Michigan Virtual will provide online courses to 600 Detroit high school students this fall in a unique partnership with the state’s Education Achievement Authority (EAA). The EAA is operating six Detroit high schools as part of Michigan’s Education Achievement System, which was implemented by Gov. Rick Snyder to redesign public education in Michigan’s priority schools by including them in a new system that drives more resources directly into the classroom. The EAA asked Michigan Virtual to operate the online learning portion of its curricular offerings.
“We are excited about the opportunity to serve high-need students with an innovative educational approach that leverages the best of face-to-face support with online instructional delivery models to offer students a new way to achieve academic success,” Jamey Fitzpatrick, Michigan Virtual President & CEO, said.
Michigan Virtual will provide students with up to four online courses a semester through its Michigan Virtual for Students. Michigan Virtual’s highly-qualified, Michigan-certified instructors will guide the students in these online courses. The online sessions will have a smaller teacher-to-student ratio in this configuration than in a typical online class.
Because the EAA students are students who previously haven’t had success in school – and the goal is to help students graduate from high school – Michigan Virtual will also provide onsite mentors who will work with the students in their schools. Also, caseworkers will be available to work with students on issues that are barriers to academic success. A supervisor will coordinate the day-to-day operation of the program.
All instructors, mentors, caseworkers and the supervisor will be hired and receive training in the online instructional process.
“The Education Achievement Authority is pleased to partner with Michigan Virtual to offer appropriate core academic courses for students attending Central Collegiate, Denby, Henry Ford, Mumford, Pershing and Southeastern high schools and who wish to stay on track for high school graduation. The hybrid course delivery model provided by Michigan Virtual fits well with EAA’s anytime, anywhere learning philosophy for helping to prepare students for college and career,” said J. Wm. Covington, Chancellor.
The Michigan Virtual-EAA program will be a customized, blended approach. Students will attend class at their high school every other day and do coursework online on the other days from their home or library. The students will work independently with their online instructors on those days and receive face-to-face instruction from mentors when they are in school. Students will work on their classes until they achieve mastery and then move on to other courses. In this way, students will progress at their own rate.
The goal of the program is high school graduation for all students. The key to reaching this goal is the level of support students will receive from the Michigan Virtual hired staff, including the online instructors, mentors, caseworkers and supervisor, and the staff in the Lansing office of Michigan Virtual.
About Michigan Virtual
Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.
Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority (EAA) is a new statewide school system designed to dramatically redesign public education in Michigan’s priority schools. The system will operate five percent of priority schools in Michigan not achieving satisfactory results on a redesign plan or that are under an emergency manager. It will first apply to priority schools in Detroit in the 2012-13 school year and then be expanded to cover the entire state.