In the State of Michigan, schools are required to provide an on-site mentor for every student who chooses to take an online course. Why? Because mentors provide critical support to online learners. By developing a face-to-face connection, keeping students on schedule, and providing guidance and support, mentors make online courses less overwhelming and more manageable for students.
If we’re going to improve the pass rate for online students in the state of Michigan, we’re going to need to work together to provide online students with more support.
Our state’s mentors are doing the best they can to support their online students. Despite filling this critical need, local mentors often lack training, a professional community, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
Here at Michigan Virtual, we’re ready to improve our state’s pass rate for all online learners (regardless of provider) by empowering Michigan mentors with free resources & professional development opportunities.
Being the only mentor (or even one of a handful of mentors) for online learners at your school can be an isolating experience. When you’re the only one (or one of a few) in your position, it can be difficult to define your responsibilities and figure out what exactly you’re supposed to be doing to help your online students succeed.
In our experience, we’ve found that mentors need more opportunities for community building and professional development as it relates to the unique but critical role they play in their schools. That’s why we’re offering Michigan mentors opportunities to connect with one another and share best practices.
Below you will find a variety of free and low-cost resources & professional development opportunities designed to build community among and empower Michigan mentors to support online learners with research-based best practices.
Many of our resources are designed for all mentors (regardless of online learning provider), but we also have a selection of resources designed specifically for the mentors of Michigan Virtual students.
Want to learn more about best practices for mentoring online learners? Check out our series of blog articles on mentoring written by experienced mentors and K-12 researchers!
We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.
With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.
While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3.
For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.
We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.