How Do Online High School Classes Work?

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High school students can take courses online now. Yep, really! It’s not really a new thing, but it’s something that more and more families are considering—and for good reason. That said, there are still plenty of parents who are new to the idea of online high school classes. It’s no surprise that they’d have plenty of questions. Like, “how does online high school even work?” Here are the 5 most common questions (and answers) about online learning:

How do I register my student for online classes that will count on their transcript?

Good news! All qualified online schools offer courses that align with state and federal standards. That means the credits will transfer to any high school transcript (and count toward graduation requirements). So, making sure that you choose a school that aligns with those standards is an important first step. Once you select an online school, registration is typically pretty easy. You will just need to provide some basic information and, in some cases, a current transcript. After registering, you and your child will create an account and select the courses they’re interested in taking. From there, your child talks with an advisor, attends orientation and gets started.

How do students talk to teachers?

Yes, online high school classes have real teachers! Often times, they’ll set up regular touch points throughout the month with you and your child. Those will likely be phone calls, but in most cases, teachers are available via phone, text, email or even video chat. When learning online, if your child has a question, getting one-on-one help is just a quick call or email away. At ASU Prep Digital, teachers host a weekly live lesson. In those live lessons, students can participate via video chat in real-time.

How do you take tests online?

“But the tests!?” Yes, yes. This is typically every parent’s first question. We hear you, but don’t fret, online schools have worked out (through trial, error, and testing) how to do this well in an online setting. The good news is, the methods are actually really effective (there are studies about this). So, here’s how it works. Tests online are done at the convenience of the student and are available when they feel they’re ready. They are not proctored, but instructors do have the ability to “lockdown screens” if they chose to do so. There are artificial intelligence tools in the works that will act as a next-generation test proctoring solution, by reading student facial expressions and verifying student with facial recognition. But for now, most online schools allow students to take tests online anytime and they’re designed to be open book and open note. Thus, the questions are high level and require students to dig deep and get creative with their answers.

How do group projects work?

Group projects, virtually? Yep! In online high school classes students still get to work together and because it’s online they do that from all over the world. Students are first connected via teachers in live lessons or in discussion forums. From there, students organically form groups for future projects. At ASU Prep Digital, students are encouraged to work as often as they want on group projects and are given opportunities to “meet” in virtual collaboration rooms to study and brainstorm together.

Do grades go onto a normal transcript?

Absolutely. At ASU Prep Digital we generate “normal” transcripts via our registrar, just like a traditional school. That is similar to most qualified online schools. That said, what is unique about ASU Prep Digital, is that students also receive an ASU transcript on top of your high school transcript. The University registrar issues ASU transcripts, and we merge the information and send it to our students and their home school district. At their home school district, those transcripts are merged with their traditional school transcript.

Find more answers to some of the biggest questions about online high school classes in our other blog posts, like this one about the common fears of online learning. Or this one on how to decide whether online courses are right for you. Curious about what ASU Prep Digital is all about? Read more about who we are here

More questions? Big or small—we know a thing or two about online learning and would be happy to have a conversation. Yes, we’re real people. Reach out to us. Whether you choose to take courses with ASU Prep Digital or not, we’re here to help! Contact us

Is Online High School Right for Me?

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How To Tell If Online Learning is Right Fit for You


Most would agree that taking online high school courses offers its perks, and the praise is usually the same. Something like, “You can work from anywhere” or “you can have a flexible schedule!” Which is all exciting. But what still might not be clear are the how, the where, and the why. So, much like an online lecture – let’s pause, back up and start from the beginning because there is a lot to understand.

Growing up, we all heard about the seven different learning styles. We learn visually, aurally, physically, verbally, logically, socially or solitarily. Some of us may even learn in a combination of more than one. Our teachers spend their careers attempting the use of all of these styles in an effort to help every student, but at times we still find ourselves still playing catch up. If there’s a statistic out there for how often students sit in their classrooms wishing they could hit pause for just a second, or maybe even skip to the end, I’m sure it’d be a big number.

