“Digital learning made the real world smaller and my world bigger. I feel the challenging curriculum I was able to create with extensive use of online opportunities helped me achieve my high school academic goals.”
– Abbie Short
I attend a public high school in rural West Virginia. As such, the offerings for Advanced Placement classes and college credit or dual credit classes are limited. I realized early on that in order to best prepare myself for college and equally important, the college application process, I would need to find a way to measure myself and to be measured against students from areas with more advanced learning opportunities.
On-line AP classes offered one such opportunity that I fully embraced. My State's program to pay for online courses combined with my District's program to reimburse the cost of each AP test passed with a score of 3 or better provided me the financial opportunity. By the end of my junior year, I had achieved National AP Scholar status, passing 11 AP classes and exams, and I am on course to complete four additional AP classes this year. Six of those classes the past two years were online AP offerings, not available as instructor-led. Additionally this year I was able to take a college credit class through Marshall University as an online class.
My school uses a four block, ninety-minute block schedule. Offered AP classes are often only one section and sometimes were in conflict with graduation requirement classes. Online classes that I could self schedule gave me much greater flexibility and allowed me to create a more rigorous and fulfilling curriculum. I combined that flexibility with my willingness to take a zero block AP class (before school) and a summer AP class to maximize my learning opportunities. Additionally, our district misses significant days of instruction due to winter weather. I, however, was able to continue my online classes from anywhere I had internet access.
I feel that the challenging curriculum I was able to create with extensive use of online opportunities helped me achieve my high school academic goals. My ACT subject scores ranged between 32 and 36, I became a National Merit Finalist and I was accepted to Brown University.