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Student Eligibility and Course Options

Programs sometimes choose to limit their offerings to particular courses or specific groups of students. Alternative learning programs, high-achievement programs, and remedial programs are all part of the current virtual school landscape. Your policies can describe which courses you make available and which students are eligible to participate in your online learning program. Careful policy creation will consider both staff and student needs. There are numerous pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.

  • Will your program offer a comprehensive curriculum or be targeted to particular students (e.g. remediation, advanced coursework, homebound/hospital-bound, alternative learning students)?
  • If your program is part of a larger school or district, will it include courses that are offered traditionally within that system? If so:
    • Will all students have the option to take the course either online or face-to-face, or will one version or the other be available only to particular students?
    • What union, staffing and professional development challenges might arise if students can choose freely between the same course offered in the two different modes?
  • If you have a targeted online learning program, what will be the criteria for participation and how might that be different than criteria for a comparable face-to-face program?
  • What criteria will be used to select or allow students into the online or face-to-face versions of particular courses?
  • What potential biases might such criteria cause and how will you address them?
  • What will be your appeal process for students who do not meet the criteria you establish?
It is important to be aware of the legal obligations that are associated with access & equity issues.