High school in the U.S. has added some cultural norms that few even question.  Friday night lights for football, marching band season, basketball, track, baseball, academic bowl, prom, yearbook, etc., and finally graduation, are all things that parents and students look forward to as rites of passage.  However, if we look back through history we find that secondary education was not widespread through the U.S.  In fact, it was not until the early 19th century that publicly funded high school became the norm.  Yet, there were many examples of individuals who had gone well beyond what current high schools prepare students for in their personal education.   

But here we are in modern-day and many students are along for the ride of high school without getting out of it what they need for their next steps.  Instead of really preparing themselves for career, they are looking for the next rite of passage:  traditional college (which includes the partying and cultural programming of the liberal institution). 

But what if there was a better way to think about high school?  What if, instead of the “normal” students began to think about real life that exists beyond high school and college?  What if calling was more important than the rites of passage expected by everyone?  What if we matched the final years of formal education to the student to really prepare them for career and calling?

As an academic, I’ve prepared in all the traditional ways.  I was the classic overachiever in high school graduating as the valedictorian of my class with higher than a 4.0.  I received a scholarship in college and pursued my undergraduate, again receiving mostly As.  I went straight into my master’s degree followed by my Ph.D.  However, I could have saved time in college with a different way.  AP exams were just popularizing when I was coming through but we prepared for the wrong AP exam and I didn’t pass. We tried but the high stakes exam did not work out for us.  Had I been given another option, I would have taken it. 

Here is another way:  dual degree programming.  I have three children and all three of them have taken advantage of dual degree programming, which is taking college classes that count for high school credit.  My oldest daughter, Kelly, completed her associates through Liberty University.  My middle (daughter), Katy, completed her work through Ohio Christian University.  My youngest (son), Ian, completed his work through InterLearn Institute.  With Katy and Ian in particular, I had much more control over the way it all worked for them.  As a result, I gave them the option, if they ever wanted, to just be done with high school and go straight to college without completing the traditional high school routine.  Katy, the consummate social butterfly, wanted to stay in high school for sports and fun, etc.  Ian, however, after thinking about it, decided, he wanted to be done with high school and just go on to college.  So, he graduated from high school at 16.  He had come to us in the fall semester of his junior year and told my wife and I that he wanted to take me up on my offer to be done.  I was thinking he would finish out the full school year (traditionally thinking) but my wife rightly pointed out that he could just as easily be done at the semester break.  So, he was.  He graduated that December and then started at a state college the next fall. 

The same model is available to others.  Students can earn up to an associate’s degree while in high school and it can count as both high school and college.  In some cases, this can be set up with a student’s current school.  That is more difficult with public schools as there are state-governed policies, procedures, etc. that come into play.  A private school is more easily accessible…if they are willing to allow for it.  Some private schools are very concerned about protecting their product and financial base. 

Alternatively, students could connect with InterLearn Institute (www.interlearn.institute).  InterLearn Institute is offering an 11th and 12th grade program (earlier with approval) to let students complete their high school experience as an associates in interdisciplinary studies.  We have several partnerships with accredited colleges (and continue to grow the list of partners). 

By getting a dual degree it allows students to do a couple of things:

  • Save Money.  By doing the dual degree program, THOUSANDS of dollars can be saved.  Compared to the costs of even the public university, students and families save roughly $17,500 by completing the dual degree.  When you consider a private university, savings are more like $50,000 – 75,000 when considering tuition, fees, books, room, and board.    
  • Content Control.  With the ever-growing political manipulation that happens within public schools and secular colleges, the dual degree program at InterLearn Institute is founded on Biblical principles that sustain the faith of the family and student while providing them the foundational guides to understanding the world around them.    
  • Closer to their vocation and calling.  Regardless of how a student proceeds after completing a dual degree, they are closer to their life’s work, whatever that may be.  If they choose to go into the workforce straight from the program, they are ready to move forward with an associate’s degree already in hand.  If they wish to go on to further education, they have two years of college already completed and could finish up the remainder in two years, depending on what they wish to pursue.  InterLearn Institute can even help them with that portion as well. 
  • T3 Quality Management Certificate.  With the program from InterLearn Institute, students also graduate with a Top Ten Teammate Quality Management Certificate from the Quality Management Institute.  This readies them with a QM mindset that will help them whether they pursue workforce or further education. 

So, as you are considering your high school experience or that of your child, are you ready to consider a better option?  If so, get more information by visiting our website (www.interlearn.institute) or by completing our inquiry form here (https://forms.zoho.com/jfischer/form/K12Inquiry).

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