The ability to control the way you absorb information is one of the biggest differences in the world of online high school courses. But the differences don’t end there. Imagine logging in instead of driving to school, clicking start as opposed to taking a seat, talking to your instructor on video chat versus face-to-face.

It’s true that working in an online classroom means having fewer people sitting in the room with you. You can’t simply turn and ask the person behind you to help point you in the right direction. Instead, you’re at your computer. For some, that may put a big fat check mark in the “not for me” column. Which is ok. It’s not the right fit for everyone.

But for others, that’s where it clicks. (Literally).

Learning online means you’re learning on your computer, and isn’t that in itself your largest resource?

We’re talking about the Internet here…that thing that connects you to everything. A place where learning any detail, about any topic, at any given time is at your fingertips. YouTube, Google, and even Reddit can all be resources for extra help in any subject. And, if reading articles and Internet research isn’t your style, you can connect with classmates and teachers for a little extra support.

With motivation, you can apply any learning style to your virtual studies just as you would in a normal classroom, with some slight adjustments. Your classmates might not be in the room with you, but they still exist. It’s just up to you to connect with your own network of peers and mentors, to share and learn together. Or if you work better alone, all of the resources are available to help you do that.

Student in Online High School Class

When considering whether or not learning online is right for you, it’s important to recognize how all the little things work differently in an online environment. For example, asking questions typically means sending an email or chatting online, and although this can be done at any time of the day, it is still not exactly the same as raising your hand.  This could make the turn around for an answer anywhere from minutes to hours. Most online teachers will have a guide for situations like this but it takes some adjustment.

Being presented with more independence as an online high school student can help encourage problem-solving skills (and who doesn’t want to be better at that?). Also, being able to work independently without micromanagement is a key quality employers look for. Understanding how to reach out and communicate with others, while also working effectively without added guidance contributes to major life skills – skills that you’ll need one day when you get to college. These are skills you will acquire without much effort because it comes as part of the online learning package.

Every decision you make can contribute to your future. It is about finding what works best for you. Online learning may not be for everyone, but it certainly has a lot to offer in its own ways. Just like anything else in life, it really comes down to what you make of it. So, after exploring the good, the difficult and the different, we are ready to move forward. And just like that recorded lecture, we can press play and really do our homework. Is online learning right for you?

Do you still have questions about online high school courses? Research is the best first step. Take a look at some of our other blog posts, like this one on the common fears on online learning

4 Reasons To Take An Online Class In High School

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If you’re a student who’s ready to get a head start in college, graduate early, and begin your career, then an older sibling or parent may have already explained to you the importance of hard and soft skills. While hard skills can be learned in class, like math or chemistry, soft skills are not easily taught in school. They require trial and error. By taking an online class in high school, you can start developing important soft skills early enough to master them by college.


You’re probably thinking, well…I communicate online every day through Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. You’re right. But communication on social media tends to be more informal. Taking an online class in high school will let you practice how to communicate like an adult with your teacher and other students. Once you move on to college, sending a professor an email or writing a discussion post to other students will feel familiar instead of terrifying. Using formal communication in your online class will prepare you for the real world, too. Most adults will tell you that they spend more time in their jobs communicating online than in person, so it’s important to learn how to express yourself clearly in order to be productive.

Time Management

You probably have experience with learning how to manage your time wisely. Like juggling your acting lessons with volleyball practice or balancing time with your family and friends. Now, you just have to adapt these time management skills to your online high school class. Students are most successful when they make their own deadlines and figure out what pace works best for them. It’s up to you to plan your study time around your day. You decide whether you prefer reading and writing in the evening and going to soccer practice in the morning, or taking dance classes in the evening and working out math problems during the day. When you have 30 minutes of downtime in between lessons or practice, take out your laptop and work on an assignment, even if you only get it halfway done. Every online class is different, but it’s important to take advantage of working ahead when you’re given the flexibility to work at your own pace. Procrastination will follow you into college, so it’s best to figure out how to prioritize now.


