Online Learning

Pearson Announces 3 Tuition-Free Online Connections Academies

Digital education company Pearson has announced two new and one expanded online, full-time, accredited, public school programs in Pennsylvania, California, and Missouri as part of its Connections Academy.

The programs are open now for enrollment for the 2024-25 school year.

Connections Academy programs are tuition-free, which includes the curriculum and all books and supplies. The only costs are for optional field trips and replenishing some school supplies, according to the company FAQ.

Each program offers slightly different features:

  • Pennwood Cyber Charter School is available to Pennsylvania K–12 students. Highlights include partnerships with Drexel University's Goodwin College of Professional Studies and the Cook Center for Human Connection. Students can earn digital credentialing badges aligned with Pennsylvania's Career Education and Work Standards through Credly, a Pearson business. Pennwood will also have access to Connections Academy's traditional college and career courses for grades 6-12 through industry partnerships, such as with Home Depot;
  • Missouri Connections Academy, through a partnership with the Louisiana R-II School District in northern Missouri, will add another virtual school for grades 7–11 for this year, and will expand to grades 7–12 during 2025-26. Like Pennwood, its students will also have access to Connections Academy's grade 6-12 college and career courses; and
  • Connections Academy at Springs (more information forthcoming) is available to southern California K–10 students, who will be offered chances to engage in field trips and other face-to-face activities at schools through southern California.

On its website, the company said students who use the Pearson Online Classroom work on lessons at their own pace and schedule, but also take part in LiveLesson sessions with trained teachers.

The Online Classroom includes interactive web tools, lessons, assignments, assessments, web mail, message and announcement boards, a school directory, virtual library, and other resources.

Technology requirements include mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or desktop computers running Windows 8.1 or later or macOS 10.13 or later. For more information on connectivity, browsers, plugins, and software, visit the Technology page.

Connections Academy public schools are funded by contracts with nonprofit charter schools, school districts, or government entities, the company said in its FAQ.

To learn more, visit Pearson's online public school page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.