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Learning Technology > Maine Online Learning Program > Approved Online Learning Providers > Apex Learning Profile

VHS Profile


The VHS Collaborative (VHS)
Amy Michalowski

Provide a concise statement that describes your organization:

The VHS Collaborative, since its inception in 1996, has set the standard for online learning. VHS has created opportunities and options for tens of thousands of high school and middle school students through innovative programs that have helped prepare them for college and beyond.

Today, The VHS Collaborative unites hundreds of schools from around the world to share resources and ideas, to offer new options to students, and to prepare educators with the technological skills necessary to enhance learning experiences in both the online and face-to-face classrooms.

Through our unique collaborative approach to learning, we are helping schools achieve the highest level of education for their students. Our vision is to continue opening new avenues of online education for all. VHS brings together teachers and students from a variety of social, economic, and geographic backgrounds to create a true global experience, one that accomplishes so much more than a typical online course.

Students and teachers in a single class may come from wealthy suburban communities, remote rural areas, or inner city schools in different countries. This rich and diverse environment brings a new range of perspective to class work and discussions that instills a global perspective and a sense of global citizenship in students that is hard to find in local schools.

Accreditation - list any accreditation attained:

VHS is nationally accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA CESS) and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC).

VHS member schools are accredited by their local accrediting agency and participating member schools have agreed to award credit to VHS courses as either core courses or electives. In addition, many VHS classes have been certified by NCAA as approved for initial eligibility.

The VHS Collaborative offers one of the largest Advanced Placement® course catalogs of any online education provider, with 21 College Board approved courses for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Describe the pre-service and in-service training in online methodology provided to your organization’s teachers:

VHS teachers are required to complete NetCourse Instructional Methodologies (NIM), a graduate level, online course that prepares educators to teach their VHS course. NIM introduces the pedagogy, methodology, and facilitation techniques needed to be an effective online instructor. Participants review the VHS course they will be teaching, prepare resources for use in their course, practice facilitation skills, participate in asynchronous collaborative activities, and learn how to utilize VHS’ learning management system (Desire2Learn). NIM instructors are highly invested in the NIM course, facilitating discussions, supporting each participant’s progress, and providing substantive feedback on each participants work.

Briefly describe the course offerings available from your organization:

The VHS Collaborative offers an unparalleled selection of semester and full year academic courses that create opportunities for high school and middle school students of all levels. The VHS catalog includes nearly 200 unique titles, including 20 AP® courses, a wide range of standard and honors level elective courses, core courses, and a small number of credit recovery courses. The full list of VHS offerings can be found online.

Provide any additional data such as teacher to student ratios, course completion rates, or course pass rates that you would like included in your organization’s profile:

VHS limits cohort sizes to ensure that the learning environment fosters collaboration and communication amongst students. The current student:teacher ratio is 21:1. VHS’ cumulative AP® exam pass rate (2001-2012) is 65%, compared to a national pass rate of 60% for the same period. In 2012, VHS’ AP® pass rate was approximately 70%. VHS’ course pass rate hovers at 80% each year. Since 2008 VHS’ member retention rate has been between 90% and 94%. This indicates that members are happy with the courses and services provided by VHS. Extensive customer survey data is collected annually and can be presented upon request.