Category Archives: distance education

What Do The Best Online High Schools Have In Common?

gwuohs_best-online-hs-have-in-common

The job market continues to evolve by leaps and bounds. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 2016 jobs report, employment in the financial world, education and health and professional and business services continue to rise at an aggressive pace. These industries require innovative thinkers, strong leaders and skilled workers — and those skills are honed by an outstanding education.

A college degree and a social network are vital to success in the workplace, which is why thousands of students apply to for the nation’s most elite schools each year. The fierce competition for spots in the freshmen classes of these universities and colleges, however, means that many talented, capable students will have to pursue their education elsewhere.

Standing Out From the Pack

While there is no magic formula to guarantee admission to your dream school, there are a few steps that you can take to make your application stand out. We took a look at the admissions requirements of five of the institutions that appeared on Niche.com’s list of 2017 Colleges with the Best Academics in America to glean some clues for grabbing the attention of admissions counselors.

Your Grades Matter; Your Classes Matter More

It’s no secret that grades matter; in fact, without a high g.p.a and equally impressive SAT or ACT scores, you may not even be considered for many of the nation’s top universities and colleges.

But here’s the kicker: a perfect g.p.a doesn’t look quite so impressive if the classes that you’ve taken are the bare minimum needed for graduation. The most rigorous schools want to see that you’ve taken challenging classes, preferably at the college level.

For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has an acceptance rate of 8 percent, recommends that prospective applicants have taken, at a minimum:

  • One year each of physics, chemistry and biology
  • Two years of a foreign language
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history or social studies
  • Math through calculus

In other words, they want to see students who are serious about their education.

Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to live in a large, thriving city with a wide array of public and private schooling options that offer robust academic programming. If you live in a smaller town, or the high school that you’re attending just doesn’t offer the classes that you need, consider other options like online schools or supplement your education with local college extension or summer programs.

Grades are important, but an A- in a challenging college-level class may look better than an A+ in an easier, high school course.

Brush Up on Your Writing Skills

Some students shy away from essay questions, or treat their college entrance essay like a six-week class in digging ditches. Why? Because writing can be difficult. Writing requires more than filling in a bubble; writing requires that you dig down deep and express your opinions and beliefs in logical, cogent and entertaining ways. That’s really hard!

Today’s most rigorous schools want to see not only what you know, but how you think. For example, Yale University, a prestigious school with a 7 percent acceptance rate, asks that their applicants write two essays. This allows the admissions counselors to get a sense of who the applicant is, and how they will contribute to the student body. Clearly, it’s important that you get comfortable with essay questions.

Know Your Deadlines

Different schools want different things at different times, and missing a deadline can easily derail your entire plan. Stanford, which has an undergraduate acceptance rate of 5 percent, asks for letters of recommendation from 11th and 12th grade teachers. The University of Chicago requires mid-year reports from the guidance counselors of prospective students. Other schools have their own specific deadlines for SAT and ACT scores submissions. Research your school and make sure that you submit the necessary letters, reports and test scores at the right times.

Where Do You Shine?

The most rigorous colleges are looking for unique individuals who will contribute to the culture of their institution.

Harvard, for example, places high value on creativity. The Harvard Admissions website quotes former Faculty Standing Committee on Admissions member Helen Vendler, who wrote that “We are eager to harbor the next Homer, the next Kant, or the next Dickinson. There is no reason why we shouldn’t expect such a student to spend his or her university years with us.” The bar is set high!

Yale’s admissions office operates in a similar vein. With each application, Yale’s admissions officers consider whether that individual will make the most of the university’s resources, and what they will contribute to the Yale community during both their years in school, and after.

Look for ways to volunteer in your community, develop your leadership skills and explore new interests. As MIT’s admissions website notes, “cloning is still for sheep…What we really want to see on your application is you being you – pursuing the things you love, growing, changing, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, all in your own distinctive way.”

Are you up for the challenge of an elite online education? If you want a competitive curriculum that prepares you to take on the most rigorous colleges in the United States, consider GWUOHS. Learn more now.

 


What Do The Most Rigorous Colleges In The U.S. Expect From Prospective Students?

rigorous-colleges

The job market continues to evolve by leaps and bounds. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 2016 jobs report, employment in the financial world, education and health and professional and business services continue to rise at an aggressive pace. These industries require innovative thinkers, strong leaders and skilled workers — and those skills are honed by an outstanding education.

