Maynard, MA, March 27, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Following a successful pilot during the 2004 – 2006 school years, Virtual High School Global Consortium (www.govhs.org), pioneers of virtual schooling for high school students and online professional development for teachers, today announced the offering of two 2-year International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme courses—economics and information technology in a global society. Under this new pilot, the organization has become the first and only online course provider to offer IB courses online.
The classes are being provided not only to better serve the handful of IB World Schools and their respective students that also participate in VHS, but also to provide students at the 1,500 schools authorized to offer the Diploma Programme around the globe with access to these courses, which might not otherwise be available.
The IB offers three educational programmes, which have a strong international dimension for a worldwide community of schools. The IB Diploma Programme (www.ibo.org/diploma/), for students aged 16 to 19, is an academically challenging and balanced programme of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond. Students study subjects from six different groups, maintaining both breadth and depth of study. In addition, three core elements—the extended essay, theory of knowledge and creativity, action, service—are compulsory and central to the philosophy of the programme.
“Over nearly 40 years the IB has built a reputation for high quality programmes of education that develop internationally minded young people who are well prepared for the challenges of life in the 21st century and able to contribute to creating a better, more peaceful world,” said Paul Fairbrother, Head of Online Learning for the IB. “VHS is a recognized leader in online education and professional development and has experience serving students both within the US and internationally. These were key factors in deciding to work with VHS to make online Diploma Programme courses in economics and information technology in a global society (ITGS) available to IB World Schools.”
VHS is a non-profit collaborative consisting of schools, teachers and students. The organization partners with school districts to provide nearly 250 core, Advanced Placement (AP) and elective NetCourses, allowing schools to expand curriculum offerings with courses they otherwise would not be able to offer. Each course is taught by a highly qualified and certified teacher at VHS member schools. These teachers first complete VHS’s rigorous graduate-level online professional development program, which teaches how to transform all of the elements of an in-person course into an online course and engage and foster collaboration between students. They then deliver award-winning online asynchronous VHS courses while continuing to teach at their face-to-face schools. While the course teacher may be located in a particular state or country, the 25 students in the course can represent many different states and countries. As a result, VHS’s virtual schooling courses help students develop 21st century skills by fostering online collaboration with students from all over the globe.
“The standards we have set for all of our 250 online courses, both in terms of teacher professional development and course quality, have long mirrored the principles of IB courses,” said Liz Pape, President & CEO of VHS. “We are extremely proud to have been chosen by such a world-renowned organization to be the first to make their courses available online.”
For more information, visit http://www.govhs.org/Pages/Academics-IB.
About Virtual High School (VHS)
Virtual High School is the pioneer of online course design and instruction for teachers and online education for high school students. Virtual High School partners with schools to provide rigorous, student-centered online courses that help expand vs. replace existing curriculum options. Members of the VHS collaborative include over 9,000 enrolled students, 361 member schools and 260 teachers in 28 states and 33 countries. The recipient of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) 2005 awards for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices and the Stockholm Challenge 2001 Award for exemplary use of technology in education, VHS was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.govhs.org or call (978) 897-1900.