There are many reasons why people do not finish high school. Circumstances can seem to conspire to make it difficult for students to complete the necessary academic requirements, but no matter what the reason, not graduating leaves them at a distinct career disadvantage. However, providing students are committed to achieving the academic goals, it’s never too late for them to complete their high school education.
High School Graduation
Students in Ontario who failed to graduate high school, and wish to graduate at a later date, have two options and these are: work toward a test of General Educational Development (GED) or complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
The GED is a test designed by the American Educational council that measures knowledge and skills at a range of complexity and difficulty that are covered across multiple high school grades. The GED itself is a group of five subject tests (social studies, science, reading, math and writing) which, when passed, certify that the student has United States or Canadian high school-level academic skills. The GED can be studied independently through available texts or through teaching/tutoring services, with the test itself being taken at designated examination centers.
In order to obtain an OSSD students must have completed a total of 30 subject credits during their time in grades 9, 10, 11 and 12, where they have the flexibility to choose the courses they take from designated compulsory and optional subjects. Even though students may not have graduated from high school, they would have accumulated course credits along the way and only need to complete the missing credits to make up the 30 required for graduation.
Students who have been out of high school form more than 2 years are usually referred to as mature students and are not typically allowed to attend in-class lessons so have to take online high school courses with accredited online high schools, such as Apex Academy Online. The Ontario curriculum allows for relevant adult learning experiences to be taken into account to grant equivalences toward certain courses. In these cases, if students can demonstrate the equivalent level of understanding, the online high school can grant a credit or waive a pre-requisite toward a higher-level course.
The approach a student may wish to take to complete their high school graduation will depend on their personal circumstances, and the reason for graduating (e.g., personal achievement or qualifying for post secondary education), but whichever route they choose, both the GED and OSSD offer students practical options for their educational future.
How to Succeed in an Online High School
The key to success in an online high school is self-discipline and time management. Students need to develop a sense of purpose, or a goal, that they can visualize and work toward; where each lesson, assignment, test or exam is a step toward achieving that goal.
Goal Oriented Focus
In online high schools that offer asynchronous learning, students must work through the course material alone, under the guidance of a teacher, along with input from online student forums. It’s important for students to recognize the difference in the way the course material is presented, and how different it is likely to be from their pervious in-class learning experiences. Online schools, such as Apex Academy Online, take great care to understand how students prefer to learn, with teachers often adapting the type of support and encouragement they offer to create the best possible opportunities for student success.
Time management is about establishing a routine and sticking to it. Students have to allocate blocks of time in their schedules to allow them to adequately study the material, carry out the assignments and prepare for the tests and exams. The amount of time can be adjusted to suit the learning style of the student, but there needs to be a degree of self-discipline to ensure that other activities or distractions don’t take up the allocated time. Apex Academy Online actively monitors student activity looking for signs that may indicate they are having difficulty, or perhaps not making any significant progress. If, for example, a student has not logged on for a couple of weeks, their teacher and/or guidance counselor will contact them to find out if there are any problems, and help develop a plan to address any issues.
The self-discipline and time management skills a student develops in online learning can form a useful foundation for post secondary education learning, as well as helping them to be more effective in the work place.
Achieving Educational Goals
Online high school courses, such as those offered by Apex Academy Online, offer online classes for adults, and regular students alike. No matter what circumstances a student may face, online learning offers them the opportunity achieve their educational goals on a unique schedule that allows them to grow and flourish in a way that may not have been possible in the past.