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How Online High School Classes Are Helping Student Athletes Better Compete

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Editors Note: The following is a success story involving a student who was able to cultivate his talent in tennis and at the same time continue to advance his education with Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.

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, Cameron and his family discovered he could earn credits by taking online high school classes. Today, Cameron is a nationally ranked tennis player and – through help of virtual learning – can pursue his academics and passion for tennis.

The above scenario is becoming very common among student athletes from all throughout the country these days. Almost all student athletes struggle with the task of balancing schoolwork with the everyday responsibilities of playing sports. This is because participating in student athletics often involves juggling practice, games, travel, attending class, completing course work and studying all within a finite period of time.

This may be most evident for college-aged students, but high school-aged student athletes are also beginning to feel the time crunch-especially if they hope to pursue their sport into college and thereby need to dedicate more time to practice.

Online High School Classes: A Better Way for Student Athletes to Compete On and Off the Field

In order to keep up with their academic priorities, a student athlete who has been recruited for a college-level sport may end up taking online high school classes as a way to keep up and not fall behind.

“The Academy has been a good fit with his training,” said Cameron’s mother. “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.

Taking online classes in high school is also a way for student athletes to better prepare themselves for the road ahead. But before relying on online high school classes to prepare for college, a student athlete should consider the following:

Is my virtual school approved by my state?

In order for the online high school classes to count, a virtual school must be approved by the state board of education. If approved, this means that these online courses will help a student athlete earn the same type of credit that they would get by sitting inside a classroom.

Does the NCAA certify my virtual school?

A student-athlete hoping to pursue a further career in college athletics should be mindful of whether or not their virtual school is certified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA has a set of rigorous academic standards a virtual school must meet in order to be certified as an approved secondary school. These standards involve the length, content, and rigor of core course; 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.

With such convenience, 24/7 accessibility, and independent study programs, online high school classes are no doubt becoming a popular alternative to traditional schooling among student-athletes. Online classes for high school instruction proved so successful for someone like Cameron that he has “every intention of playing tennis at an NCAA Division 1 college” in the future.

Virtual Learning Academy Charter School is approved by the NH State Board of Education and the NCAA. As an NCAA-approved school, Virtual Learning Academy offers student-athletes who have to practice, train, and travel for competitive sports access to personalized education any time and anywhere. Attend an open house webinar today to learn more about our state-approved and NCAA certified programs and courses.