It’s so easy to get distracted these days, spending hours scrolling through your news feed or even binge watching your new favorite show on Netflix. Where do you find the motivation to do homework? It sounds hard but eventually you’ll turn it into a habit, like keeping your room organized. When you take an online class, you’ll be responsible for signing on and knowing when you should be working on your assignments. Your teacher won’t physically be there to remind you every day to do your homework, so buy yourself a good planner and write down all your upcoming assignments. Or plug your deadlines into the calendar in your phone and setup reminders to alert you a few days before they are due. College students will tell you this will be the best way to stay on top of your work because professors won’t be reminding you about deadlines either.

Work Ethic

Developing a good work ethic while you’re still in high school will guarantee your success in college and in the real world. And the best way to prepare for college classes is to register for one! You can sign up for a dual enrollment program either at your high school or community college and earn college credit. You’ll get a taste of the college experience and complete credits that will count toward your degree once you declare it. However, some students do run into issues when they go out of state because all the credits may not transfer to the university of their choosing.

One way to make sure you receive full credit for your hard work is to find an online high school that offers concurrent enrollment with a top university. It’s similar to dual enrollment except you’ll enroll in university courses and receive credit for both high school and college. The best part is, you’ll kill two birds with one stone because you won’t have to retake the same general requirements as a college freshman. And since the courses are registered with a university instead of community college, the credits transfer almost anywhere.

Signing up for an online class in high school is a great way to begin preparing for college. Take advantage of your options and learn how you can get ahead of the competition. By the time everyone else is getting started, you’ll already be at the finish line.

Still not sure if online learning is right for you? Doing your research in the best first step. Take a look at some of our other posts, including this one on how to decide whether online learning is right for you or this one on the common fears of online education.


Anatomy of ASU Prep Digital Online High School

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Where Online High School and College Converge

In August, Arizona State University launched ASU Prep Digital, a new online high school with unique learning opportunities designed for any student to connect with classmates around the globe, work online at anytime, and get ahead of other students on the path to college. At ASU Prep Digital, we have created a college prep option that combines online high school and university courses in one setting. This rigorous virtual school program prepares students for acceptance at leading universities and encourages them to explore future college majors and careers in an increasingly interconnected environment. But how does this online high school actually work? Here is everything you need to know about ASU Prep Digital.

Personalized Instruction at ASU Prep Digital

Imagine having the ability to communicate with your teacher through email, phone call, text or video chat. At ASU Prep Digital, you’ll have an experienced, highly qualified online teacher for each course that will provide feedback in your preferred method of communication, whether it’s a text message or video chat. You’ll be introduced to a personal success coach who will keep you on track in your academic studies and your individual path to college. You and your Learning Success Coach will work closely with your teachers and family on developing the best plan to achieve your goals. Making important decisions for your future requires the perfect balance of guidance and encouragement, which is why your teacher and success coach are here to help turn your dreams into reality.

Adaptive Learning Technologies at ASU Prep Digital

Our online program will adapt to meet your individual needs as you complete your work at your own pace. The full curriculum is available to you on day one and we encourage you to work at the pace that meets your individual learning needs. At ASU Prep Digital, we will challenge you to be the co-designer of your educational experience and finishing a course early is just one perk of attending school with us. On the other hand, some days you might need extra time to complete a special project or assignment. You’ll work together with your teacher and Learning Success Coach to customize the learning experience that works best for you.

College Planning at ASU Prep Digital

You’ll meet with your Learning Success Coach and teacher to create personalized pathways that will narrow down your personal goals and lead you to university admission. ASU Prep Digital uses me3, an interactive tool that gathers your personal interests and suggests relevant courses in order to connect your career interests to college majors. As you work to receive your high school diploma, you’ll have the option to sign up for courses that will also earn you university credit. Along the way you’ll build a portfolio of work that will set you apart from the competition.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship at ASU Prep Digital

The best way to put your skills into practice is to experience real-world situations in the classroom. For example, you’ll have the opportunity to pitch innovative business ideas to a panel of experts and investors. In an effort to inspire you with real life stories of success and failure, you’ll have the ability to connect with a mentor based on your career interests. Your course projects will be infused with activities designed to identify and improve your leadership skills and foster entrepreneurial spirit.

