ASU Prep Digital Paves Way to College for Diné Student

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Article Re-posted from the Navajo Times.

When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Kristen Hosteen searched online for a digital program for her daughter, Brianna. Her father was born and raised in Tuba City where the family of six live today. “I wasn’t sure how some of the schools would handle (online classes), so I’d rather have her in a school that already had its bearings in virtual (teaching),” Kristen said. When she googled virtual schools, Arizona State University Prep Digital caught her eye. After learning it’s been around for a while and had a good reputation, Hosteen chose ASU Prep Digital for Brianna, who transferred from Grey Hills Academy.

ASU Prep Digital

According to an online description, ASU Prep Digital is an accredited online K-12 school with forward-thinking opportunities. It’s been operating since the fall of 2017. “We follow the 24-credit Arizona diploma because our students are typically college prep,” said Karen Sanderson, Brianna Hosteen’s learning success coach, whose job is much like a guidance counselor. That’s four years of math, four years of English, three years of social studies, three years of science, seven electives, two foreign language classes and one fine arts class.

“Because it’s part of Arizona State University, it offers an accelerated path toward college admission and the chance to earn concurrent high school and university credit,” the online description reads. “I like that they have the dual enrollment,” Krisen Hosteen said. “By the time Brianna graduates from high school, she will have (several) college credits under her belt. It will save us a lot of money.”

“It’s a great opportunity,” Sanderson said, “and it’s cheap too. Students get a waiver when they take ASU courses.” For high school, its free of charge for fulltime students living in Arizona, she added. There are 3,300 Arizona fulltime students for this coming school year.

Portals and coaches

Kristen Hosteen said she also likes the online parent portal that keeps her up to date on Brianna’s work and progress and a coach to guide her along the way. “Every time she turns in an assignment and it gets graded, it goes straight to my phone. I can check her grades instantly, which I really, really like,” Hosteen said. About Brianna’s learning coach, she added, “Ms. Anderson is always calling to check-in on Brianna. She calls to make sure classes are going well and to give us updates. We get a lot of help that way.”

ASU Digital Prep is more than an offering of coursework, Sanderson pointed out. There’s a virtual home room where learning coaches make announcements, give social training, college and career training, and organize student clubs.

Hosteen added that students need high-speed internet capability. If they don’t have Internet at their homes, she suggested using a community- based hot spot like the one in Tuba City. “We have the fairgrounds in Tuba with the 5G,” she said, “so when the internet goes down (at home), we have our van set up and we bring a little table so we can work over there. They have a parking area and it’s free.” (Sacred Wind Communications, with an office in Yah-Ta-Hey, New Mexico, provides free educational Wi-Fi hotspots at 15 chapters and Gallup Indian Medical Center, according to its website at

College bound

Brianna has had her sights on becoming a midwife, which requires a nursing degree and special training, since she was a young girl. The oldest of four children, she was at each of her brothers’ and sister’s births. “I’m 9, 11, 13 years apart from each of them,” she said referring to Andrew, Brayden and Aubrey. Their births were an inspiration to her. “I realized this is what I want to do,” she said. “I want to help bring lives into the world.”

Brianna started the ASU Digital Prep program when she was a 15-year-old sophomore. She’s now going into her junior year. She plans on graduating high school in 2023. She has a heavy load this semester including calculus, English, forensic science, history, chemistry and human development, a mix of high school and college courses. “It was more challenging than I thought it would be,” she said, “and a lot more work.” Thinking about her choice in digital high schools, her mom remarked, “I am very happy with ASU Prep Digital. I know Brianna will do well. I know she is going to be prepared to go to college. Brianna’s already thinking about where she’s going to work once she finishes her college education. “I think I might go back to Tuba City,” she said. “There’s a midwife team at the hospital.”

ASU Prep Digital Middle Schoolers Walk for a Cause–Arizona Visionwalk

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On April 24th, ASU Prep Digital middle schoolers involved in the National Junior Honor Society program participated in the 2021 Arizona Visionwalk. The 5k event inspires students to walk for a cause, banding together to show their commitment to the Foundation Fighting Blindness‘ mission: to find treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases.

