National University




National University Virtual High School Debuts As Online Education Gains Popularity

April 27, 2004

La Jolla, Calif. – The National University System has announced the establishment of the National University Virtual High School (NUVHS).  The Virtual High School will enroll its first students in summer school courses this coming June, and will offer a comprehensive selection of online courses beginning in September.

"Our Virtual High School will allow young adults from diverse backgrounds and entry points to pursue their academic goals online and receive educational and career options otherwise unavailable to them," said National University System Chancellor Jerry C. Lee. Dr. Lee has named Helen Eckmann, Ed.D. as NUVHS General Manager.  Dr. Eckmann was formerly an assistant professor in National University's School of Business and Information Management.

"To date, many online high school classes have been little more than correspondence courses," said Dr. Eckmann. "NUVHS will offer a premier high school education from ninth through 12th grade, integrating unparalleled content and experienced, accessible teachers within an intimate, inclusive environment where global interaction is available 24/7."

NUVHS is targeting a broad variety of learners, including disabled and geographically isolated students, and students traveling abroad for extended periods.  It will also offer school districts a greater choice of summer school classes, advanced placement or dual credit college courses and supplemental programs.

National University's Board of Trustees approved the creation of a non-profit virtual high school last June, amid growing demand for online education at the secondary level.   There are currently more than 40,000 high school students participating in online courses through hundreds of programs nationwide, according to Dr. Eckmann.  That number is expected to grow dramatically in coming years.

NUVHS will be affiliated with National University, a leader in online education with 10 years of experience in web-based learning and one of the largest electronic libraries in higher education. It currently offers 26 accredited degree programs online and more than 300 online courses.  National University also houses a prestigious school of education. Its graduates and credential completers are recognized as some of the best educators in California, according to independent assessments from the National Blue Ribbon School competition, the California Distinguished School Program, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' National Board Certification program and various Teacher of the Year competitions.

NUVHS students will be able to complete a full semester course in just eight weeks, with five eight-week sessions per year. The accelerated format lets learners focus on fewer subjects at one time, while still allowing them to cover all curricula required in an academic year. Classes will begin in September, November, January, March and the end of June.  It also allows students who may be failing a class at mid-semester in their traditional school an opportunity to complete the course at NUVSH, which will keep them on track for graduation.

"We enjoy unprecedented access to a broad range of experts in online course development, online teaching and traditional classroom teaching," said Dr. Eckmann.  "National University High School is a natural progression for the National University System and will help to provide a quality education for young people throughout the world."

 In addition to offering complete online high school curricula, NUVHS will also offer 10 dual credit courses in the disciplines of Social Science, Math, English, Science and Foreign Language.  Additional offerings will include courses that students may not otherwise have access to, such as career pathways classes.

Using a dynamic instructional model called Project-Based Learning, NUVHS students will benefit from learning that is student-centered. With a 25:1 student-to-teacher ratio, instructors will assist students in the development of a customized student action plan for each course, allowing them to focus on areas in which students might require supplemental materials and additional instruction.   All NUVHS instructors are credentialed by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and have been trained to work effectively in an online environment and create a strong online classroom community. Many hold Master's and Doctoral degrees.  For more information regarding NUVHS, visit its website at http://www.nuvhs.org or call (866) 366-8847.