Projects and Collaboration at ASU Prep Digital

Although your courses will be 100% online, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize with peers and professionals both inside and outside the virtual classroom. You’ll apply lessons to real-world situations during project activities, lab sessions, apprenticeships, and collaborations within your community. Partnering with university and local-businesses will deepen your understanding of real-world experiences and develop your leadership skills to enhance your academic performance. If you’re interested in more face-to-face events, you can visit Arizona State University and other ASU Preparatory campuses throughout the year for leadership workshops, special interest groups or summer programs.

At ASU Prep Digital, we are committed to using the best innovations in digital learning to meet the needs of all learners and create a customized experience for each and every student. Whether you are a part-time, full-time or international student, we welcome you to seize the opportunity to improve your life and impact your community.

To learn more about your options, visit us at


How to Pass Your Online Algebra Class

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What a marvel the internet is. It makes nearly everything so much easier. It’s easier to find a restaurant. It’s easier to stay in touch with friends. It’s easier to watch other people play video games (and listen as they talk constantly through it).

So, why is it that when they put an Algebra class online it didn’t seem to get any easier? Well, never fear. We’ve got some tips that’ll have you rationalizing denominators faster than you can say… well… “rationalizing denominators.”

Master Your Mindset

They say that if you think about your muscles while working out, they get even stronger. Well did you know it works for your brain, too? It’s true. While your brain may not have to bench press 225 pounds, your mental mindset matters when you are learning. 

There’s a quote attributed to Henry Ford that goes “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” That means the best start to succeeding in your online Algebra class, is to believe you can! This doesn’t make it any easier, but it does give your brain extra motivation for the hard parts. Like that guy in the gym who says you can do one more rep. Go you!

Set a Routine

There’s a place for everything, and everything should be in its place. At least that’s what my mom said when I was told to clean my room. And our brains are like our rooms for learning. It’s harder to find the knowledge you need when everything’s a mess.

Tidy up your mental mathematical learning space by setting a routine. When you set a routine, your brain doesn’t waste any energy on getting going. It automatically shifts to learning mode. The best part about learning online is that some programs, like ASU Prep Digital, allow you to learn on your schedule, wherever you are. So, make your routine personal.

Grow with Teamwork

The Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. You’re on your own in an online course. 

All three are myths.

Nothing is more frustrating than when you are struggling with binomial distribution and you feel alone. But you aren’t! There is a whole learning community for you to call on. 

You can set up a study group with some of the other students in class. If you’re not sure who to invite, your instructor will be able to identify some peers who are in the same part of the course as you. 

Speaking of instructors, you can also ask your them for help. As scary as it is to ask an adult for help, struggling in the course is even scarier. Their whole job is to help you learn, so don’t hesitate to call, email or text your instructor with questions. 

ASU Prep Digital also has Success Coaches who are determined to help you be successful. If you don’t ask them for help, they can’t realize their dreams. And you don’t want to rob them of their dreams, right? 

Do the Practice

I may lose some of you here, but the students who really want to succeed in online algebra courses will do the practice problems. There’s no pressure, you have the freedom to get them wrong, and they are great ways to prepare for when it really counts. Many online Algebra courses offer pre-tests as well. And you can’t just select C on all the questions. You must take them seriously.

At ASU Prep Digital, Algebra 1 is set up as an adaptive course. This means that the more you show you know on pre-tests, practice and assessments, the more the course can adapt to your skills. Think of it like how Netflix suggests new shows for you based on what you’ve watched. Giving your best effort on the pre-tests and practice means the course won’t waste your time teaching you stuff you already know. You may even skip ahead!

