COLUMBIA — MU High School is an online high school that allows students to take online courses in conjunction with attending a brick-and-mortar school or attend virtually as their primary school. It awards diplomas after students complete the required courses.
The mission of MU High School includes striving to “provide distance learning courses, through a variety of delivery methods, that will complement traditional high school curricula,” according to its Web site.
“We’re constantly developing more online courses and having a more online presence,” Principal Kristi Smalley said..
MU High School is a part of the Center for Distance and Independent Study and is accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation and School Improvement. It began offering online classes in 1997 and two years later was accredited as a diploma-granting institution.
Smalley said students typically sign up because they have scheduling problems, they want to take a course their traditional school doesn’t offer or they want to graduate early.
“The biggest plus, I think, would be the flexibility and convenience of scheduling your own coursework," Smalley said. "Students can enroll at any time, and they can work at their own pace.”
Today, the high school enrolls about 7,000 students a year who choose online courses from among 200 or so offerings. Students come from all 50 states and about two dozen countries.
Seven hundred students are enrolled in MU High School’s diploma program, where they are able to earn — online — all of the required credits equivalent to a four-year high school program and earn a diploma.
MU High School has won numerous awards since its founding, including a Program of Excellence Award and a Meritorious Award, both given by the University Continuing Education Association.