Michigan Virtual signs on as MHSAA’s preferred provider of online education
Providing educational opportunities is central to the missions of both the Michigan High School Athletic Association and Michigan Virtual. To promote its expansive opportunities for online education for Michigan high school students and educators, Michigan Virtual will serve as the preferred provider of online education supporting MHSAA events and digital initiatives during the 2016-17 school year.
Michigan Virtual is a nonprofit corporation established in 1998 to deliver online education and training opportunities to Michigan’s K-12 community and operates the Michigan Virtual for Students. Considered a national leader in providing online education, Michigan Virtual has enrolled over 200,000 online courses in a broad range of core academic courses aligned with state standards, college-level equivalent courses; enrichment and world language courses, and other innovative online experiences. Michigan Virtual is accredited by third-party AdvancED, meaning its instructors, tools, services and staff meet or exceed essential standards of educational quality.
Michigan Virtual currently is working with 497 schools across Michigan to provide students more than 200 online courses, including 22 Advanced Placement courses and instruction in seven world languages. Like the MHSAA, Michigan Virtual serves students grades 6-12.
“We focus on the whole child in educational athletics, and we see Michigan Virtual as helping local schools broaden the academic offerings they can provide to students,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “We help students compete in the local athletic arena; Michigan Virtual helps students compete in the global classroom.”
Michigan Virtual for Students will have an on-site presence at MHSAA championship events throughout this school year and also digitally on MHSAA.com and in coordination with the MHSAA’s social media platforms. Michigan Virtual also will receive air time as part of MHSAA video and radio programming.
Michigan Virtual courses are designed to provide the same rigor as those students experience in a face-to-face classroom setting while allowing students scheduling flexibility and the ability to work at their own pace. Core courses aligned with the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) and the Common Core are available in English, math, science, social studies and world languages. Also, nearly 90 Michigan Virtual courses are approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, an additional value for student athletes seeking to secure eligibility at the college level.
“Increasingly, students involved with interscholastic athletics want and need school options that can be accessed outside the traditional school schedule,” Jamey Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Michigan Virtual, said. “We are excited about our new partnership with the MHSAA and look forward to helping more students and their parents learn about the value and potential of online learning options from Michigan Virtual.”
Michigan Virtual for Students is funded by the Michigan legislature and revenues from the courses it offers. Under current legislation, students in grades 6-12 are allowed to take up to two courses per semester during the regular school year paid for by their schools, and students also may pay to take additional courses either during the school year or in the summer. Courses are developed by Michigan Virtual or include content licensed from nationally-recognized providers.
Additionally, the MHSAA and Michigan Virtual have agreed to explore possible areas of collaboration related to online and blended professional development for athletic directors, coaches and other sports officials.
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 and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.
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The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exist to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year. For more information about MHSAA, visit mhsaa.com.
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