A college degree and a social network are vital to success in the workplace, which is why thousands of students apply to for the nation’s most elite schools each year. The fierce competition for spots in the freshmen classes of these universities and colleges, however, means that many talented, capable students will have to pursue their education elsewhere.
Standing Out From the Pack

While there is no magic formula to guarantee admission to your dream school, there are a few steps that you can take to make your application stand out. We took a look at the admissions requirements of five of the institutions that appeared on Niche.com’s list of 2017 Colleges with the Best Academics in America to glean some clues for grabbing the attention of admissions counselors.

Your Grades Matter; Your Classes Matter More

It’s no secret that grades matter; in fact, without a high g.p.a and equally impressive SAT or ACT scores, you may not even be considered for many of the nation’s top universities and colleges.

But here’s the kicker: a perfect g.p.a doesn’t look quite so impressive if the classes that you’ve taken are the bare minimum needed for graduation. The most rigorous schools want to see that you’ve taken challenging classes, preferably at the college level.

For example, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has an acceptance rate of 8 percent, recommends that prospective applicants have taken, at a minimum:

  • One year each of physics, chemistry and biology
  • Two years of a foreign language
  • Four years of English
  • Two years of history or social studies
  • Math through calculus

In other words, they want to see students who are serious about their education.

Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to live in a large, thriving city with a wide array of public and private schooling options that offer robust academic programming. If you live in a smaller town, or the high school that you’re attending just doesn’t offer the classes that you need, consider other options like online schools or supplement your education with local college extension or summer programs.

Grades are important, but an A- in a challenging college-level class may look better than an A+ in an easier, high school course.

Brush Up on Your Writing Skills

Some students shy away from essay questions, or treat their college entrance essay like a six-week class in digging ditches. Why? Because writing can be difficult. Writing requires more than filling in a bubble; writing requires that you dig down deep and express your opinions and beliefs in logical, cogent and entertaining ways. That’s really hard!

Today’s most rigorous schools want to see not only what you know, but how you think. For example, Yale University, a prestigious school with a 7 percent acceptance rate, asks that their applicants write two essays. This allows the admissions counselors to get a sense of who the applicant is, and how they will contribute to the student body. Clearly, it’s important that you get comfortable with essay questions.

Know Your Deadlines

Different schools want different things at different times, and missing a deadline can easily derail your entire plan. Stanford, which has an undergraduate acceptance rate of 5 percent, asks for letters of recommendation from 11th and 12th grade teachers. The University of Chicago requires mid-year reports from the guidance counselors of prospective students. Other schools have their own specific deadlines for SAT and ACT scores submissions. Research your school and make sure that you submit the necessary letters, reports and test scores at the right times.

Where Do You Shine?

The most rigorous colleges are looking for unique individuals who will contribute to the culture of their institution.

Harvard, for example, places high value on creativity. The Harvard Admissions website quotes former Faculty Standing Committee on Admissions member Helen Vendler, who wrote that “We are eager to harbor the next Homer, the next Kant, or the next Dickinson. There is no reason why we shouldn’t expect such a student to spend his or her university years with us.” The bar is set high!

Yale’s admissions office operates in a similar vein. With each application, Yale’s admissions officers consider whether that individual will make the most of the university’s resources, and what they will contribute to the Yale community during both their years in school, and after.

Look for ways to volunteer in your community, develop your leadership skills and explore new interests. As MIT’s admissions website notes, “cloning is still for sheep…What we really want to see on your application is you being you – pursuing the things you love, growing, changing, taking risks, learning from your mistakes, all in your own distinctive way.”

Are you up for the challenge of an elite online education? If you want a competitive curriculum that prepares you to take on the most rigorous colleges in the United States, consider GWUOHS. Learn more now.

gwuohs_rigorouscolleges

 


Meet Mark Foisey, Jr: A GWUOHS Success Story

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Mark Foisey

Not everyone thrives in a traditional classroom setting. Often, gifted students become bored and lose interest in school when the instructor must teach to the level of the average student. There just aren’t enough challenges to hold an eager student’s interest.

Mark Foisey, Jr. of New York City is a senior at George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS). He’s an aspiring actor who’s also measuring the possibilities of a future in real estate. Mark is a great example of a student who struggled to stay engaged in a traditional schoolroom atmosphere before opting for an online school — and his entire educational experience changed.

