increase in online k12 programs is growing rapidly but not necessarily always in
the right direction. It is important to find an accredited program that will
provide students with the rigor and support they need to succeed. Texas
Tech University Outreach & Distance Education offers online learning solutions
for both higher education and for students in grades K-12.
Homeschool.com interviewed Michele Moskos from Texas Tech University about
the advantages of their K-12 Distance Learning Program.
Homeschool.com: First of all, I want to say
congratulations for all that Texas Tech University has achieved since it started
in 1923. It's my understanding that TTU ODE is one of the largest K-12 distance
learning programs in the United States and that ODE's K-12 program serves
students in 40 states, 15 countries, and also works with more than 1,800 school
districts, academies, and other academic organizations. In addition to all
of that, you also offer traditional print-based courses and more than two dozen
high school courses online. To what do you attribute this growth?
Michele: Well, Thank
you! We have grown a lot since the school started and
we attribute that growth to the transient nature of
families and to the many people who are looking for comprehensive, accredited
which is offered through TTU's Outreach &
Distance Education (ODE). Our program options are flexible; you can take a
course or enroll as a full-time student in Texas Tech University Independent
School District (TTUISD). This allows families the freedom to supplement any
work that they do through ODE with other activities and programs.
Homeschool.com: Can you tell me about the academics of
your programs and what support is available for students?
Michele: All of our courses and Credit by
Examinations meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Texas Tech
University Independent School District, our elementary, middle and high school
diploma program, is accredited by the Texas Education Agency. We have a team of
excellent and talented curriculum authors and editors who are constantly
creating and perfecting new courses. Support services are always available to
our students and educators at any time through our new call center as well as
our online course portal (www.courseportal.ode.ttu.edu).
Homeschool.com: Can you explain what Distance Learning
is and how your programs operate?
Our distance learning options give you the
choice to take one course or a whole program.
Our courses can be taken at any time, at your own
pace, completely at a distance, no matter where you are. You can choose from
over 70 self-paced, independent study, online and print-based courses. Depending on
the course, assignments are submitted via e-mail, regular mail or fax. Upon
enrolling in an ODE course, you will have six months to complete the course
including the final.
Homeschool.com: In your K-12 program, your materials
and curriculum are very extensive. You cover over 20 subjects across 12 grade
levels: where did all these materials come from?
Michele: All of our
courses are written by Texas certified teachers and edited and produced by our
talented staff of curriculum authors and editors.
Homeschool.com: Are your programs accredited?
Michele: Yes, all of our courses and Credit by
Examinations meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and all of our
courses are taught by Texas certified instructors. TTUISD is accredited by the
Texas Education Agency.
Homeschool.com: Is Texas Tech University: Outreach &
Distance Learning a secular or religious program?
Michele: The Division
of Outreach & Distance Education is a division of Texas Tech University and we
do not have any religious affiliation which gives you the option to supplement religious courses and programs of your choice.
Homeschool.com: What do you believe makes your
school/program a great option for all homeschoolers?
Michele: We have a quality program for all K-12
students which include both independent study credit options and an elementary,
middle and high school diploma program offered entirely at a distance from Texas
Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD). Students also have the
option of testing out of courses to accelerate their academic progress and may
take dual-credit courses to earn both high school and college credit
simultaneously. On top of all that, all courses are written to Texas State
standards, by Texas certified teachers and accredited by the Texas Education
Agency. If that wasn't enough, TTUISD graduating classes have historically
scored above both the national and state SAT/ACT averages.
Homeschool.com: Can you give me a run-down of what the
Elementary, Middle School, and High School courses feature?
Sure. The elementary courses are designed primarily for parents or tutors
working with elementary students in a home environment. The course guides
include daily lessons as well as worksheets, answer keys, and tests. The lessons
appeal to different learning styles and also emphasize higher-level learning.
Many of the lessons include Internet activities to encourage students to use
computers to gather and interpret information.
The middle school courses average nine lessons and one final examination. A
pre-approved proctor administers the final examination and students have up to
six months to complete each course. Students complete the lessons and return
them to be graded.
The high school students must satisfactorily complete 22, 24 or 26 academic
credits and pass the TAKS exit-level test in order to earn a Texas high school
diploma. They can view the courses available by going to our website.
The great thing about these K-12 courses are that students can enroll at any
time and decide when and where to study. We also provide student support
services online or via phone and parents can access their students' grades 24/7
Homeschool.com: What is the benefit of dual-credit
courses in a homeschooling program?
dual-credit courses give high school students the opportunity to jump-start
their college experience. They are able to earn high school and college credit
simultaneously by taking college-level courses taught by Texas Tech University
faculty. This decreases the amount of time required for them to graduate from
college, improves the abilities and skills needed to succeed at the college
level, and it also cuts down on college tuition expenses.
Homeschool.com: How much do these K-12 courses at TTU
Michele: Tuition and
fees are $90 per .5-unit credit for the K-8th grade courses plus a $30
non-refundable administrative processing fee per course. For 9-12th grade
courses, tuition and fees are $100 per .5-unit credit plus a $30 non-refundable
administrative processing fee per course. For dual-credit courses, you can call
800.MY.COURSE or visit our course catalog located on our website.
Homeschool.com: I really like everything I've heard
today about your materials and courses. How do our readers purchase these
courses for their children?
Michele: To view course
descriptions and to learn more about course/credit options or to enroll in
TTUISD, please visit
or call toll-free at 800.692.6877 (800.MY.COURSE) / locally 806.742.7200. You can
for more information.