Pictured: Bonding with Guide dog Nebraska, ASU team Hooligrants (Robb and Sarah Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Chavez, Madelyn Chavez, Haylee Reed, Mrs. Reed and sister. Grant Williams and Guide Dog Nebraska), Hailey Reed being presented with a braille coaster for her fundraising efforts.


On Saturday morning, “The Hooligrants” Team, made up of ten members including guide dog, Nebraska, donned matching t-shirts and began their walk. In total, the team raised about $350 for the foundation. Team member Haylee Reed, raised the most money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness $285 and received a braille ASU coaster for her fundraising efforts.

Thanks to all of the students (and dogs) who participated in the 2021 Visionwalk! We are looking forward to next year’s fundraising event! Interested in participating next year? Visit the Visionwalk website to join a team!

ASU Prep Digital Helped High Schooler Zero in on Film

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*This story was originally posted on ASU News*

Chelsea Seletewa is a senior attending ASU Prep Digital. While living on the Hopi reservation in northern Arizona, she has become a member of the Sun Devil community.

Seletewa decided she wanted more from school. She transitioned to online high school about a year ago so that she could take courses that aligned with her future career goals, including a course about filmmaking.

“The high school in my area didn’t have a good reputation,” Seletewa said. “They weren’t preparing students for life beyond high school. My mom’s friend mentioned prep digital at ASU, and I went for it,” she said.

Seletewa’s decision to get involved with ASU Prep Digital and take their filmmaking course came after she worked on making a short film with a professional filmmaker. The short film was a documentary about three different generations of her family: herself, her father, and her grandmother. She learned a lot about her family’s history and about how life was different for each generation. She also realized the importance of spending time with family, and she was able to deepen connections with her family members.

“I asked them questions about how their lives were different. I compared it to how my life is now with them in it,” Seletewa said. “I learned a lot from my grandma. I guess I should sit down with them more often to learn about our family.”

The storytelling experience gave Seletewa a glimpse of what it would be like to make films professionally, and she’s now planning to pursue a career in film or animation.

Completing her high school education from home has been challenging but rewarding for Seletewa. After about a month of taking online courses, she found a routine that works for her. Finding a source of motivation and focusing on it has helped her stay committed to completing her coursework.

“Motivation is a big factor, and you hear it a lot in online school,” Seletewa said. “Learn that your teachers aren’t going to sit there and teach you. It is a self-learning process that you have to get used to.”

Persistence has been key for Seletewa, and she said her Learning Success Coach has been extremely helpful. She has had the same Learning Success Coach for her entire online schooling experience. These coaches help students with goal-setting and planning, and they are available to help any ASU Prep Digital student.

Seletewa shared that it’s important for her to be independent and responsible, but it’s just as important to ask for help when she needs it.

She is currently taking six classes, and she attends the live lectures for each class whenever she can. Her advice to anyone transitioning to online schooling is to be patient with themselves.

“One of the big things is to not get discouraged when you’re starting out because, of course, it will take a while to adapt,” Seletewa said. “It took me almost a month to adapt to actual online school.”

As the world enters the new year, many are still stuck behind a computer screen. Seletewa was used to the online format. However, she felt for those who were thrown into it without any preparation.

“I heard when schools shut down it was hard for them to get back in the flow of things because they don’t know what online schooling is like,” she said. “I was already used to it, so I think I had an advantage. It was interesting to see people around me struggling.”

She offers some advice for those her age who are struggling to maintain their grades during this unprecedented time. She also recommends going to live lectures in order to connect with other classmates and make friends.

“It was hard for me. I was going through a lot when I started online. I think for everyone if your grades drop it becomes really hard to keep them up, but it is really important to keep going at it and to watch out for your mental health.”

Written by Claire Muranaka and Annika Tourlas, ASU Student Life. Reporting by Hannah Moulton Belec.

Tips to Stay Connected in an Online Learning Space

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With so many schools switching to virtual or hybrid learning environments within the past year, students and teachers alike are looking for ways to stay connected in an online learning space—and in this new normal. We’ve rounded up some of the best tips that you can start implementing now:

Join or start a club

One of the best ways to stay connected with your peers is to join a school club based on your interests. Many established online schools, including ASU Prep Digital, offer a variety of extracurricular activities for students, including a school newspaper, book club, and student government. Does your school offer online clubs? Start your own! You can even work with your teacher or counselor to offer it schoolwide.

