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What is Online Summer School?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2017
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Online summer school may mean a few different things. It can be agreed upon that any coursework or school is usually offered in an online setting, which means it can be open to enrollment by anyone qualifying or paying the amount required. It does not necessarily mean that the school is accredited and will be of benefit to students required to attend summer school, at least from a credit perspective. Schools may also differ because they may entirely function online, or they may offer online classes during the summer term; most often this occurs at the college level.

There are some accredited online summer school grammar and high school programs that offer study for students who either want to earn some extra credits or who need to make up for poor grades or credits they may have missed. Most of these cost some money to attend, though prices can vary, but they can have some advantages. If parents plan to travel, students can still complete their schooling provided they have access to a computer and the Internet. These may prove an excellent alternative for those students who can’t make it to traditional summer school, or who live in poorly funded districts that aren’t offering extensive enough programs. Parents should check with local school districts to make sure that any work completed in these programs will be given full credit.

There are also online summer school programs that aren’t accredited and many cost money. These might still be good for students to attend if they are having trouble acquiring certain skills, but who don’t need to make up credits. Students can take remedial work and catch up with their peers over a summer. Parents interested in this option should look carefully into the credentials of teachers and administrators before handing over money for these instruction programs.

Many junior colleges, trade schools, and four-year universities have some form of online summer school. They may have full summer terms that they offer online, or they could have summer enrollment for various programs. Some schools only have a few classes that can be taken in an online setting and other schools offer almost all of their courses online.

Traditional brick and mortar universities may be more likely to have the former, and could possibly require some school attendance for lectures or testing. Each program can be very different. Since summer is often a shorter term, material at the college level may be more compressed and might require more daily or weekly studying time.

High school students may also be able to take advantage of online summer school at universities and especially at junior colleges. Many students now use the summer months to get general education courses out of the way at local junior colleges. Yet, if these are a distance from home, online classes could be a better option. When taken at a properly accredited school, students may get both high school and college credits for successful class completion.

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