We sat down with Mark recently to see what he had to say about our life, school and his work outside the classroom.

It sounds like you have really found a lot of success in the online high school environment. What made online education the right fit for you?

Mark Foisey, Jr.: I really liked the idea of online schooling, but I hadn’t actually done it before. I’m currently a senior at GWUOHS. I came to the school in February of my junior school; it happened rather suddenly. I knew that I needed to go into a program that was very intense, very challenging. At the time, many people I knew seemed to think that online school was really easy — some people don’t really understand that that is not at all the case. GWUOHS was able to give me the solid foundation that allowed me to succeed while allowing me to be flexible with my schedule.

What are your proudest moments of high school so far?

MFJ: GWUOHS has really been able to help me excel academically. I’ve never dealt with more attentive teachers. For instance, in a brick and mortar school, there’s no way you could jump on Skype or email and ask your math teacher a question, and have them get back to you in 10 minutes. But at GWUOHS, I can do that and they will get back to me in three minutes flat, or one hour and three minutes if they’re teaching class at the time. It’s incredible.

You seem like a busy person! School, activities, acting — what are your plans for after graduation?

MFJ: International real estate and investment is what I want to go to school for. For about the past year and a half, I’ve been working with real estate investors and construction companies on a variety of projects and promotions.

As for acting, it is an ongoing thing. Acting is the art of engaging people, so I’m never going to give that up, especially with going into the world of sales, it’s essential skill.

Right now, I lead the online Learn to Serve club at GWUOHS, which is for younger students. It focuses on community service and giving back. When I leave GWUOHS, I will continue doing service in the community and staying involved. I definitely see myself doing everything I’m doing now, but just on a larger scale.

Do you think your GWUOHS experience will help you reach your goals after graduation? How?

MFJ: Absolutely! I think that attending GWUOHS is going to help me because I have been set up to succeed. GWUOHS makes sure that you know what’s coming at you. A lot of our teachers use real life situations in the classroom, making connections between the past and present and helping you identify trends and patterns that make their subjects a lot more relevant. Everyone likes to say that history repeats itself, but they don’t usually say how or when or how often. The teachers at GWUOHS relate how the things you learn in class will translate into real life.

What advice do you have for new students starting at GWUOHS, or any online school?

MFJ: The most important advice for new students: one, be optimistic. Don’t let people tell you that anything is too hard. All school should be hard! It’s supposed to be a lot of work.

Two, don’t let people say it’s not real — GWUOHS is accredited and recognized by universities all over the country and the school has a lot of alumni who can attest that it is as real as it gets. It’s definitely a different way to do high school, but that doesn’t mean it is bad.

In sum, make sure you pay attention, watch those deadlines, and what isn’t possible in a brick and mortar school is possible at GWUOHS.

Thank you Mark for sharing your thoughts with our readers. We wish you continued success!

Thinking about an online education?

Learn more about how an online private school could spark you or your child’s educational experience. Visit GWUOHS online today.

 


Planning Your Novel during National Novel Writing Month

Planning Your Novel for National Novel Writing Month
by Lucas Humphrey

Okay, so you’ve chosen a genre for your novel. Now what? How do you plan to effectively use your time? (We’re two weeks in so hopefully you have some ideas by now!) Here are some suggestions:

1. Commit yourself. Dedicate to spend a specific amount of hours working on your novel each day no matter what! Determine when you’ll have free time in your schedule, and what is realistic. Also, decide how long your novel will be—or at least have a general idea.

2. Develop your characters and backstory. What makes them interesting? How will you introduce their past and make them complex? Which characters will be static, and which ones will be dynamic? What major changes will these dynamic characters undergo in the story?

3. Establish your setting, and build your world around it. Will your story take place in a real setting? If so, what do you know about it, and how can you be sure you portray it accurately? How can you provide vivid imagery around your setting as well, and how can you make it believable and unique?

4. Have a solid idea of your plot and conflict. Write an outline or develop a detailed plot triangle. What will the rising action be? The climax? The falling action? Will there be a clear resolution to the story? Will there be a twist? How will it all fit together? How does the conflict build and resolve? These are all questions to consider at this stage of novel writing.

Best of luck with your novel.

We will check in on progress next week. Here’s to happy writing!


Preparing For National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing Month: Week 1 – Choosing a Genre

By Lucas Humphrey

Welcome to NaNoWriMo! By the end of this month, your goal is to have a complete novel written and ready to share out to the world after a few finishing touches. Let’s get started!

