Overview of the Different Types of Online High Schools

Are you looking to get an education that fits into your busy lifestyle? Or do you want to attend high school without the regular distractions found in a traditional brick-and-mortar environment? Online high schools provide students with alternative, convenient avenues for learning and connecting.

Depending on their needs, students can choose different types of online high schools based on curriculums offered, credits needed, pricing, amount of real-time interaction between teachers and other students, and more.

This post is an overview of the various kinds of online high schools available today – perfect for those seeking a reliable educational option delivered entirely over the web.

What is Online High School and What Makes it Different than Other Schools?

An online high school is an educational option that allows students to take classes and receive a diploma through the internet. With this approach, all academic coursework is conducted in an online environment with support from teachers available as needed.

Depending on the type of online high school chosen, courses may be presented either synchronously (real-time) or asynchronously (self-paced). Some schools also provide extracurricular activities such as clubs, virtual field trips, and community service opportunities.

Online high schools differ from traditional brick-and-mortar schools in a few important ways; they are typically more flexible, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace, and have fewer requirements for attendance or participation than traditional institutions.

Additionally, by eliminating the need to physically travel to a school facility and attend classes with other students, online high schools provide students with greater autonomy and independence while still providing access to quality education options.

What are the Different Types of Online High Schools?

There are a variety of different types of online high schools available to suit the needs of all students. Here is an overview of the major kinds:

There are a variety of different types of online high schools available to suit the needs of all students. Here is an overview of the four major kinds:

1. Public Online High Schools

Public online high schools offer tuition-free online education options to students from traditional public school districts. These programs are generally funded through state tax dollars and overseen by the local school district.

Public online schools generally require students to meet their course requirements within a certain amount of time and typically provide teachers with access to resources such as textbooks or videos for instruction.

Most public online high schools use synchronous learning methods – meaning that classes are held in real-time, often via video conferencing software – but many also offer asynchronous courses where students can learn at their own pace.

Additionally, most public schools require that students participate in standardized testing and may have other prerequisites mandated by the state or school district.

2. Private Online High Schools

Private online high schools are not affiliated with a public school district but rather privately funded or managed. These schools may be for-profit entities or nonprofit organizations and often offer more flexibility in scheduling and curriculum than public online schools.

Private online high schools typically have smaller class sizes and are generally less expensive than traditional brick-and-mortar private schools. They also provide students with access to courses taught by experienced teachers in an environment where they can communicate directly with their instructors.

Furthermore, many private schools provide extracurricular activities such as student clubs and virtual field trips, allowing students to stay engaged with their peers while receiving a quality education.

Additionally, private online high schools often offer a more personalized approach to education, as they may allow students to design their educational plan or choose from pre-packaged curriculums. This allows students to tailor their course of study to meet their individual needs and interests.

3. Charter Schools

Charter schools are publicly funded, independently operated educational institutions that provide students with specialized learning opportunities in a non-traditional school setting.

Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools operate on the premise of increased autonomy and accountability, allowing them to design their curriculums and hire their own staff. As such, they often employ innovative teaching strategies that are not commonly found in public schools. Most charter schools offer some form of distance or online learning for their students, either through virtual classes or by providing access to digital course materials.

Additionally, many charter schools partner with accredited online high schools so that their students can take courses from qualified teachers without leaving home. This allows students to receive a quality education while allowing their parents or guardians to remain involved in their educational journey.

Charter schools offer a unique learning experience for students and can provide significant benefits such as smaller class sizes, greater access to technology, individualized instruction, and more freedom in their curriculum design.

4. College/University-Affiliated Online Schools

College and university-affiliated online schools are a great option for students who wish to pursue an education from the comfort of their own homes. These types of online high schools offer rigorous academic programs and courses taught by highly qualified instructors while providing the convenience and flexibility of learning remotely.

Unlike traditional public or private schools, college/university-affiliated online schools are typically accredited by the same accreditation bodies as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. This ensures that credits earned at these institutions will be accepted at most colleges and universities across the country.

The curriculum offered by college/university-affiliated online schools is often tailored to meet specific goals, such as preparing students for college-level courses or developing the skills necessary to succeed in a chosen career field. Charter schools often provide support services such as academic counseling, tutoring, and career guidance to help students achieve their educational goals.

One of the main advantages of college/university-affiliated online schools is that they offer more personalized instruction than fully online programs. Classes are typically smaller and feature teachers who specialize in the subject matter being taught, allowing for more individualized learning experiences for students.

Additionally, many of these schools have established relationships with colleges and universities, enabling students to transfer credits earned at the online school toward bachelor’s and master’s degrees at physical campuses.

All in all, college/university-affiliated online schools provide students with a quality education while allowing them to maintain the flexibility and convenience of learning from home. 

What Types of Students Attend Online High Schools?

There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to attending online high schools, meaning that a variety of students choose this educational route. Here are the different types of students who attend online high schools:

  • Homeschoolers/self-paced learners – Homeschoolers and self-paced learners typically prefer an independent, self-directed education. Online high schools offer the opportunity to work at their own pace while still receiving quality instruction and guidance from teachers or mentors.
  • Working students – For working students, attending a physical school is often not feasible due to their job requirements or other commitments. Online high schools provide the flexibility they need to balance work with completing their educational goals.
  • Gifted and talented students – Gifted and talented students may benefit from attending online high schools as these institutions often have more rigorous curriculums to challenge them intellectually.
  • Adult students – For students who have fallen behind in their studies, online high schools offer the opportunity to catch up at their own pace and complete their coursework without worrying about being judged by other students.
  • Special needs students – Online high schools provide a more accessible and accommodating learning environment for special needs students as teachers can provide one-on-one instruction and tailor the curriculum to meet each student’s specific needs.
  • Students who want to graduate early – Online high schools are ideal for students who want to graduate early or complete their coursework faster. The flexible and self-paced nature of these programs allows students to move through the curriculum at a pace that works best for them.
  • Students experiencing bullying – Bullying can be an issue in some traditional high schools, and for those students who are being targeted or harassed, attending an online school may provide a more supportive learning environment.

Which Accreditations Should You Look for in an Online High School?

It is essential to check the accreditation status of online high schools prior to enrollment, as this will determine whether the courses are recognized by national, regional, and/or state regulators. Doing so ensures that educational standards and regulations are being adhered to.

Accrediting agencies include:

  • National: The Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Regional: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, Middle States Association Commission on Secondary Schools, Northwest Accreditation Commission
  • State: Public online schools can be accredited by the state in which they operate

There you have it – an overview of online high schools and the types of students who attend them. Whether you’re a homeschooler, working student, adult learner, or someone else looking for flexible education options, an online high school may be the perfect fit for you.

Just make sure to do your research and check accreditation status to ensure you receive a quality education that is recognized by regulators.

Final Thoughts

Deciding to pursue an online high school education is a big decision. With so many options available, it’s important to research to find the right fit for you. Online high schools offer a unique and flexible way to earn your high school diploma, but not all programs are created equal.

Be sure to look for an accredited program that offers courses relevant to your interests and career goals. High School of America is a fully accredited online high school that offers dozens of courses in a variety of subject areas.

Contact us today to learn more about our program and how we can help you achieve success.