In this and the following options, it would be helpful to think of the parent and student as education brokers. They are the ones ultimately in charge, and they find courses and experts to help them put together an academic program. In this particular option, you pay to take all of your courses from Correspondence Schools. You could take all of the courses from one institution, or you could choose courses from several different correspondence schools. When you put all of the course work together, you would have a complete high school program. This is like ordering from the menu at a Chinese restaurant (one from column A and two from column B…) or eating dinner at the Mall. You have lots of options to choose from.
What to Look for in Correspondence Schools
1. Costs per course. Are textbooks included? Can you return the course if you decide that you do not like it? Will you get a full refund?
2. What support services do I get for my money? Can I call a teacher? Is there a toll-free or local line to talk to a teacher?
3. How do they handle tests? Do they provide answer keys? After taking a test do you just go on? Or do you have to wait until the test is returned to go on to the next level? Who grades the test — a teacher or a graduate assistant? Are they machine or hand scored? Do you get feedback about what you did not understand, or do you only get the test score returned? If the student fails a test, can they retake it?
4. What is the range of courses offered? Do you ever get a choice of textbooks? What about secular world views in materials? Will that bother you? Does the school’s religious/philosophical point of view match yours? Does that matter to you?
5. How long is your student given to complete the course? Is getting a time extension an option? Can they work through the summer?
6. How well can they work to accommodate your child’s special needs/learning styles/vocational choices? Is there any flexibility at all? Do you need flexibility?
7. Will the school issue a diploma? Can you buy just one course? Can you do most of your course work with them and NOT be issued a diploma?
For High School Correspondence Schools/Courses, click here.