University of Nebraska High School (UNHS)
By Alexis Kindig
Homeschooling for high school presents its own set of challenges. Subjects get harder, courses become more intense and in-depth, and assignments tend to require more time and effort on the student’s part. The University of Nebraska High School (UNHS) is an online service that can make the home high school experience easier, more productive, and more successful.
The University of Nebraska has offered high school distance-learning courses since 1929, originally in the form of paper correspondence courses, and, since the 1990s, online. These online courses are ideally suited to homeschoolers who want to supplement their existing curriculum, as well as to independent learners who want to take a full high school program at their own pace, while focusing on extracurricular pursuits. Likewise, high schoolers attending traditional schools who want to catch up, get ahead, or take a class not offered at their school, can pick from UNHS’s over 100 online courses. Students can transfer their homeschool courses to UNHS for credit in their diploma program, or transfer UNHS credits to a local school.
Classes have no set start or end dates – students may register and begin taking classes at any time. A student may take a minimum of five weeks and a maximum of one year to complete any given course. Classes may be taken individually, as supplements to another curriculum, or as an entire self-paced diploma program. The diploma program comes in two curricula: A general education sequence, or a college preparatory sequence for students seeking to go on to post-secondary education. The college prep curriculum is more writing-intensive, to prepare students for college-level writing assignments.
UNHS is accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education and AdvancED, and offers NCAA-approved classes for athletes planning to transfer to a university.
Aside from its top-notch courses and flexible nature, what sets UNHS apart from other online high school programs is its commitment to giving students guidance and advice throughout their time in the program.
According to Barbara Wolf Shousha, UNHS’s director, “Many options provide courses, but no real guidance.” UNHS has dedicated academic advisers to help out with course selection, study skills improvement, transcript evaluation, and college admissions requirements and tests. Shousha also emphasizes that UNHS has teachers assigned to each course who are available to offer specific help, and a customer service team to help with registration and other administrative issues.
Shousha knows that any online high school program should fit a student’s individual needs. To help make the right choice, Shousha advises following three steps:
Decide what you want from high school
Do as much research as possible
Have a set of questions pertaining to your goals and desires to ask providers (Is your program accredited, how does staff engage with students, etc.)
To help determine if the University of Nebraska High School is right for you, visit their website, www.highschool.nebraska.edu, for more information. AK