ORANGE, CA–October 5, 2006–Orange Lutheran High School Online (OLO), the nation’s leading innovator in Internet-based high school education, has announced significant new national and international initiatives along with dramatic growth in its student roster for the Fall 2006 session. This rapid expansion of the first-of-its-kind OLO program is a result of high approval ratings from both students and parents, partnerships with schools around the country, and ongoing enhancements to the online experience and curriculum.
Building on its proven reputation as a pioneer in online education with a unique approach, Orange Lutheran Online is actively extending its reach both nationally and internationally to offer this highly innovative program to potential students anywhere in the world. On a national basis, under an effort called E3 (Enrich, Equip, Enhance), Orange Lutheran Online is building partnerships with schools across the country to enroll students in the OLO program. To date, six schools have become partner schools, with an additional 11 in discussions and the potential to add 150-200 by first quarter of 2007 which could bring 1000-1500 new students into the program. The OLO system offers these partner schools a rich resource for augmenting their on-ground programs to provide students with courses they may not currently offer, a means to accelerate their coursework toward graduation, or remedial coursework.
On the international front, Orange Lutheran Online is actively exploring options for making the OLO system available to students in other regions, including Asia. These efforts are in the initial stages with details to be announced in the fourth quarter of this year. Long-term projections envision an enrollment of some 30,000 students worldwide by 2010.
The total number of students participating in the OLO program has risen by 192% for Fall 2006 compared to Fall 2005. Online students from the on-ground Lutheran High School have increased from 45 to 110, a 144% increase. However, students from outside the on-ground high school have increased from 16 to 68 for a 325% increase. This growth in students outside the on-ground high school clearly indicates the value and attractiveness of the online program to students well beyond its brick-and-mortar affiliate. Based on the rate of additional enrollments as the year progressed in 2005/2006, the 2006/2007 total enrollment figure is projected to reach 850 students for the current academic year.
“The impressive and growing response to the Orange Lutheran Online model demonstrates without a doubt that this approach is a unique solution to a broad spectrum of needs and challenges that today’s high school students face,” emphasized Patty Young, Director, Orange Lutheran High School Online. “And we are absolutely dedicated to making it the finest online high school experience in the world.”
Orange Lutheran Online is a groundbreaking approach that goes well beyond the typical correspondence course environment in terms of the richness of its curriculum, the robust nature of the online experience, and the level of interaction it requires between students and teachers. It offers students the opportunity to match their high school class schedules as well as homework and test submissions to meet their specific needs. A full range of courses is offered encompassing the humanities, sciences, social science, language, and music. Moreover, in contrast to other online programs focused either on remediation or an elite student population, application to attend Orange Lutheran Online is open to all students and families.
Some students utilize the online system to free up time for other pursuits during the day such as athletics, the performing or fine arts, internships or jobs. Some are able to accelerate their advancement and graduate early. Others take advantage of the system to overcome physical or medical restrictions as well as geographic limitations such as living in a very rural or isolated area. And others choose the online approach due to overcrowding or a negative environment in the school they currently attend. The diversity of student situations reflects the versatility of the program in adapting to individual circumstance.
“You can do it at your own time. Secondly, you have amazing contact with your teacher. I personally know my online instructor better than I know some of my ground teachers, even though I’ve never seen her face-to-face,” observed Orange Lutheran Online student Katelyn Barreca. “Also, the online conversation between classmates is very good because you are not interrupted and can give your complete thought while typing. And it’s way easier to voice your opinion online because people aren’t judging you right then and there. I also like being able to communicate with my instructor later in the evening.”
The Orange Lutheran Online distance education program is based on the most popular model for online education in use today developed by University of Phoenix Online, the largest online university in the world, which has been proven successful for more than a decade. This approach enables OLO to take advantage of University of Phoenix resources in technology, instructional design, and delivery methodologies to apply them in a groundbreaking online high school environment.
To ensure continuity and security, a complete archive of all data is maintained including course lectures, assignments, quizzes, tests, daily discussion questions and responses between teachers and students, attendance records, grade books, transcripts, honor rolls, and athletic eligibility. This archive is backed up nightly. In addition, a special software module allows families to stay informed about their son’s/daughter’s academic status, important dates, assignments, grades, attendance records and contact information for faculty and staff.
Orange Lutheran High School Online is reinventing the high school experience for the 21st century through a highly innovative approach to leveraging the power and efficiency of Internet-based education that offers a unique blend of flexibility, interactivity, engagement, collaboration, community, and accountability designed to cultivate exceptional academic achievement and personal growth. Its values-based program emphasizes character, academics and performance instilled in an active, supportive environment that nurtures educational excellence, communication, respect, social skills, personal exploration and spiritual growth to unlock each student’s full potential by addressing the whole individual in preparation for a productive, fulfilling and ethical life. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges as well as by the National Lutheran Schools Accreditation Organization.
For more information, contact Orange Lutheran High School Online at 2222 N. Santiago Blvd., Orange, CA 92867, 714-998-5151 ext. 549, www.orangelhsonline.org.