Host virtual events

If you’re looking for a way to include many students at once, hosting a virtual event is a great place to start. From trivia and movie nights, to live speakers and talent shows, there is no shortage of things you can do to bring the student body together and have some fun. You can even send out a poll asking students what events they’d be interested in to make them part of the process.

Create a Facebook group for your class

Want to stay connected after class hours? Set up a Facebook group! This will allow you to plan virtual study sessions, virtual lunches, and get to know your classmates better. And if you’re a teacher, this can be another way to communicate any important information with your students or even plan fun activities, such as virtual field trips or in-class celebrations.

Set up a weekly video chat with friends

Not being able to hang out with your friends in person doesn’t mean you can’t see them! Set up video chat dates with your friends to check in, catch up on life, and share some laughs. There are plenty of apps you can use, such as Zoom and Google Meet, and some even have games you can play together, like House Party. Whether you have a 1-on-1 call with your best friend or host a virtual game night with your group, it’ll be a nice break from texting all the time!


Check out these other posts for tips on how to socialize and stay connected in an online learning space:


Upcoming Events for Students, Parents, and Educators

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We’re excited to share a list of upcoming events for students, parents, and educators. From FAFSA assistance to professional development, ASU Prep Digital and Arizona State University are ready to help—and fill up your calendar!

Take a look at what’s coming up:

Black History Month at ASU

Join ASU all month long for a variety of events that aim to celebrate and educate students on the significance of Black History Month. From panels with Black women entrepreneurs and civil rights digital poster making, to Netflix watch parties and learning how to play Mancala, there is an event for everyone. Visit the events calendar to learn more and register for individual upcoming events.


FAFSA Drive-In Event

Need help filling out FAFSA? High school seniors, and their families, are invited to attend a FAFSA drive-in event on February 24 from 3-6 pm at South High School. If you missed the first event, be sure to check this out!

*COVID-19 precautions: Please wear a mask and plan to stay in your car. All volunteers will be wearing masks and taking other precautions.

*Bring your laptop/device/MiFi if you can. Limited devices will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Be sure to bring your social security and/or alien registration numbers, as well as 2019 tax returns & W2 for both parent and student.

Limited slots will be available for those without an appointment, so be sure to register in advance!


Professional Development Boot Camps 

Educators are invited to take part in two 6-hour professional development training boot camps over popular spring break weeks, hosted by the Arizona Virtual Teacher Institute. Each boot camp is broken up into 3 workshop-style sessions over the course of three days. Can’t make all three sessions? Don’t worry—recordings and materials will be shared via email with those who register. 

Blended Learning Models

Topics: Playlists & Hyperdocs, Flipped Classroom, and Station Rotation


Register for March 9-11, 9-11 am AZ

Register for March 16-18, 9-11 am AZ


Ed Tech

Topics: Online Assessment Tools, Student Engagement Tools, and Collaboration Tools


Register for March 9-11, 12-2 pm AZ

Register for March 16-18, 12-2 pm AZ


Free Meals for Students

Every Friday, ASU Prep and ASU Prep Digital families are invited to pick up 5 free breakfasts and 5 free lunches for children in their household under 18. No proof of enrollment is required. Please visit one of the designated pickup locations listed below:

ASU Prep Phoenix Campus

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

735 E Fillmore St

Phoenix, AZ 85006


ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate Campus

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

5610 S Central Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85040

Healthy Habits to Implement in 2021

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January is a great time to set goals for the year and develop habits that will allow you to live a happier, healthier life. Taking steps to focus on your mental and physical health will help you in all areas of your life, including your education! It can be difficult to give your energy to school work when you’re feeling physically sick or mentally drained. Check out a few healthy habits you can implement in 2021:

Prioritize Sleep

Do you know how much sleep you should be getting every night? It differs in each age group, and sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your productivity and energy levels. According to the National Sleep Foundation, ages 14-17 should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, and ages 6-13 should get 9-11 hours of sleep each night. In addition to improving focus and energy throughout the day, getting enough sleep will also help with improving and maintaining muscle memory—which is a bonus for study sessions! If you have trouble falling asleep, try winding down an hour before you want to sleep by shutting down electronic devices and reading a book or journaling.

