How Does Non-Traditional K-12 Education Impact College Applications?

Written by  //  2018/01/24  //  College Planning  //  Comments Off on How Does Non-Traditional K-12 Education Impact College Applications?

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Attending a non-traditional K-12 school has a positive impact on college admissions for many students. Because non-traditional students are required to perform in a more independent manner than traditional students, they tend to do well in college environments. College learning environments require self-discipline. Parents and teachers are not there to micromanage the student’s performance.

The college environment much more closely mimics the non-traditional school environment than the disciplined-based educational approach of traditional high schools. Many traditional high school students are unaccustomed to the level of freedom and flexibility they have in collage. As a result, many underachieve in college or even flunk out.

Non-traditional students have a strong track record of college success. Students who have attended online high schools show strong college performance. For online high school students to have the best college admissions experience, here are some important considerations.

Online High School Accreditation

Many online high schools are public high schools, so there is no accreditation difference between attending the online schools and a brick-and-mortar school. For example, Connections Academy is an online public school. In many states public school students are free to choose the online school over a traditional K-12 school.

The diploma awarded by accredited online schools like Connections Academy carries the exact same weight with college admissions as a traditional high school degree. In fact, by approaching the admissions process in a way that highlights the student’s achievements while at the online high school and using time to prepare for SAT and ACT tests, non-traditional, online students can gain an advantage in the college admissions process.

For students attending non-public, non-traditional schools, accreditation is important to college admissions advisors. These types of schools should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education if you want to enroll your child. Regional accreditation is the most widely recognized form of accreditation in the Unites States.

Higher ACT and SAT Scores Result from Non-traditional K-12

Non-traditional students focus on learning the skills most relevant to the ACT and SAT tests. From the start, they are able to learn according to the style that works best for them. This means that they gain a solid foundation of skills that they build on each school year. Math, writing, and reading are cumulative skills, and the educational process at non-traditional schools focuses on students advancing to the next lesson only when they have mastered the necessary skills.

Traditional students must keep up with the class or be left behind. While this may work for some students in some subjects, it rarely works for all students in all subjects. Also, students that learn with a different style than the one favored by their school district are disadvantaged. This results in them gaining fewer of the skills needed for ACT and SAT success.

Because schedules in non-traditional schools are flexible, they can be built to encompass much more preparation time for the SAT and ACT tests. This boosts scores and increases college admissions opportunities.

Online Coursework Key

When choosing the studen’s curriculum, parents of non-traditional school children should ensure it follows a college preparatory trajectory, explains Jamie Littlefield. Some schools provide students and parents broad discretion in determining curriculum. Others offer vocational-based or college-preparatory based curriculums.

Parents should always research what coursework is important for their child to complete for college admissions. For example, if aiming for a certain college or colleges, is foreign language a requirement? Also, what math courses are needed to qualify? Most colleges publish such requirements, so it is important to be informed before settling on a curriculum.

Grades, Recommendations, and Activities

These three factors are just as important for non-traditional high school students. If the non-traditional school does not offer many extra-curricular activities, consider community activities and volunteering. They count.

College admissions is more about demonstrating that a student can succeed at the college than what particular school he or she graduated from. For students who learn better in the non-traditional environment, a better success rate with college admission can be expected. Their increased learning and sharper study skills are reflected in their grades, test scores, and admissions essays.

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