The first step you’ll want to take is to choose a genre, or category in which you’d like to write. Will it be nonfiction, such as a memoir or personal narrative? Or will you choose fiction—and write a fantasy novel, mystery novel, children’s book, a scary story, etc.? It’s completely up to you.

You’ll want to write what you love. What genres do you enjoy reading? What ideas have been floating around in your head that you finally want to get out on paper? Given the fact that you only have a month to write this novel, you’ll want to choose a genre that hooks you and doesn’t let go.

You’ll also want to understand the style and characteristics of the genre you choose. Examine some common examples of other books within this genre. What do they all seem to have in common in terms of their archetypes, motifs, mood, tone and style? Take note of these—you can, of course, be nontraditional and break from these conventions, but you should be aware of them so that you have a template in which to work.

Lastly, make a commitment! This week, go ahead and set some time aside each day to write—whether it’s brainstorming, planning, or drafting. Get your ideas out on paper! Stick to it, and come back every day to add something to your novel.

Good luck! Now that you’ve chosen a genre, we’ll talk more about planning your novel next week.


GWUOHS Referral Reward Program

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GWUOHS Referral Reward Program

As a current school family you have experienced firsthand the quality education GWUOHS has to offer, the benefits of our high-touch learning community, and the outstanding outcomes for GWUOHS graduates. Now it’s time to share your enthusiasm with others. Word of mouth is by far the most powerful way to promote our school and share our message with families like yours.

Attracting new students and families to GWUOHS is integral to the success and long-term viability of our school and to the development of the school community. As a part of our ongoing marketing efforts, it is important for us to attract new students at all grade levels. To assist with these efforts, GWUOHS, has developed a Referral Reward Program. This tuition reduction program is provided for GWUOHS families who refer new students and families to our school.

When you refer a new family who enrolls a student at GWUOHS, you’ll receive a tuition credit in the amount of $1000.

You will find Referral Reward Program Policy and Guidelines, as well as the New Family Referral Online Submission Form on our website under ‘Parent Resources’. Any additional questions can be directed to our Director of Admissions, (gwuohsadmissions@k12.com) or our Head of School, Dr. Staci Kimmons (skimmons@k12.com).

GWUOHS encourages you to talk to your friends, family members, and neighbors to let them know why you have chosen our school. The referral program rewards existing families, encourages new family involvement in our extraordinary school, and of course, increases enrollment. Help us grow together – refer a friend!

GWUOHS Referral Reward Program Policy Guidelines & Conditions

What is the award?

  • You will receive a $1000 tuition credit for each new, full-time student who enrolls at GWUOHS for the 2015-2016 School Year. The reduction applies to tuition only. The credit will only be applied once per new, full-time student. In the event that two current families list the same new student, the credit will be awarded to the first family that submitted the referral form.

Who can refer/ receive the referral?

  • All current families have the opportunity to earn this award. However, employees (and their family) of K12 Inc. and its subsidiaries are not eligible.
  • The source of the referral will be confirmed with the new family during the admissions process. Referral sources identified by enrolling families after the admissions process will not result in a credit.

Who can be referred?

  • The offer applies only to applicants of families new to GWUOHS. Siblings of current GWUOHS students do not qualify for a reward or as a referral.
  • Referral award consideration is limited to the referral of new students enrolling at GWUOHS.

Is there a limit?

  • There is no limit to the number of students that a GWUOHS family may refer, but tuition reduction will be limited to full tuition of the referring family for the 2015-2016 academic year. Rollovers to a subsequent academic year are not allowed; however, if a referring family has paid tuition in full, a check for the referral discount will be issued by the K12 Inc. Business Office. No other payouts will be made.

When/ how will the award be credited?

  • GWUOHS families will receive a tuition credit for each enrolled student who is enrolled and continues enrollment in good standing for at least 60 calendar days., the “Good Standing” period. The Admissions Office will be responsible for verifying credits to be awarded.
  • You will receive your credit within 60 days of the end of the good standing period described above.

How do I refer a family?

  • A New Family Referral Online Submission must be submitted online before a new student begins at GWUOHS.

Admissions criteria

  • The regular admissions criteria must be met by the new student (s). The final decision for student acceptance rests with the Director of Admissions and school administration.