Move for 30 Minutes a Day

Being an online student means getting to complete classwork from the comfort of your bed, which is the best. But you can’t forget to get up every once in a while! Exercising for even 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health, and taking breaks can help you refocus on the task at hand. Check out a yoga workout on YouTube, start your day with a jog around your neighborhood, or take your dog on an extra-long walk to get your body moving.

Practice Gratitude

It’s no secret that the last several months have been challenging, and it can be easy to focus on the negative. However, dwelling on the things we can’t control can be daunting, not to mention detrimental to our mental health. One of the best healthy habits you can implement this year is practicing gratitude, which can be as easy as writing down what you’re grateful for every day or choosing a positive affirmation to be your daily mantra. Finding even a few positive things to give thanks for will keep you motivated and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Get Organized

The easiest way to declutter your mind and space is to utilize organizational tools. Not only will you feel more productive, but you’ll also be able to make more time for yourself and the things you love to do. Start by getting a planner or downloading a planner app, such as Calendly or iStudiez, and use it to keep track of assignments, deadlines, and meetings. At the beginning of each week, write down everything that needs to be done and break it up into smaller goals that can be tackled each day. Completing bite-sized goals on a daily basis will help you avoid burnout and give you time to do other things, too!


Check out these other posts for other healthy habits and tools to add to your routine this year:


Upcoming Events at ASU Prep Digital and ASU

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As the fall semester comes to a close and we look ahead to the spring, we’re excited to share a list of upcoming events for students, parents, and educators. From networking opportunities to talent shows and everything in between, ASU Prep Digital and Arizona State University are ready to help you fill up your calendar!

Take a look at what’s on the horizon:

ASU Innovation Week 2020

Now to December 11, you’re invited to virtually participate in Innovation Week at ASU. This week is designed to take attendees through the innovation journey—from idea to implementation—while giving you opportunities to network and learn new skills in a range of sessions covering different topics. In fact, ASU Prep Digital will be hosting two of its own sessions: ASU Prep Digital Code Academy and ASU Prep Family University. Each session will feature a different topic and project, so visit the website to learn more and reserve your spot!


On January 9, 2021, ASU will be hosting REMOTE K12, the Connected Teacher Summit. This free, virtual event will provide K-12 teachers with effective techniques, tools, and insights geared toward online/blended learning while giving attendees the opportunity to engage with colleagues from all around the country. Teachers can even earn an ASU-certified Professional Development Credential by attending the event and filling out a post-show survey. Visit their website to learn more about this event and the sessions that will be offered.

ASU Prep Digital’s Got Talent

January 14, 2021 will be a night to remember as you cheer on your fellow Sun Devils during ASU Prep Digital’s Got Talent! Stay tuned to our social media for more information as the event gets closer.

Free Meals for Students

Every Friday, ASU Prep and ASU Prep Digital families are invited to pick up 5 free breakfasts and 5 free lunches for children in the household under 18. No proof of enrollment is required. Please visit one of the designated pickup locations listed below:

ASU Prep Phoenix Campus

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

735 E Fillmore St

Phoenix, AZ 85006


ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate Campus

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

5610 S Central Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85040

Enrollment Deadlines

Not part of our community of learners yet? There’s still time to join us! Applications are now open for the spring semester, but spots are filling up fast. Check out the deadlines below and begin the application process by visiting our website.

  • December 18 is the last day to enroll early as a full-time student and begin on January 11, 2021. All required documents must be submitted by the deadline in order to have your application reviewed.
  • Interested in taking concurrent courses with ASU? Be sure to submit your course request by the following deadlines for each session:
    • Session A: Submit by 12/31/20 for a 1/11/21 start date
    • Session B: Submit by 2/26/21 for a 3/15/21 start date
    • Session C: Submit by 12/31/20 for a 1/11/21 start date
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updates on upcoming events!