Online High School Diploma Programs for Teens

Online high school diplomas are an alternative for teens who need or desire a distance learning environment. Read on to find out about accreditation, quality programs and how to avoid fraudulent degrees.

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Why Is Accreditation Important?

Locating an accredited online high school program is crucial because you'll want to make sure your degree will be respected and accepted. Certain standards, including high performance, number of licensed teachers and strength of the educational program, are considered as part of a school's accreditation process.

Additionally, employers and colleges usually only accept diplomas from state-accredited schools. Regional agencies have a list of criteria that they use to officially offer accreditation to a school. Directories of accredited schools can be located by contacting your state board of education's accrediting office.

When you're searching for an online high school, do not pay any fees to a school until you verify that it is an accredited school and the classes and diploma are accepted by your state board of education. Beware of schools that offer online degree programs that can be completed in a few months or claim that you can get credit for 'life experience'. Also check the administrative office address and avoid schools with only a post office box or suite number listed.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Online High School?

Do not think that online study is easier than being in a classroom. Legitimate online schools have approved courses that are equally as rigorous as courses in a regular high school curriculum. In addition to inquiring about accreditation status, here are some other questions to consider when researching online high schools:

1. Does the school offer a diverse curriculum that is considered college preparatory?

2. Are Advanced Placement (AP) courses available that allow you to earn college credit?

3. Does the school have 'demo' courses available for you to try?

4. Are there any accommodations for 'special needs' students?

5. Does the school offer an accelerated program of instruction so you can graduate early?

6. Are classes available for 'gifted and talented' students?

7. Are there any fees?

8. Are the units transferable to another state high school?

9. If you need help, how easy is it to contact your teacher?

10. Are the teachers licensed by the state and certified in their subject area?

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