Going Beyond Dual Enrollment with a Collegiate Academy Experience
A big part of our current work toward providing equitable access to college-credit courses is focused on collegiate academy programs. These programs are offered to high schools and high school students through our higher education partners, and are designed to give students an early and affordable start in their college journey.
Designing a Successful Collegiate Academy Experience
AT TEL Education, we believe a successful collegiate academy experience requires a comprehensive program that is designed specifically for high school students. We understand that this is likely their first experience with college courses and expectations, and we do everything possible to help make the experience authentic and rewarding while providing as smooth a transition as possible. This program design includes:
- Institutional and school partners that make the course enrollment process seamless for the student. There are no unfamiliar forms to fill out and no need to drive to an unfamiliar university campus to get started.
- A true college learning experience within the familiar context of their high school At TEL Education, we believe it is important for high school students to experience real college courses while, at the same time, continuing to enjoy the familiar context and support offered by their high school. This makes the experience less foreign and provides an extra layer of support as students begin to adjust to the expectations of college coursework. We work hard to provide a practical bridge between where the students are socially and emotionally, and where they want to go intellectually.
- A clear overview of the different expectations between high school and college courses. All students are required to complete an Orientation module, which introduces the concept of “owning your learning,” as well as the processes and technologies common to online learning. We also provide a 1-hour College Readiness course as a more complete introduction to succeeding in college.
- Uniform learning design and content presentation models to ensure that technology and navigation are not impediments to the learning process. All TEL Education courses feature the same structure, navigation, and assessment formats, which foster feelings of familiarity and comfort as they work through their online courses. In addition, we help students focus on course content by delivering all instruction and required learning materials within our learning platform.
- Student Coaches who provide encouragement, live mentoring and tutoring, and study-hall sessions. We know that, when they feel stuck or lose momentum, it’s easy for students to give up. Our Student Coaches use a data-informed algorithm to reach out proactively to students, offering support at the right times, and making sure that students maintain learning momentum.
- A focus on demonstrable evidence of learning. TEL Education designs its courses to help students acquire course information and develop important 21st-century skills and competencies. We map all assessments and assignments to granular learning outcomes and require students to complete mastery assignments that demonstrate their synthesis and application of course concepts.
- Recommended course sequencing. Most high school students, and many parents, aren’t familiar with the common course sequences that colleges and universities use to help students develop the necessary foundation for advanced studies. That’s why we help schools and parents guide students in choosing which courses to take and in what order so that their first journey into college doesn’t end in misery or failure.
Benefits for High Schools and Students
While a successful collegiate academy experience must provide the right learning model for high school students, it must also be packaged in a way that can reach as many students as possible. To that end, we spend a great deal of time focusing on the affordability of our courses and services, as well as the accessibility of our content. We work with our institutional partners to keep prices low and all-inclusive (no extra fees or textbook costs), all without sacrificing quality. We can also provide our content in a variety of formats, including accessible PDFs to support students with unique needs as well as students with low or no bandwidth.
For high schools, the collegiate academy experience offers increased value to families and new learning opportunities for their students. TEL Education courses provide all instruction, technology, and support, and are designed for a wide range of delivery models, ranging from self-paced online to instructor-facilitated blended environment. The partnerships we create between high schools and higher education institutions also give schools and their students access to new instructional and learning resources. The long-term consequence is improved student readiness for college studies, lifelong learning, and career success.
How To Get Started
The good news for schools is that TEL Education makes it incredibly easy to get started with a collegiate academy model. We already work with a growing number of higher education institutions that provide transcripted college credit for our online general education courses and can help you design and launch the right program for your school quickly and smoothly. Equally important, our Academic Services team will tailor your collegiate academy program to your school’s specific vision and needs.
You can check out some examples of our collegiate academy work with colleges and universities by visiting YC Academy, our Micro-Collegiate Academy program, or OKWU Prep.
At TEL Education, we are committed to helping students begin their college journey while still in high school. Offering positive and affordable collegiate academy experiences to students at this level can provide the learning foundation and confidence students need to be successful in their future learning and careers.