Distance Learning

Private Online HS Teams with Minerva on Baccalaureate Program

A private online high school has announced a new baccalaureate program for beginning ninth graders, developed in partnership with a company that built the technology for an innovative classroom- and campus-free university. Laurel Springs School is working with Minerva Project, a for-profit operation that provides technology, infrastructure and support services for the Minerva Schools at KGI.

Minerva Schools runs undergraduate and graduate programs where students attend online sessions while living together in residential buildings around the globe. Every now and then the students move to a different city somewhere else in the world that becomes their new center of operations for online learning.

The new four-year program for Laurel Springs will incorporate courses from its Academy program along with two, real-time online classes that are intended to challenge students "to interconnect their learning and develop skills in complex critical thinking, advanced problem solving and strategic decision-making."

Classroom sessions will be delivered on Forum, Minerva's online learning environment. The baccalaureate program will condense the curriculum of Laurel Springs' Academy into three years and direct the fourth year on college-level courses and a capstone project. Graduates will receive a high school diploma and 32 hours of college credit.

According to the Laurel Springs website, the Academy program is $13,000 per year; no tuition is specified for the baccalaureate program specifically.

The baccalaureate approach "is ideal for teaching and engaging students in the real-world application of knowledge, and allows learning to transcend subject matter in a way that will produce a more advanced level of understanding and engagement," said Peter Robertson, Laurel Springs president, in a statement.

This is the first partnership for Minerva with a secondary school.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.