian teachers and academic coaches facilitate the curriculum progression and offer advice and support.

Because professional educators are skilled at motivating students, Sevenstars has achieved an 85% course completion rate. Sevenstar has supports in place to be of service to a variety of students and situations, including accelerated learners, struggling students, missionary families, military families, and homebound students. Students may pursue either a standard or an honors high school diploma. All students must complete 40 hours of volunteer service for each year of enrollment. Additional programs/initiatives offered are supplemental courses, homeschooling assistance, and international student support. Tuition is calculated on an academic year basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).
Cost: $$+

15. New Learning Resource Online

New-Learning-Resource-OnlineNLRO works to assist students in obtaining their high school diploma, whether they are pursuing the full-time program, seeking credit recovery, or supplementing their home school’s course offerings. All students are treated equally and receive support and attention from the staff and faculty.

Students can pursue one of two high school diploma paths: college preparatory or career/vocational. Both contain the same high academic level core courses. The Career Pathway incorporates basic skills and knowledge with viable career preparation. Students are awarded a certificate of training completion in the vocational field they complete. Parents maintain the control of choosing between a variety of core course and elective options. Additional programs/initiatives offered are as follows: Job Corps Center, adult diploma completion program, homeschooling assistance, and student community forums. Tuition is calculated on a per course basis.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) and Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
Cost: $+

16. Alpha Omega Academy

Alpha-Omega-AcademyAOA caters to thousands of students from over 40 countries, offering more than a hundred Christian courses. Students can pursue a general studies track or a college prep track high school diploma.

AOA offers two types of online classes to meet students’ different learning styles, Ignitia and Switched-On Schoolhouse, as well as print-based classes through LIFEPAC and Horizons. Students can interchange class types as desired. Teachers are readily available during online classes and set office hours. Students are able to socialize with each other through the virtual student center.

Accreditation: AdvanceED and North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).
Cost: Undisclosed, “Tailor-Fit.”

17. CompuHigh Online High School

CompuHigh-SchoolGoing also by the name Whitmore School, CompuHigh has been on the forefront of online high school education, offering online classes since 1994. Students can pursue either a general studies or college prep high school diploma. Online courses are easy to understand and use a conversational tone, which can be sampled on the school’s website.

While the regular diploma program mainly depends on parents and the student to navigate the coursework and progress, CompuHigh offers a Diploma PLUS Program that offers more institutional support, planning, and progress evaluation. Supplemental programs/initiatives offered include Adult degree completion, “life experience” credit, summer school, demo courses, and virtual graduation. Tuition is calculated by academic year and is dependent on diploma program.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA).
Cost: $ (regular), $+ (Plus Program).

18. Texas Tech University Independent School District

Texas-Tech-IndependentAs an alternative to a traditional campus-based school, TTUISD offers flexible educational opportunities and awards a Texas high school diploma. TTUISD has graduated over 2,600 students from 58 countries. This program offers a quality educational platform, incorporating sophisticated instructional techniques, management, and technology, and extending to learners regardless of age, location, or physical limitations. The curriculum is designed to incorporate different learning styles, include application activities, and emphasize higher-level thinking skills.

Students can typically average completing one course in a two-month period (30 day minimum), amounting to 6-8 courses per year, which can lead to an accelerated graduation time. It is encouraged that students stay enrolled in at least four to six courses at all times. Students can pursue either the Foundation Plan or the Endorsement Plan for a high school diploma. Students must pass certain state-required assessments in order to graduate. Additional programs/initiatives offered are as follows: Summer Academic Camp, print courses, credit by examination, and dual college credit courses. Tuition is calculated on a per course basis, online program.

Accreditation: Texas Education Agency as an independent school district.
Cost: $+

19. Orange Lutheran Online High School

Orange-Lutheran-High-SchoolOrange Lutheran Online (OLO) is committed to offering the exceptional academic structure and teaching methods of its on-campus program to its online students. Christian character development is important at OLO and all students are required to complete 20 hours of community service annually and take theology classes.

Fulltime students at OLO take three to four courses at a time for an 8-week semester (half of a term). Therefore, students could finish a yearlong course in 16 weeks, which spans a term. OLO offers two terms, plus a summer session (half of a term). Orange Lutheran instructors develop the courses and meet together weekly to address student needs. OLO maintains a web portal, myOLu, where students can track grades, get assignments, and access relevant information. Additional programs/initiatives available are as follows: supplemental courses, a Blended option, AP courses, and STEM program. Tuition is calculated on an annual basis, using the Lutheran Non-Association amounts (Association tuition is lower).

Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
Cost: $$$$

20. International Connections Academy

Connections-AcademyIndividualized instruction at iNaCA is supported by a multi-dimensional curriculum, hundreds of K–12 courses, trained, certified teachers, and an experienced educational management system. iNaCA’s parent company, Connections Education LLC, has established 25 successful virtual public schools in 23 states.

Full-time students receive a Personalized Performance Learning plan, a comprehensive plan based on individual strengths and needs, designed to challenge and motivate students. Certified teachers and licensed counselors work with students to evaluate their progress and help them reach their goals. Students can pursue one of three high school diploma programs: Minimum, Recommended, and Distinguished. Additional programs/initiatives available include the following: school community for social development, clubs and activities, learning coaches for parents, 50+ Honors and AP courses, and college acceleration programs. Tuition is calculated on an academic year.

Accreditation: AdvancED, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), and Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).
Cost: $$$$

21. Keystone National High School

The-Keystone-SchoolKeystone has been offering correspondence and remedial study since 1974, and continues to offer its correspondence program along with its online high school diploma program. Keystone students receive the advantage of interactive lessons, one-on-one teacher consultation, a resource library, and technical support.

Students can pursue either a college prep track, with Advanced Placement courses, or a career track high school diploma. Courses are self-paced and students can accelerate the time needed to graduate. Keystone allows students up to a year to complete each course. Additional programs/initiatives offered include supplemental courses, extracurricular clubs, and college and career counseling. Tuition is calculated based on an academic year.

Accreditation: Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).
Cost: $$

22. Advantages School International

Advantages-School-InternationalAdvantages offers over 400 courses, including advanced placement, honors, and world languages courses. Advantages School specializes in working with international students, including expat citizens and students residing or travelling outside of the USA.

Licensed teachers and advisors support students in obtaining their educational goals. Students can pursue a general studies or a college prep high school diploma. ASI administers the following programs in addition to the online high school diploma program: independent supplementary courses, credit recovery, adult learners, and summer school. Tuition is calculated on a yearly basis and includes unlimited enrollment in courses.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI).
Cost: $$+

23. Greenways Academy

Greenways-AcademyGreenways Academy promotes continual improvement and staying on the cutting edge of educational methods. The school holds a fantastic completion rate of 100% of their students complete their courses on time. Access to teachers, superior network quality, counseling support, and multi-sensory course materials assist in subject comprehension and increased confidence.

Class customization through a Learning Styles Profile allows teachers to meld a learning plan to fit each student’s needs. Additional programs/initiatives offered are IEP and 504 Plan modifications, parental monitoring codes, tutoring service, and over 200 vocational courses. Tuition is calculated on an academic year or by credits.

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA).
Cost: $$+

24. The University of Mississippi Independent Study High School

Ole-Miss-Independent-Study-High-SchoolUM-ISHS offers comprehensive high school academic services, whether used to supplement other high school courses, to allow adults to complete their diploma, or to serve as a high school for students to pursue a diploma full-time. Courses are available to meet a wide variety of learners, including the following: low-enrollment courses, interest-specific electives, college-remedial courses, courses for special needs students, and advanced level courses.

UM-ISHS employs certified teachers, who provide students with instruction, fast responses to inquiries and assignments, and one-on-one attention. Although students may enroll in courses as they want, instructors are available to assist students in the creation of individualized pacing guide. Blackboard is utilized for students and teachers to submit and return assignments. Additional programs/initiatives offered include a free credit advisory course, print-based courses, and academic advising. Tuition is calculated on a per course basis.

Accreditation: AdvancED and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).
Cost: $$

25. Clonlara School

Clonlara-SchoolFounded as a school in 1967, Clonlara’s Home Based Education Program began educating students around the world in 1979. Clonlara is a non-profit institution that has educated over 40,000 students. For each student at Clonlara, a personalized educational path, based on goals, strengths, and interests, is developed by a school advisor or teacher, the parent or mentor, and the student. For this reason, the school does not distinguished between high school diplomas.

The student and their parent/mentor evaluate progress, with advisors assisting on content and learning approaches, educational materials, and resources. Additional programs/initiatives offered include college planning support, Clonlara Commons, home based education program, and supplemental course enrollment. Tuition is based on an academic year.

Accreditation: AdvancED, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), and Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA CESS).
Cost: $$$+