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MVU Moves Online Learning Into Detroit High Schools

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Michigan Virtual University
(credit: istock) Technology Report
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LANSING — Michigan Virtual University said Wednesday that it will provide online courses to 600 Detroit high school students this fall in a partnership with the state’s Education Achievement Authority.

The EAA is operating six Detroit high schools as part of Michigan’s Education Achievement System, which was implemented by Gov. Rick Snyder to redesign public education in Michigan’s priority schools. The EAA asked MVU to operate the online learning portion of its curricular offerings.

“We are excited about the opportunity to serve high-need students with an innovative educational approach that leverages the best of face-to-face support with online instructional delivery models to offer students a new way to achieve academic success,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, MVU president and CEO.

MVU will provide students with up to four online courses per semester through its Michigan Virtual School. MVS’ highly qualified, Michigan-certified instructors will guide the students in these online courses. The online sessions will have a smaller teacher-to-student ratio in this configuration than in a typical online class.

Because the EAA students are students who previously haven’t had success in school — and the goal is to help students graduate from high school — MVS will also provide onsite mentors who will work with the students in their schools. In addition, caseworkers will be available to work with students on issues that are barriers to academic success. A supervisor will coordinate the day-to-day operation of the program.

All instructors, mentors, caseworkers and the supervisor will be hired and trained in the online instructional process.

The schools involved are Central Collegiate, Denby, Henry Ford, Mumford, Pershing, and Southeastern.

The MVU-EAA program will be a customized, blended approach. Students will attend class at their high school every other day and do coursework online on the other days from their home or library. The students will work independently with their online instructors on those days and receive face-to-face instruction from mentors when they are in school. Students will work on their classes until they achieve mastery and then move on to other courses. In this way, students will progress at their own rate.

The goal of the program is high school graduation for all students. The key to reaching this goal is the level of support students will receive from the MVU hired staff, including the online instructors, mentors, caseworkers and supervisor, and the staff in the Lansing office of MVU.

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