When you decide that it’s time for you to transition your child to an online school, the abundance of choices can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a faith-based program, you have even more questions facing you. Northgate Academy has identified five areas that are key to determining the best school for your students.
Accreditation is essential to be sure that your student is going to be able to transfer their credits to another school and use their diploma for post-secondary education, military service, or a career search. Many schools will be accredited by small organizations that are not recognized by the vast majority of colleges or other post-secondary paths, so checking a school’s accreditation is essential. In order to make sure their accreditation is widely accepted and legitimate, don’t just look for the words “accredited.” Instead, take a look at the organization that has given the accreditation, too. You’ll want to do your research to make sure the accrediting agencies are nationally or internationally accepted organizations that are well respected and set high standards for their schools.
Ratings & Reviews
The next area to check are the ratings and reviews for the school. Take a look at the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot to see what other families have experienced. Often, schools will include testimonials on their websites as well, but branching out to other sites is a good way to confirm what their website reports.
Level of Flexibility
If your family needs a flexible program that allows you to make your own schedule, then check to make sure that the online school you’re interested in will allow for that flexibility. Is their school self-paced, or does your child have to keep up with a specific schedule?
If you’re homeschooling and want to use the curriculum from an online school, this flexibility is going to be essential in order for you to work on the activities and lessons you want while still allowing your student to earn an accredited high school diploma.
Course Selection & Content
For faith-based online schools, the amount of course selection can sometimes be rather limited. Does the school you’re investigating offer a variety of interesting Christian courses and modern electives that will align with your student’s interests and needs?
Are their courses preparing modern students for the issues they will face in today’s world? Check to make sure the school’s curriculum is up to date, and they aren’t using the same curriculum as twenty, thirty, or even forty years ago. The classics are wonderful and hold important lessons for your student, but you want your child to be engaged in what they are learning and prepared to step into the world today, not the world from the 1980s.
Making sure the content of the courses is aligned with your values and faith is another important aspect of the content to check. What is the school’s Mission Statement? What is their Statement of Faith? You can tell a lot about a school by the goals and beliefs driving them forward.
A Supportive Community
Being an online student means that sometimes your student is going to need to be able to reach out to someone online for help. What does the online school you’re researching offer in the way of support? Do they have Success Coaches? Can they email their instructors? Do they offer one-on-one tutoring?
You’re going to want to be sure that your student has all the support they need in order to be successful.
About Northgate Academy
If you’re not already a student at Northgate Academy but are interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student, you can check out our programs online. Every full time student at NGA is assigned an Academic Success Coach, can email their instructors with questions, reach out to staff through online chat and text, and has access to one-on-one tutoring through Train The Brain.
Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.