Q&A: Hybrid traditional and online high school programs

A: This is a great question that many parents have. Online high school offers flexibility for students to attend part-time or full-time. There are benefits to doing both.

Attending online high school part-time allows the student to socialize with their peers, play sports, participate in campus clubs and extracurricular activities, such as band. Attending high school at a campus gives students opportunities to communicate with teachers, counselors and other staff. It also gives them access to guest speakers, college tours and college preparation testing (PSAT, SAT, ACT, etc.). Being on campus, students can get on-site tutoring and other resources they may need.

Attending online high school full-time is a great option for some students (depending on their personal situation). If students have any medical or behavioral health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, etc.) that may affect attendance or performance in a standard high school classroom.

Online school is also good for students who may have transportation issues or live too far from the nearest high school. Many students have to work to help their families, so online high school is a solution to continue their education while working full- or part-time. Students who are behind and off-track to graduate on time can really benefit from online high school, too. This gives students a chance to take classes at their own pace (depending on the school) and often have an option on the number of classes they can handle at one time.

Online high schools also have academic advisors and online resources for students, the same as traditional high schools. Some parents are concerned about the lack of socializing and peer contact with online schooling. There are alternatives, such as community teen programs, religious/church youth groups, teen volunteer/mentor or mentee programs and city/community sports.

Whether your son/daughter attends online high school part-time or full-time, the goal is to be successful and graduate with a diploma. Either option can help provide this result.

Dr. Beverley BrowningDr. Beverly A. Browning has been consulting in the areas of grant writing, contract bid responses, and organizational development for nearly four decades. Her clients have included chambers of commerce, faith-based organizations, units of local and county municipal governments, state and federal government agencies, school districts and colleges, social and human service agencies, hospitals, fire departments, service associations, and Fortune 500 corporations. Dr. Browning has assisted clients and workshop participants throughout the United States in receiving awards of more than $250 million. Dr. Browning is the author of over 37 grants-related publications, including Grant Writing For Dummies™, Grant Writing for Educators, How to Become a Grant Writing Consultant, Faith-Based Grants: Aligning Your Church to Receive Abundance, and Perfect Phrases for Writing Grant Proposals. She holds degrees in Organizational Development, Public Administration, and Business Administration. Dr. Browning is a grant writing course developer and online facilitator for Ed2Go.com; former faculty member at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management and a current member of the American Association of Grant Professionals. She is CEO of Bev Browning & Associates (BBA, Inc.); Founder and Director of the Grant Writing Training, and most recently, the new Vice President for Grants Professional Services at eCivis Inc. (www.ecivis.com)