The Virtual High School AP® Student Pass Rates Surpass the National Average: 2017 Survey Finds Online Courses Generate Success and Educator Satisfaction

VHS Students Post 20% Higher Pass Rate than National Average in

AP Computer Science Principles Course

Feb. 6, 2018 — The latest annual survey and pass rate data from The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.), a non-profit empowering schools with the industry’s best online learning programs, has found school administrators, teachers and students once again reporting satisfaction with and success from the online program. In the 2016-2017 academic year, the average pass rate for VHS students who sat for Advanced Placement® exams again surpassed the national average.

One noteworthy example of student success is AP® Computer Science Principles, a new computer science course in which students think creatively and use technology to explore real-world questions in subjects that interest them. Subjects of interest range from STEM to sports, to theater, music, and more. The VHS average student pass rate (students who received a score of 3 or higher on the related AP® exam) was 94.1 percent while the national average for AP® Computer Science Principles was 74.5 percent. In the VHS course AP® European History, which includes activities such as debates, role-playing, and participation in research groups using Web 2.0 tools, the average pass rate was 71.4 percent compared to the national average of 44 percent. In The Virtual High School’s AP® English Literature and Composition course, 88.9 percent of VHS students passed the AP® exam compared to the national average of 52.6 percent.

Program results for the last academic year also showed that VHS summer school helped most struggling students who chose to take the courses for credit recovery. Students taking VHS summer school courses for credit recovery had a pass rate of 75 percent. During the academic year, overall course pass rate, defined as students who finish their course with a score of 60 or higher, was 90 percent. Over the last five years, the average pass rate for VHS courses was 89 percent.

The consistent high success rates of students taking VHS courses is not the only reason school administrators choose to partner with VHS. According to annual membership surveys, 80 percent of superintendents and 88 percent of principals participate because they want to widen the variety of courses available to their students using the VHS catalog of more than 200 online courses, which includes 23 AP® offerings, innovative STEM programs, and a wide variety of unique electives.

“One of the things that was particularly gratifying about the survey results was that 95 percent of superintendents and principals who responded to our survey said they would recommend The Virtual High School,” said Carol Ribeiro, President & CEO of VHS. “Additionally, 94 percent of schools participating last year have continued to participate in the current academic year, indicating strong educator and student satisfaction with the quality of support and personalized service being delivered.”

Survey and pass rate information can be found at the VHS website.

About The Virtual High School

The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology, and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit or call (978) 897-1900.

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