Term

  • K12 reserves the right to revise or discontinue the referral reward program at any time. All decisions regarding the program will be made by K12 and are final.

 

Please sign: GWUOHS Referral Reward Program application by clicking HERE and submit


GWUOHS Teacher Shares his Traveling Experiences through Journaling

My Travel Journal #1
by Lucas Humphrey

Hello GWUOHS! In the last blog, I shared a travel tip for the upcoming Europe trip, and it got me thinking about my own experience studying abroad. In the summer of 2006, I made a very similar trek around the UK for a study abroad trip, and I recorded my experience in a journal. In this blog, I wanted to share a few parts of this journal to give you an idea of what the experience is like if you’ve never had the opportunity to visit the UK. Read on…

Studying abroad is an educational, cultural, and personal experience that cannot be replicated anywhere in one’s home country. It is an opportunity that no one should forego. In the summer of 2006, I chose to study abroad in London. As English major, a majority of what I read and learn about has some connection to this city. However, most of what I know about the English language is based not on what I learn in classes, but what I have been exposed to on a daily basis. Because I have resided in the southeastern United States for my entire life, that knowledge is relatively miniscule in the context of everything there is to know about English. Experiencing five weeks in England allowed me to immerse myself in the culture and history that surrounds the origins of the language, as well as the origins of American culture. My goal was to understand how English and American cultures have influenced each other, and to gain an appreciation for the subtle and not-so-subtle differences between life in the United States and in England.

Upon first setting foot onto English territory in Gatwick Airport at 9 AM on June 22, 2006, I noticed mostly little things that seemed quirky to me then—the smaller vehicles, phrases such as “mind your head,” and, of course, the accents—all of which would lose their novelty and seem normal to me by the end of the trip. Twenty-five program participants were on this flight, out of about a hundred and fifteen total. As we loaded onto our bus, we all had similar first impressions. Gatwick, however, is not London (it took almost two hours to get to our final destination from there), and our introduction to England was Gatwick’s rural landscape. Since I had stepped off of the plane and onto English land, every little thing excited me. I remember looking out of the bus window at some grazing sheep, a simple sight that thrilled someone whose only venture outside of the eastern U.S. was on a cruise ship.

As the bus driver approached the city, the scenery became progressively less rural and my anticipation grew. However, after an eight-hour flight and a five-hour time change, jet lag was beginning to get the best of me. I tried my best to stay awake. Upon arrival at our accommodation at University of Westminster, we were finally able to step off our bus and onto London pavement. Little did I know at the time that it would be until 8 PM before I would have a room, because of over-booking and problems with locks. When my room situation was finally sorted out, I ended up on what was supposed to be a girls’ floor. Thankfully, none of the girls minded, and it turned out to be for the best. Through living on the fifteenth floor, I met almost all of my London friends. In between hours of waiting on the locksmith that first evening, I went on a walk around the city with a few other students I had met.

Our campus was right across from Madame Tussauds on Marylebone Road. (Many students chose to visit the popular wax museum, but I never did, as it seemed too pricey.) We were fortunate to have a tube stop right across the street as well. Our Oyster cards, which the program provided us, gave us unlimited rides on the Underground (zones one and two) for the five weeks. London’s transportation system is something the city should really be proud of, as it’s probably the best in the world. The tube usually allowed us to get from place to place very quickly and easily. Tesco—which is essentially the British version of Wal-Mart—was nearby, and it became a constant destination for food and other necessities. We were given a weekly £20 Tesco gift card, as the university dining hall closed a week after our arrival. The gift cards worked well. A group of us decided to put our gift cards together and use them at one of the bigger Tesco stores, which was a few stops from our Baker Street stop, at King’s Cross. The girls agreed to cook (each floor in our dorm had a kitchen and eating area), which resulted in us eating a lot of Southern meals. Our Fourth of July meal was the most memorable, complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and an American flag cake. Meals were rarely a problem in the dorm, as there were always leftovers. The dorm, which was treated more like a hostel in the summer months, employed maids to clean the kitchen and make the beds. For laundry, there were several washing machines and dryers in the basement. The dorm was far from luxurious, however, as it was an old building in dire need of renovation. The elevators were constantly broken, and on a couple of occasions, some in the group had to walk nearly twenty flights of stairs to reach their room. However, the location of the campus made the cold showers in tiny stalls completely worth it. We could be nearly anywhere in London worthy of note in a matter of twenty minutes.

To be continued…