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!

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!

ASU Launches Comprehensive Summer School 2020 Program for Learners at all Levels

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(Tempe, Ariz., April 27, 2020) – What does Summer School look like for students in 2020? In a period of economic uncertainty with shifting job markets and employment opportunities that are evaporating in some places and springing to life in others, higher education remains one of the best investments people can make. And for those who find themselves thrust into a new set of circumstances by changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, universities offer a dynamic place to explore options and quench the thirst for learning something new.

To meet the demand for Summer School 2020, beginning May 18 Arizona State University will be offering more than 5,000 courses at a reduced rate to people looking for new learning opportunities and for students at all levels – including students who are currently enrolled in good standing at any university in the United States. Application fees for college students enrolled at other universities will be waived, and scholarships are available for most admitted and currently enrolled ASU students.

Named by U.S. News & World Report as the most innovative university in America for five consecutive years, ASU is stepping up to meet the needs of learners who want to keep pace, get ahead or catch up in the distance learning environment that now defines education in America. Classes will be provided in both the traditional online format and in a fully interactive, digitally-enhanced format for:
  • Learners at all stages can learn through ASU for You, most of which is free, and can take a course in a subject matter of interest with ASU Open Scale, with the option to convert it to university credit if they later choose to do so.
  • Any university student in the U.S. in good standing at their home college or university may enroll in summer courses through a streamlined application process that takes 15 minutes with approval within 48 hours.
  • Admitted ASU students who wish to get started right now on their university education will receive a $500 Summer 2020 Award for every three credit hours enrolled.
  • High school sophomores and juniors who are on track for college and want to begin earning college credit through ASU Digital Prep as well as ASU Open Scale classes.
  • Continuing ASU students will continue to have access to all ASU summer courses. For Arizona residents, financial aid is available.
ASU has also transferred other services for students to a digital environment to ensure continuity of all aspects of the university experience during COVID-19 and during Summer School 2020. For example, ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services is fully virtual, offering drop-in career and internship advising. ASU Counseling Services have moved entirely online and a peer-led Zoom support group has been created, Devils 4 Devils Support Circles, for students to support and connect with each other while taking classes online and practicing social distancing. Many student events and programs have also transitioned to a virtual format, with a wide variety of activities and events still available.
For convenience and to meet varying schedules, ASU will be providing more than 20 of its most popular, sought-after classes in a rolling rotation of new summer semesters offered with multiple start dates, beginning May 18. For more information, please visit:


About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.

What Are Career Pathways?

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While it might seem like the start of your career is lightyears away, it’s the decisions you make now that determine how fast you can reach your dream job. Career pathways are organized collections of programs that develop your core academic, technical, and employment skills to prepare you for a related career.

ASU Prep Digital offers a comprehensive selection of career pathways with concurrent courses, giving you steps you can take today to bring you closer to the career of your dreams. Here are four different areas of studies that offer career pathways you can start working toward now: 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Do you find yourself looking up at the sky, wondering what’s out there? Does math feel like an exciting puzzle with each new problem? Interests such as these can lead to a promising career in STEM. As it happens, ASU has developed a wide variety of majors that are in the STEM group of disciplines. Explore majors ranging from Biophysics to Earth and Environmental Studies. With so many to choose from, you are sure to find the pathway that’s right for you. 

When you enroll in concurrent courses like General Chemistry for Engineers or Introduction to Psychology, you’re bringing yourself that much closer to a university degree, without even a single step onto a college campus. In fact, by the time you’re a freshman you’ll have completed almost all of your first year courses! 

Health & Wellness

Are you an advocate for regular exercise and a balanced diet? Are you eager to assist those around you? A career in the health field may be the right one for you! ASU provides an assortment of career pathways related to Health and Wellness, such as Healthcare Coordination, Exercise and Wellness, and Public Health. 

Enroll in concurrent courses such as Human Development and Introduction to Global Health to get a taste of the advanced courses you’ll be taking as part of your university career in a Health & Wellness major. Not to mention, you’ll be earning university credit while completing several courses as a high school student.


Is dancing your passion? Do your doodles take up more space on a page than class notes? If you have an artistic streak, ASU outlines several career pathways that’ll turn your art into a career. Explore a variety of pathways in the Art cluster including Art History, Digital Culture, and Dance. Through our Art History pathway, you’ll be able to complete enough concurrent courses to begin college with 10-12 courses already completed.


