The growth of online schools in Missouri has been very strong. Most higher education institutions in the state have implemented some type of online learning system. One of the largest online degree systems in Missouri also happens to be part of one of the state’s top university systems – the University of Missouri. It boasts more than 75 online degree options. This growth has been made possible by a number of state initiatives that support online learning at all schooling levels.
Higher Learning Initiatives
Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP)
MoVIP was founded in 2007 as a virtual school for Missouri students in grades K-12. The program is open to public, private, and homeschooled students and is self-paced. Launched by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, MoVIP gives students the opportunity to take advanced classes that aren’t open to them at their regular school. Many MoVIP students are also working to graduate from high school early. More than 50 courses are offered in all major school subjects, including foreign language courses. The program is funded by the state and by tuition fees charged for each course taken. Students with early experience in online learning will likely succeed if they pursue online college classes later on.
P-20 Initiatives in Higher Education
The P-20 Initiatives are working to connect educational systems for increased student performance and efficiency. The Missouri Department of Education is working to find a way to make the transition smoother from elementary and secondary schooling to college. In 2006, the Senate signed a bill into order that created the P-20 Council. This group has been given the responsibility to create and meet goals that are designed to prepare Missourian students for 21st century careers and the competitive global market. So far, the council has been working on improving early childhood education, finding a way to use data systems to measure student performance and teacher excellence, and changing the high school curriculum to one that will better prepare students for college.
The University of Missouri High School (MU High School)
MU High School was established in 1999 as a supplementary educational tool for primary and secondary students. It is a fully accredited online high school that awards diplomas. Students can either complete a full load of course work at MU High School, or they can enroll for a few courses while also attending a traditional high school. Because the school is not a part of the public school district system, students are required to pay a tuition fee for each course.
High school students typically choose to take MU High School courses because they are interested in taking classes that may not be offered at their school. The program offers self-paced courses, semester courses, gifted and talented classes, and advanced placement classes. Students can also sign up for dual enrollment, which allows them to earn college credit while still in high school.