To graduate high school in Ontario, the requirements involve earning 18 compulsory Ontario high school credits and 12 optional credits. Yet, for some students, courses offered at their high school seem limited, don’t adhere to their learning style, or simply don’t seem interesting enough. When one is presented with such conditions, how else can they earn their diploma in a way that fulfills their learning needs?
Luckily, there are extracurricular options that allow students to earn their high school credits with more autonomy on how they want to learn. Such entails e-learning through a publicly-funded institution, online courses from virtual private high schools, and dual credit programs.
1. Online Publicly-funded Institutions
For those students looking to earn high school credits through affordable and accessible means, online publicly-funded institutions are a definite go-to. Depending on the institution, some do not require any tuition fee at all! In essence, they offer high school students the opportunity to not only earn high school credits, but also a chance to study at their own speed while having access to guidance and career counseling. They also allow students to enroll at any time during the general school year, providing asynchronous and continuous intake online schooling. The online options for publicly-funded institutions available to students are the following:
Avon Maitland District Elearning Centre (AMDEC): AMDEC is an online secondary school regulated by the Avon Maitland District School Board. They offer features like career counselling and the option for students to complete courses at any time between September and February. However, students must be enrolled in their current high school to register.
Independent Learning Centre (ILC): As Ontario’s largest online high school, ILC continues to provide online Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) courses. Students at ILC can begin their classes at any time, having up to 10 months to complete any of the 144 courses that they offer.
OpenSchool: As a part of the Adult and Continuing Education program with Trillium Lakelands District School Board, OpenSchool is a continuous entry online school that offers Ministry-approved online classes. The curriculum at OpenSchool is designed to have students fully engaged in one subject at a time, though students are encouraged to accelerate their process if they wish to start another course afterwards.
Virtual Learning Centre: VLC is the oldest operating online school in Ontario, offering both asynchronous learning and live, online classes. Much like the traditional in-class schooling, the timeline of course completion is based on the semester system. VLC also allows students live interaction with their teachers and peers through their real-time classes and/or their extra-curricular activities and clubs (chess, debate, student newspaper, etc.).
However, online publicly-funded institutions can often be quite limited in program development or curricula due to the budget limitations imposed by the state. Nevertheless, the schools mentioned above offer base educational subjects like Arts, Geography, English Writing (Composition).
2. Virtual Private High Schools
Virtual private high schools are an exceptional choice for students who are looking to enroll in a variety of courses for high school credits. These institutions typically allow students to start online OSSD-credit courses at any time, along with more freedom in completing assignments and final exams. With 24/7 access in an environment of their choosing, students are able to finish online courses within 4 weeks or in a span of 12 months. They can offer up to more than 100 Ontario Curriculum courses, ranging from Art and Music to Science and Social Studies.
These courses can be accepted by universities and colleges worldwide as well and are accessible for all high school grade levels. In certain virtual private high schools, there is even an option for extracurricular schooling that provides personalized academic support. Yet, due to the expansive nature of these virtual private high schools, they are much more expensive than online publicly-funded institutions, ranging from $450 CAD to even $600 CAD a course for Canadian/permanent-resident students in Canada. For international students, fees for courses are typically higher and can be double the regular fees, usually ranging from the lowest fee being $600 CAD to the highest fee being $1300 CAD and beyond (depending on the high school). Regardless, they are a great way to learn through a wholesome school experience while earning high school credits.
3. Dual Credit Programs
Dual credit programs are great for students wanting to experience and get a head start on college, university, or apprenticeship training. Through these programs, students can earn high school credits that also count towards a postsecondary diploma, degree or apprenticeship certification. While also continuing their enrolment in high school, students allot time each week to study at a postsecondary institution or apprenticeship. There, they can gain experience that gives them insight into postsecondary education or apprenticeship that will benefit them once they graduate. Through dual credit programs, students will learn and acquire job skills that interest them and gain the advantage of experiencing different career pathways – all while earning the necessary high school credits.
With options such as those listed above, students can complete the requirement of Ontario high school credits, giving them more freedom in high school and their learning experience. If you require support in mathematics towards attaining high school credits, feel free to reach out to us at Math Project by calling 1-844-628-4243!