Getting A Student’s Real Perspective About Online Schools And Career Prep Programs
By Kimber Cole, Stride Student Advisor
Online school can be intimidating, to say the least. Because of this sense of intimidation, people have created false stereotypes about students in online schools. I am sure every online high school student can agree that most of the stereotypes we encounter are not true.
There are academic stereotypes about online schools and career prep programs.
Most people think online students are slackers or, conversely, over-achievers. However, neither extreme representation is necessarily true. A person’s desire for school is not based on the type of school they are attending, whether that is an online high school or a brick-and-mortar school. Some students might try extra hard in school to achieve their goals. Others might not try as hard, because they have different goals. At the end of the day, it all depends on the individual person’s goals and desires. Personally, I have been told I am an over-achiever, and I was told this even before joining an online school. Because I have been given the label of an “over-achiever,” I can safely say that it is not about the school you are in, or the work you are doing. It is about the willingness to do something (or many things) to achieve your goals. I plan to go to college on a scholarship, and so I am working hard in school and doing extracurricular activities, as well.
People also think students who learn online for high school and career prep programs do not get the same education as a student in a brick-and-mortar school. Students in online schools may not get as much hands-on help in a physical space setting, but the reality is that every student learns the same content. Those who have been to a brick-and-mortar school know that teachers show PowerPoint presentations, videos, and recorded displays to explain topics. Online schools do the same thing. The only difference is that the teacher is not physically in the same room. When I was in a brick-and-mortar school, I was hesitant to switch to an online high school because I thought that I was not going to get the same education. However, when I joined, I was relieved to find out that I was learning the same content as my friends who were still in a brick-and-mortar setting.
There are also social stereotypes about online schools and career prep programs.
One of the biggest stereotypes people often think about when it comes to online school is isolation. People think that students in online high schools do not have a social life, and that they do not engage in any extracurricular activities. That is quite far from the truth. Most students in online schools and career prep programs have hobbies outside of school. Some students do competitive sports. Some students are in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs). Every student has their “thing.”
Within all of the extracurricular activities that students choose to do, they are also choosing an option that includes interacting with others (giving them a full social life). Most students have friends online and in real life. A student choosing to being social, or not, is not directly correlated with participation in an online school. Stride gives their students opportunities to be social with their peers. I am involved in many extracurricular activities. In every one of those activities, I have made friends that I talk to daily. Just because I have not seen some of them in person, does not mean that I do not have a social life. Having friends online is just as important as having them in the physical sense. And, it is interesting to note that some of my friends from “real life” have even switched to an online school with me.
People who have created stereotypes about online school students have likely never been enrolled in an online school themselves. If you want to learn more about online schools and career prep programs, try to ask those who have actually been in online schools, to avoid the continuation of false stereotypes.
Be sure to check out the article, A Student’s Overview Of Online School’s Benefits, to learn more!
And, make sure to visit 5 Tips For New Online High School Students, to get a Stride Student Advisor’s advice.
To learn more about Stride Career Prep's Student Advisory Council, make sure to visit https://www.k12.com/stride-career-prep/about/student-advisory-council.html