I know the posts as of late have mainly been about food so I thought that I would take a break for a post and add a helpful article about upgrading high school classes.

I’ve recently made the decision to return to University for a career change. Upon investigation I found that dreaded “you need these classes to be accepted” section. When attending high school I never thought that I would need said classes and now, I do. So what do you do? I, like most, work full-time and can’t think of when I might fit in classes. For this, I’m going to draw upon two experiences of mine: when I first graduated high school and found that my marks weren’t sufficient for acceptance and now, where I need specific classes for a program that I didn’t take in high school.

When I first graduated high school I applied to University only to be rejected because I was 0.2% below the acceptance average. I, of course, was upset but I knew that I needed to go back to school and upgrade my marks. I chose my two worst classes, the two I knew I could have done better in, and made my way to the continuing education program. When I picked up the class schedule I found that they offered classes at night. Having just graduated I thought that night school would be like summer school in the respect that it was every single night and, frankly, a pain in the butt.
Night school with the continuing education program proved to be only two nights a week for a full semester. I thought, “Hey, I could get a full time job and earn some money for University and upgrade my marks.” It turned out to be the most ingenious thing I’d thought of in years.

For an entire school year I attended continuing education and upgrade two high school classes whilst I had a full time job, earn spending money and enough for a year and a half of school. I felt accomplished. Best of all only having school 2 nights a week meant that I wasn’t wearing myself out. I still had time to spend with friends, rest and do my homework. I wasn’t always concentrating on school and work. That year off ended up being the best thing that I could have done for myself. It prepared me for University and allowed me to mature that extra year.

Now, I’m working full time and due to unforeseen circumstances I’m being forced to change my career direction. Due to the transient nature of my current job I don’t have the luxury of being able to attend continuing education again. This time around I need something that is more portable. Thankfully, we are living in a digital age. I’ve done my research and am attending a virtual school.

Virtual high schools are a wonderful thing. A sense of the future, really. When I first took my year off, internet schools were still somewhat of a dream for the future; something not yet realized. This time around they are abundant. I have my pick of the litter, so to speak.

I contacted several of the schools to determine their exact structure. Many of the virtual schools still require you to rent/purchase a hard cover textbook and attend paper examinations. This is something to look out for. Keep an eye out for these draw backs when you’re searching for the right school for you. The benefit to virtual schools is that there are no “districts”. You can be from anywhere and achieve the education of your dreams. For example, I can attend a virtual high school based in Ontario instead of having to attend the virtual schools in Alberta where I reside. This also allows me to choose the type of curriculum that best suits my needs. Granted the curriculum will still cover the same scope of the subject but each school teaches the subject differently; whether that’s visual learning, tactile learning, auditory learning or a combination thereof. Some schools will send you the virtual ebook of the textbook, others a course package of notes – each one is different. It’s a smorgasbord of virtual schools.

The best thing, so far, about a virtual school is that I complete the course at my leisure. If there’s a day where I just have too much on my plate and just can’t complete that lesson I just don’t. I don’t have to worry about missing a class, playing catch-up, missing assignments, etc. It takes a significant amount of stress off of me. One thing I worried about with a virtual school was not having the resources to ask for help when I got stuck. Not to worry! There are teachers available for support during regular school hours. You ask the question, they shoot you back an answer… easy peasy. It’s a great way to upgrade my classes and gain acceptance to University once more.

There are just so many options for upgrading now-a-days that there really is no excuse not to follow your dreams. The continuing education programs, virtual or no, are put in place to help you. Going back to school should be on your terms, when you’re prepared for it.

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