Now that you’re on your way to mastering math online, you should think about how online classes can help you get even further ahead. Like taking college courses in high school instead of in the big lecture halls on college campuses. ASU Prep Digital is an online high school, where you can earn high school and college credits at the same time! To see the full course catalog, or sign up to take Algebra online, visit

What is ASU Prep Digital?

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New trends and technology are changing how we do things all the time. So why should our approach to education be an exception? Let’s be real, the average student spends 6-10 hours a day on their mobile device—streaming videos, double tapping pictures, snapping friends and participating in threads all over the web. We’re way past the days of closed classrooms and blackboards. Endless learning opportunities are in the palm of our hands and students are already looking for them. From how-to videos to blog posts, our kids don’t have to wait to be taught anymore. Everything they want to know is already at their fingertips.  

Students need a school that can keep up with them, which is where online high school options step into the picture. But, there are a few options out there to earn a diploma online. What makes ASU Prep Digital uniquely different from other online schools?

A Rich History: Unlike other online schools, ASU Prep Digital has its roots in brick & mortar education. As Arizona State University’s online high school, ASU Prep Digital is deeply embedded in the innovative ecosystem of ASU. That’s right, a university ranked #1 in the U.S. for innovation, has opened a program for high school students. This provides students with access to valuable resources, leadership and career development opportunities. While blending some traditional learning styles with a 21st-century approach, ASU Prep Digital provides an introduction to the college experience through student events and mentorships. By being a part of this program high schoolers gain an incredible advantage, both in college credits and life credentials.

Concurrent College Enrollment Online: We’re not talking about AP courses, ASU Prep Digital offers high school students the opportunity to concurrently enroll in college level courses, with real professors. Rather than driving to a local community college and graduating with dual enrollment credits that may or may not transfer to a university, students can take concurrent enrollment courses online with ASU. What’s better, is when students finish these courses they earn real credits to take with them to whatever college or university they choose—putting them a few steps ahead their first year, saving valuable time and money and allowing them to avoid taking redundant general education courses as a freshman.

Cutting Edge Tech: Students enrolled at ASU Prep Digital have access to some of the most innovative technology available today. Imagine having class discussions via video conference with your Algebra teacher, right from your own living room. ASU Prep Digital has customized learning modules that set each student’s pace and provide direction based on real-time results from tests and projects. Also, ASU Prep Digital students have access to the me3 application. An innovative new tool that helps students pick a career path by choosing select images that fit their passion. They’re given three career matches based on their picks, with details like how many credits are required, annual salary for that job and much more.

All Inclusive:  ASU Prep Digital strives to help every student get ahead, regardless of their social or academic background. Since 2002, ASU has nearly doubled the number of undergraduates receiving Pell grants to 35.8%. That means more opportunities for more students—many who may have never considered a college education. Offering free full-time in-state tuition, ASU Prep Digital creates hope for high-school students in their college education and future careers.

A Perfect Fit: A student’s high school and postsecondary success are #1 priorities. That’s why ASU Prep Digital has created a unique learning environment that tailors to each student’s needs. Throughout their course experience, students are served with coursework and mentorship programs that meet them at their learning level and set a pace for how and when they work. It’s easy to give teachers real time feedback on each course, ask questions and even get one-on-one coaching from their professors. This is not just another “boring” online course experience, it’s a customized and collaborative learning experience.

This isn’t your average online high school option. This is an entirely new option that allows students to earn their high school diploma online and dual enroll in college courses online, at the same time. By taking those courses now with ASU Prep Digital, students get the chance to learn from the best, work toward high school graduation and start college with a few credits already completed. Saving valuable time and money once they get there. High school students can enroll part time or full time, offering the flexibility they need, paired with a learning environment that is built for them.

The mission at ASU Prep Digital is to graduate students ready for postsecondary success, regardless of academic or social background. The motto is simple “not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed.” ASU Prep Digital is a growing option for students all over the world. Check out the full course catalog and learn more, at