They call it “virtual education.” Online learning can be a great option for many types of students, and now South Carolina students and their families have that option. Provost Academy,a public high school designed to address student needs on an individual basis, is in its first year in the Palmetto State and expects to reach its first year cap of 1000 students by August. Jeff McCoy leads Community Outreach for the on-line program.
He says it’s like a regular school. “Provost Academy is a school without walls, a virtual school, a public high school, so if you are zoned to attend a public high school, you’re also zoned to attend this cyber high school.”
McCoy says Provost Academy may be helpful for students who want to work during the day and attend school at night, or who want to get away from the school environment for a year. It’s not a correspondence course and should not be considered an “easy way out.” “This is full-time school, but they can do it as it meets their needs. They don’t have to show up in person. They don’t have to sit in a class or drive to their school. The can roll out of bed in the morning, open up their laptop that we provide them, and they’re sitting in school.”
McCoy says the option brings teachers to the students, and brings students to the teachers. “One of the limitations of physical schools is teachers have to be physically there. So you don’t necessarily have teachers accredited in those types of courses living in that geography. But if you open up the geography to the entire state, and you ask teachers to teach at different hours, you find a lot more teachers who’re qualified.”
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