Depending on the school district you reside, there are limited options when selecting a school to send your children. Many districts only have one public middle school or one public high school that parents have to choose from. What if that school does not meet your standards? What if the school cannot accommodate your children? What if, for any reason, you need to find another option? In the past, If you couldn’t afford to send your children to an expensive private school, many parents were out of options.
However, today parents do have another option. Online high school or Online home school! The problem is there are so many nowadays, that it is difficult to navigate and determine which program is right for your children. Stephanie Velez, operations manager of American High School in Hollywood FL, understands the difficulty students face. “We have had students that have attended other online programs, but were declined admission to college after spending thousands of dollars for diploma.
These students have wasted time and money, either because they were misled or didn’t know better.” That is because not all online programs are the same. Accreditation makes all the difference when selecting an online program.
“You want the online high school you are selecting to be regionally accredited. Any other accreditation does not guarantee your diploma is worth the paper it is written on”, says Ms. Velez. “It is not easy for online schools to obtain accreditation through one of the regional accrediting agencies.
There is real strict criteria you must meet, especially in regard to interaction with instructors.” Ms. Velez knows the ins and outs of accreditation and what it means because American High School is one of the few online middle and high schools that is regionally accredited through SACS CASI and AdvancEd. “It was a long difficult process, but we are the school we are today because of it. It makes you look at your strengths and weaknesses and determine what you need to improve. It is an ongoing process. We are constantly reviewing our processes.
We cannot stress enough the importance of accreditation.” Jonathan Davis knows this all too well. He attended an online program for 2 years before applying to college and getting denied. “I contacted the college and asked why I had been declined. They told me that the school I attended was not accredited and they could not accept it. I couldn’t believe it! It never even crossed my mind that was a possibility.” For Jonathan, he had to retake the last 2 years of high school. “It took me 2 years more than expected to get into college. I spent $3,000 to obtain a diploma worth nothing.”
If Jonathan has one piece of advice for anyone looking into attending an online program, it is “ask about accreditation. Do your homework and ask if the diploma will be accepted at the college you are planning on attending. Don’t make the mistake I made and waste your time and money.”