If you still think of summer school as strictly for students who fall behind, you don’t fully understand the competitive nature of the college track. Taking a page from college students who want to get ahead or immerse themselves in an academic topic, high school students now see the benefit of enrolling in summer courses. And with the convenience of online learning, you don’t have to give up summer travel plans. There are more course options than ever, and you can take them from wherever you are. Before you sign up for any online summer course, though, be sure to consider your goals and the requirements of the school you plan to attend.
1. Evaluate Your End Goals for Online Summer High School
Do you want to learn for learning’s sake, or would you also like to receive academic credit? Particularly if you are passionate about a subject, the summer is a great season to direct that passion and devote time and energy you may not have during the academic calendar year. Conversely, if you believe you are weak in a subject, the summer is a good time to focus and become familiar with difficult concepts. For example, if you want to take honors Algebra or Geometry for the credit they’ll provide on your transcripts, seek out a condensed summer program. Be aware that with these kinds of courses, you will learn the same content you would over a full term in just six to seven weeks. It will require discipline and dedication and you can expect to spend four to five hours a day on coursework. However, you will have the option of whether or not you accept the grade and credit upon completion of the course.
2. Make Sure You Meet Requirements for Online Summer Classes
You will need to meet course requirements. For example, you can’t take Algebra II before you’ve had Algebra I. Likewise, the online institution you plan to attend will have its own admission requirements. Make sure you understand what they are so you can compile the necessary components well in advance of the deadline for summer courses.
3. Contact Your Current High School
A good place to begin your research about online summer programs is at your own school. Your guidance counselor can evaluate your transcripts and performance to help you decide if you will qualify for an intensive summer program. They can also help you align summer course selection with your future goals. For example, if you see your future self as a doctor, taking summer courses in Biology or Chemistry may prepare you for the rigor of advanced high school or even college courses. Want to be the next great American novelist? Take an advanced English course over the summer. Your counselor may also know of elite online programs that will open doors for you when it comes time to apply to college.
4. Run a Search for Online High Schools that Offer Summer Programs
The internet will provide a bounty of possible online programs. However, most of what you will see in the top results will be ads. Instead of starting your search online, speak to trusted family members, friends, advisors, and professionals you may want to emulate. Take their suggestions and use them as the basis for more in-depth online research.
5. Prepare Your Online High School Summer Application
Start now and gather all the components that may be required for admission to your summer program. You may be required to submit transcripts or report cards for the past few years. Contact the Admissions team and make sure that you don’t miss any steps. Most importantly: submit your application on time.
Gravitas, a global extension of the renowned Stony Brook School, is pleased to offer a variety of college prep summer courses. You can take them for credit or audit the classes for enrichment purposes only. If you’re interested, contact us today as there are limited slots for enrollment.