OSU K-12 Online News

January 2006

OSU’s high school online program receives accreditation

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The OSU K-12 Online program, which provides high school and middle school curriculum via the Web, was recently reviewed by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools as a Distance Education School. Dr. Richard Darst, Executive Secretary for NAAS of Oregon and Wilbur Starr, Principal of Santiam Christian High School in Corvallis, recently visited Oregon State University and met with Extended Campus officials for a three hour site review. The program, offered through Ecampus for the past three years, passed with high marks, meeting virtually every standard on the lengthy list at first try.

To receive the accreditation, the K-12 Online program had to demonstrate several factors including employment of teachers with the “highly qualified” licensure, provision of “sound curriculum,” and the availability of student services. The program also has to work under the auspices of a governing board, maintain a clear mission statement, and provide instruction that supplements students’ residential programs. Governed by the Oregon Board of Higher Education, OSU K-12 Online will be reviewed annually to ensure its good marks.

Darst commented after his visit to OSU, “I was impressed with the quality of programs offered, and the vision for the future of the K-12 Online program. The accreditation allows this program to be recognized nationally and internationally, and facilitates credit transferability.” Tryna Luton, Ecampus P-12 Outreach Coordinator and K-12 Online administrator, added that the NAAS accreditation tells the education world the online courses meet the National and Oregon Content Standards, and provides quality assurance for the courses and programs.

OSU K-12 Online offers options for high school students with varying needs and backgrounds – high achievers seeking additional challenge or courses not offered at their school due to budget cuts, home schooled students looking for a particular course, or students who have missed school due to illness or truancy. For middle schoolers, K-12 Online offers integrated thematic units – project-oriented courses that are completed in one to three weeks and include study in English, math, science, social science and art. Examples of thematic units include The Dynamic Earth, Art in the Real World, Planning a Park, and Chance and Happenstance.

For more information on these and other P-12 programs offered through OSU Extended Campus, visit k12online.oregonstate.edu or call 800-667-1465.