GW, K12 Launch Virtual High School

January 12, 2011

GW banner: The George Washington University, Washington, DC

With just an Internet connection, academically-driven students around the world are now able to take classes and earn a high school diploma as a result of a new partnership between GW and technology-based education company K12 Inc., a leader in online K-12 education.

Launched earlier this month, the George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS) is an online private high school that offers more than 100 college preparatory courses including comprehensive, honors and AP classes, as well as a variety of electives in the liberal arts, science and technology, and business and entrepreneurship.

The program also offers a unique four-year “Journeys Symposium” curriculum, which focuses on leadership, problem solving and interpersonal communications.

“We are excited to expand our portfolio of private online schools to include this prestigious college preparatory program,” said CEO of K12 Ron Packard. “We know high-achieving students are looking for flexible schooling alternatives that will equip them for success in college and beyond. We are confident that GWUOHS’ unique program will not only engage and stimulate students but prepare them for future leadership roles in today’s global society.”

Teachers will provide instruction and communicate with students through interactive online class sessions, tutorials and one-on-one discussions. From enrollment to graduation, students will also receive personalized college counseling support services, including SAT and ACT preparation, college evaluation and application support and guidance through the scholarship and financial aid process.

The online high school will be operated by K12, with guidance from GW on program quality and operational performance. Additionally, GWUOHS will provide research opportunities for the university on the design, delivery and evaluation of online learning, a critically important trend in education.

The GWUOHS administrative offices will be housed at GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va. Barbara Brueggemann, an educator with more than two decades of experience in a variety of school settings, will oversee the school’s operations. A faculty member from the Graduate School of Education and Human Development will also serve as a liaison between the university and the online high school to identify research opportunities.

“This collaboration with K12 will afford unique research, teaching and professional development opportunities for our students and faculty,” says Michael Feuer, dean of the GW Graduate School of Education and Human Development. “There is little doubt that online learning will continue to be viewed as an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar schooling in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it’s vital for the nation’s best scholars to be involved in the design of such programs and to undertake research on how people learn in these environments.”

Online high school students will also be able to take advantage of numerous resources and programs affiliated with GW, such as a summer enrichment program in the District.

K12 is America’s largest provider of proprietary curriculum and online education programs for students in kindergarten through high school. Since its inception in 2000, the company has provided more than 2 million courses to students worldwide.

The launch of GWUOHS expands the university’s commitment to high school education. Currently, GW has relationships with several D.C. public high schools including 2010 Blue Ribbon School award winner School Without Walls High School, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Anacostia Senior High School, Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and Ballou High School.