Do you spend your weekends watching Shark Tank? Do you dream of one day owning your own business? ASU has 30+ business and entrepreneurship majors that’ll have you on your way to being your own boss, including Sports Business, Finance, and Retail Management. 

Concurrent courses such as Introduction to Human Communication and Macroeconomic Principles will give you a strong foundation of business knowledge and an edge before entering a competitive university environment. When you’re a CEO one day, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for getting a head start on your career pathway while you were still in high school!

Your passions at this age can easily turn into your career in the future. Explore ASU Prep Digital’s vast assortment of concurrent courses and outlined career pathways to get started on turning your hobbies into a career. 

Looking for more information on concurrent enrollment at ASU Prep Digital? Check out these blog posts:

High-Quality Online Programs Do Exist—and ASU Prep Digital is One of Them

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The Arizona Republic has painted a dire picture of virtual education — one riddled with fraud, academic failure, and moral corruption.  While there is truth to this unfortunate reality, the suggested solution of “an end to online charter schools” to remedy and prevent the outlined problems and concerns in the virtual education space does no justice to the proven success of high-quality online programs that do exist, and ASU’s digital high school platform, ASU Prep Digital, is one of those programs.

ASU Prep Digital, commissioned by the university in 2016 as a virtual extension of the established brick and mortar ASU Preparatory Academies, models a much different purpose than the profit-driven “flush with cash” online charter schools the article characterizes. ASU Prep Digital’s singular purpose is to be a fulfillment of the ASU Charter in the K-12 space.

With proven academic success in improving education outcomes[1], ASU Prep Digital operates with a fundamental responsibility to deliver best-in-class, equitable education across geography, income, race, and ethnicity. 

ASU’s committed drive to advance inclusivity and access, is changing the landscape of Arizona. This effort is centered around eliminating barriers to entry for students and affording every student access to world-class innovative curriculum and instruction.

ASU Prep Digital develops collaborative partnerships with districts that share in this call to action. For example, ASU Prep Digital serves students and offers solutions by filling teacher shortages, augmenting curriculum, and giving students the opportunity to get a jumpstart on college and career pathways into the university.

Omitting the existence of high-quality online programs creates a problematic lack of balance in this article for your readers. ASU has designed a digital high school that collaborates with schools around the state to provide educational opportunities that are resulting in improved educational outcomes for students. ASU Prep Digital is intensely focused on students, not school constructs.

Through ASU Prep Digital, students in Arizona, across the U.S. and around the world can benefit from unprecedented access to college pathways and all that the most innovative university in the nation has to offer to enable their success.



[1] Improved educational outcomes as demonstrated in AZM2 merit testing and ELA, Math, and Science Assessments.

Is It Time to Try Concurrent Enrollment?

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It’s finally 2020! Can you believe it? The best part of a new year is getting to set new goals for yourself, whether it’s physical, mental, or educational. If you’ve been looking for a way to challenge yourself at school, and you’re ready to make a change, it may be time to try concurrent enrollment.

There are so many benefits to earning college credit in high school. Between learning time management skills and knocking some required college classes out of the way early, earning college credit is a great way to set yourself up for success.

But how can I earn college credit in high school?

There are a number of ways, but the most popular are dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment. While they’re similar, you’ll enroll in a major university with concurrent enrollment as opposed to a community college. That might not seem like a major difference, but you’d be surprised!

Concurrent enrollment at ASU Prep Digital enables students to take college courses with ASU. ASU is ranked #1 in the U.S. for innovation for the fifth year in a row and is recognized as a Research I university. You’ll be taught by real ASU professors, receive support from professors, teachers, and a Learning Success Coach, and have the opportunity to explore career pathways. Don’t believe us? Check out this student testimonial and see for yourself!

Alright, I’m ready to try concurrent enrollment! What now?

ASU Prep Digital is still accepting full-time applications for the spring semester. If you’d like to try concurrent enrollment through ASU, here are the enrollment deadlines and start dates:

  • Enroll by January 3 for a January 13 start date (half semester)
  • Enroll by January 3 for a January 13 start date (full semester)
  • Enroll by March 3 for a March 16 start date (full semester)

Complete the enrollment process here to begin your college career with ASU Prep Digital. We can’t wait to welcome you into our community of learners!