“ I thought about it over the winter break, I don’t want to be a hotel manager anymore, I want to become an nurse. ”
This type of scenario is quite common among high school or even college and university students. You may want to change your educational goals as you proceed through secondary or post secondary school. When you decide to embark on a new pathway, you may find that you have not completed all of the prerequisite courses you need. Sometimes, you will need to switch from applied to academic courses; or take additional courses to meet the requirements.
You may then realize that that they need to pick up an extra credit or two but are scared to fall behind your peers. Often, the course is not being offered at your regular high school at the time that is convenient to you.
There are solutions!
Following are three ways to get an alternative credit:
- Secondary school credit courses are available through the Independent Learning Centre. Courses offered will be courses from the curriculum and will enable students to fulfil requirements for OSSD. These courses do not have an individually assigned teacher and require the student to be able to handle the demands of fully independent learning.
- Summer school and Night School provide opportunities through various school boards to take courses that the student needs. These courses, when they are available, usually follow a semester system or will take about 5 weeks of intense study over the summer break. Not all credits are available in this format and locations can be limited.
- Students can also obtain credits through an inspected private school. In such case, the principal of the publicly funded school will record the credit with notation “P” in the “Notes” column on the Ontario Student Transcript (OST).
Ontario Inspected Private Schools
Parents/guardians and students, you must do your research before registering for private schools. Information on a particular school’s educational program, business practices and other policies should be obtained from the school directly, prior to registration. (edu.gov.on.ca).
You can also check the Ministry of Education website to see that the school is indeed registered and able to grant credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. It is a smart practice to research the school to see if teachers are members of the Ontario College of Teachers and has policies in place such as, a code of conduct and discipline, a refund and attendance policy as well as a policy regarding late submission of assignments.
These schools should be able to advise you about the best way to achieve your academic goals. They cannot issue credits without the appropriate prerequisites, therefore, there is no way around this requirement.
Some private schools can be e-learning facilities.
E-learning can include the use of digital learning resources in a virtual classroom setting, where there is a distance between the e-learning teacher and the student. As far as we are aware, there are no schools in the province that have synchronous classes (student and teacher in the same “space” at the same time online).
E-learning has the advantage of being able to provide the feel of independent learning but still offering a connection to an individual teacher who will monitor your progress and provide feedback. All courses are expected to be 110 hours of instruction and therefore may have shorter, more intense time schedules, or may be even longer in duration.
E-Learning can take advantage of online tools to make the classes more interesting and inviting. Through online lectures, videos and software, you have the potential to take advantage of the web and become more connected to the subject material, this is especially beneficial to reach diverse learners.
Group work, learning skills and work habits still have an important role in the online classroom. Technology is seen as an important part of modern teaching practices, and elearning can make you feel more comfortable in this environment.
Good Luck in finding the solution that meets your academic needs 🙂