Non-profit online learning group gains students worldwide

Virtual High School Global Consortium, provider of K-12 online learning for students and course design for teachers, has increased its worldwide enrollment 20%, with nearly 13,000 students enrolled in a Virtual High School (VHS) course this semester. On a daily basis, 12,893 students in 35 U.S. states and 33 countries at over 676 member schools are now taking 399 courses.

VHS is a non-profit collaborative of high schools, teachers and students. Teachers who are certified in their specific discipline, and who have completed a VHS professional development program, facilitate and continually monitor all courses. In addition, VHS students enjoy small classes and personalized one-on-one attention from active high school teachers, while mastering subject matter and 21st century learning skills.

“More schools are realizing how important online courses are for preparing students for college, which is contributing to our growth,” said Liz Pape, President of VHS. “All of our courses are specifically designed to equip students with 21st century, independent learning and time management skills.”

Unlike statewide virtual schools -- which take funds away from traditional schools -- VHS partners with schools to supplement their in-person courses with online courses. Their model is designed to keep education in the hands of schools and educators. This is accomplished through a membership structure that places a strong emphasis on teacher professional development, entails the school granting credits for VHS courses and the offering of AP and enrichment courses most schools do not or cannot offer.

The recipient of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) 2005 awards for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices and the Stockholm Challenge 2001 Award for exemplary use of technology in education, VHS was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts.