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Student Life

Alternative Schooling Options

Discover some of many alternative options for students dissatisfied and struggling with the traditional school environment.

Kaylen Phillips, Student Contributor

November 13, 2017

Alternative Schooling Options
Committing eight hours or more a day to high school classes is difficult for some and sometimes impossible for others. If the traditional high school schedule is hindering your ability to catch those ZZZs, work enough hours, or maintain mental and physical health, it may be time to look into other means of completing your diploma. Depending upon the resources available in your area, you may have the option of altering your schedule to best fit your needs. There may be online classes to replace hectic early morning afternoon periods, giving more time for sleep or work. Dual Enrollment -- taking college classes for both college and high school credit -- allows an independent student greater schedule flexibility and preparation for the college life to come. Below, discover some of many alternative options for students dissatisfied and struggling with the traditional school environment.

Online school

A typical high school student is already familiar with the incorporation of technology in their everyday classrooms, so it isn’t much of an adjustment when switching from traditional to online classes. The standardization of public schooling material applies to public online learning, allowing students equal advantage when it comes to testing and grade reporting. The occasionally lenient and self-reliant scheduling offers the freedom and flexibility that can free a student from the stress of conventional high school life.

Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment requires applying to a local college or university accepting dual enrollment students, so this is an option typically for rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors*. Because classes are completed within a college semester, students here are also granted the flexibility to create a schedule best suited for them while also accumulating extra credits. This is a great option for those ready for challenge and independence.

Homeschooling and other Alternatives

Homeschooling is similar to online learning, though without the standardization of public schools. Schooling of this kind may or may not include the involvement of parent/guardians or a tutor, and the creation of an individualized curriculum. For a student considering college, however, be sure to check academic requirements of home-schooled students. Students with disabilities have lower graduation rates than those without. Finding an inclusive, comprehensive program that understands and works with disabilities may be a challenge, especially in particular geographic and socioeconomic circumstances, but there are resources available to improve the value of your education. A Few Closing Reminders: Students needing a change from the norm should realize alternatives are worth researching or potentially following through since these options (usually) come at no cost to the student. Be sure to discuss with a high school counselor and parent/guardians your goals and expectations of your new schedule. Have fun with your newfound freedoms! *Some high schools have restrictions on their dual enrollment students. Check with a counselor if you're interested.

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