As the college admittance rate becomes more competitive, the importance of a college preparatory education increases. To be accepted into a college of choice, students must take advantage of the resources provided to them during their high school years and stay on track with the college admissions process. Being a student in an online school provides the opportunity to receive one-on-one college counseling services and develop the skills needed to have a successful college career. Distance learning prepares students for college in a number of ways, including the following:
- Students develop strong time management skills.
Part of becoming an independent learner and successful online student is developing effective time management skills. In a virtual setting, students utilize a Learning Management System (LMS) to manage deadlines for assignments and assessments, but it is inevitably up to the student to stay on track. At Laurel Springs School, students have the opportunity to learn in an asynchronous environment, and have the flexibility to do their school work when it best suits them. This allows them to truly work at their own pace, and understand what it takes to maintain a schedule by applying their time management skills. Since online students have already begun refining this skillset, they have a smoother transition when they enter a college or university.
- Students receive college counseling and are assisted during the admissions process.
Similar to a traditional school setting, some distance learning programs have School Counselors who assist students throughout their high school experience in preparation for college. This includes providing them information about searching and applying for colleges, planning a challenging course schedule for each year, preparing for the appropriate standardized tests, and providing advice on how to stay academically engaged throughout the summer months.
At Laurel Springs, students begin receiving one-on-one college counseling services in 8th grade from a dedicated School Counselor who helps them choose their classes for their first year of high school. In addition to providing guidance on the above areas, our School Counseling Department holds webinars for specific grade levels on topics such as time management and study skills, college and career planning, financial aid and scholarships, and NCAA eligibility for student-athletes. In addition, students receive college planning assistance throughout the year on where they should be in their college search, what colleges match their academic profiles and career goals, as well as support with the college admissions process. Our School Counselors take pride in writing letters of recommendation for our students and setting them on a trajectory for success.
- Students have access to a high-quality curriculum and wide variety of courses.
One of the major factors that a college admissions committee looks for in a student is whether or not they took a challenging course load. This lets the school know if a student is prepared for the rigor of a college course and if they have the desire to succeed in their major and beyond. School Counselors assist in this process and help students choose courses that will challenge them based on their academic level. Online schools have the ability to offer a wide variety of college prep courses which includes a range of Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) titles.
At Laurel Springs, our college prep courses have been carefully designed so that successful completion prepares students for courses at the most demanding colleges and universities. Our course catalog includes over 20 Honors and AP titles. Honors courses meet the needs of college-bound students seeking a challenging academic curriculum in a distance learning environment. AP classes enable students to take college-level courses and exams while still in high school. Excellent AP exam scores enable many Laurel Springs graduates to be exempt from entry level courses in college.
- Students develop a well-versed 21st century skillset.
By the time a student begins the college admissions process, they are expected to have developed a well-versed skillset and global perspective. The 21st century skills that students must acquire include adaptability, critical and creative thinking, and a cross-cultural understanding. At an online school, students have the opportunity to take a variety of courses that will refine these skills whilst interacting with a global community of learners.
Online students interact with new technologies on a daily basis as the way they receive their education. Additionally, they learn how to effectively research the masses of information available to them and leverage their findings to push forward new ideas. This experience, as well as having access to students and teachers from all over the globe, prepares online students to contribute to a world that is constantly advancing, and where globalization is increasing at a rapid pace.
- Students can engage in a variety of extracurricular activities.
Another major factor that college admissions committees look for is a student’s involvement in extracurricular activities. Admissions officers are searching for students who are well-rounded and will play an active role on the college campus. Students in an online school have the unique opportunity to pursue their passions outside of school whilst receiving a high-quality, college preparatory education. By utilizing the flexibility distance learning provides, students no longer have to choose between their academics and personal interests or goals. The ability to balance schoolwork and other activities before entering college puts students at a unique advantage.
Families looking for a distance learning program that will successfully prepare their students for college are encouraged to learn more about Laurel Springs School. Contact our Admissions Department today at 800-377-5890.