ASU Microschools Rethink Traditional Education
Microschools, while around for many years, have become increasingly popular since the pandemic. A microschool is an education model often regarded as being between homeschooling and private school education. Like a learning pod, microschools educate a smaller number of students at a time, offering a more student-centric, personalized approach.
ASU provides flexible program alternatives
Microschools are the result of rethinking the traditional educational model to better prepare children for the future. ASU Prep, true to its mission, continues to design new models of educational success. The team works with parents who share ASU Prep’s passion to create flexible school program alternatives offering high student engagement.
“We recognize the instrumental role parents play in their child’s education and we rely on their input anytime we’re crafting new models to better serve students.” — Amy McGrath, ASU Prep COO
Currently, ASU Prep offers several microschool options for students. This fall high school students are participating in two local learning options on ASU Campuses— Prep Local and Prep Experience. And elementary families are joining together in microschool Learning Pods to advance student engagement.
ASU Prep Local is a unique program available to ASU Prep Digital high school students. This year-long hybrid program involves students spending two days per week on an ASU campus and the other three days working virtually from home. This fall, Prep Local is taking place at ASU West and ASU Media and Immersive eXperience (MIX) Center in Mesa. ASU Prep Digital coursework is enhanced with faculty-supported workshops, in-person collaboration, discussion, and project-based learning in a small-group setting. Students also have the opportunity to take ASU courses and receive concurrent credit for both high school and college.
“Over the course of a semester, we saw students grow and develop in their communication skills, presentation skills and in their critical thinking skills,” said Megan Hanley, director of strategic initiatives at ASU Prep.
ASU Prep Experience is a similar model available to ASU Prep Digital students in grades 9 through 11. Prep Experience is a single semester program in which students spend one day on-site at an ASU campus, and the remaining days working digitally. Students attend faculty-supported workshops that focus on real-world, project-based learning and earn honors elective high school credit. It is a great chance for students to explore university degree paths and career options. This experience will rotate between ASU campuses each semester.
“Each week when I pick her up she is excited to tell me what she got to do that day, whether it was testing water samples at the lake or planting trees or working with her group to create an educational video.
I feel like this program has helped better prepare her for attending college than she would have gotten in a traditional high school setting. She is actually comfortable on a college campus and interacting with college educators and mentors.” – ASU Prep Parent
Elementary Learning Pods
Learning Pods are a great way for young online students to connect and collaborate. These family-driven groups offer the opportunity for studying, socializing and engaging in fun activities with classmates. Each pod is unique, with some involving in-person field trips and park meet-ups while others host virtual movie nights and Zoom games. This fall ASU Prep Digital families have organized learning pods by neighborhood, by state and by common interest. Any parent of an ASU Prep Digital student can start a learning pod, so if you’re interested in learning more, please contact your home room teacher for details.
“Participating in our learning pod group provided an opportunity for my daughter to get to know students in her class and make new friends. An added benefit is that parents and families were able to get to know each other as well. “ — ASU Prep Parent