Scattered across Marion County, students of all ages — primarily in middle and high school — are taking online courses for a variety of reasons.
Some students take one or two advanced college-prep courses to get ahead. Others are looking for “grade forgiveness,” taking online courses to make up for the classes they failed or did poorly in. Still others are home-schooled, or are taking a full load of online courses but split time between home and school. They are among a growing number of students nationwide who are turning to “virtual schools” for some, or all, of their schooling.
Nationally, K-12 students earned 1.82 million half credits through virtual schools in 2010, up from 317,070 in 2003. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning predicts that number will grow to 5 million half credits by 2016. A half credit is generally earned for a semester-long course.