August 6, 2010
NCAA Approves NH Virtual Learning Academy’s High School Courses and Program for NCAA College-Bound Student Athletes
Exeter, N.H. – The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recently certified New Hampshire’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS) as a NCAA-approved secondary school. This announcement comes right after the NCAA adopted revised, stricter standards that virtual high schools must comply with to earn the NCAA’s certification.
“The NCAA approval is important because it allows student athletes to take our courses if they plan to play sports at the college level, particularly NCAA Division I or II schools,” said Steve Kossakoski, Ph.D., CEO of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.
This was welcome news for the Trosin family of North Hampton, N.H. According to Vimi Trosin, her son, Cameron, was enrolled at a preparatory school in Massachusetts when he had the opportunity to attend a southern California tennis camp. An avid tennis player since 12, both Cameron and his family wanted to make this opportunity a reality but the lack of schooling jeopardized this chance. Through research, Vimi Trosin discovered New Hampshire’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.
Today, Cameron Trosin is a 16-year-old nationally ranked tennis player and – through help of the Virtual Learning Academy – Trosin can pursue his academics and passion for tennis.
“The Academy has been a good fit with his training,” said Vimi Trosin. “The teachers are extremely helpful and flexible with helping him get his work done. They contact him through phone calls and e-mails, and are very accommodating even with the three-hour time difference.”
The Virtual Learning Academy fulfilled the NCAA’s rigorous academic standards for: the length, content and rigor of core courses (English, math, foreign languages, social studies and science); ongoing access and regular interaction between the teacher and student; availability of the student’s work for review and validation; and a defined time for the student to complete coursework. According to a recent announcement published on Inside Higher Ed.com (www.insidehighereducation.com), two virtual high schools widely used among student-athletes did not meet the NCAA’s revised and stricter standards.
“The NCAA approval reinforces the fact that our courses, although delivered in a virtual format, are the same caliber as traditional high schools,” said Kossakoski. “The approval also addresses the issue that not all virtual high schools have and implement the same rigorous academic standards.”
The convenience, 24/7 accessibility and independent study program make virtual schools, such as New Hampshire’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School a popular alternative to traditional schooling among student athletes such as Trosin. The Virtual Learning Academy’s anytime, anywhere access to a personalized education is popular among students who have to practice, train and travel for competitive sports.
As a student-athlete, Trosin said he appreciates the Academy’s format to make his studies mobile. “VLACS helped me worked at my own pace which allowed me to do other things,” he said in an e-mail interview. “It has also made me realize that I need to work on time management.”
One reason the NCAA enacted stricter standards for virtual schools is due to increased submissions from student-athletes regarding the acceptance of their virtual core course studies. In 2009, the NCAA Eligibility Center received 103,583 – about 423 per day – core course submissions from prospective student-athletes. According to the NCAA’s web site, the organization expects this trend to increase in the coming years.
In a few years, Trosin will add to this growing trend since he said he has “every intention of playing tennis at a NCAA Division I college.”
The Virtual Learning Academy’s courses are available tuition free for students who live in New Hampshire. Out-of-state students are welcome to apply and study at VLCAS for a fee. For more information about the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, please visit its web site at www.vlacs.org
Is VLACS for you?