In 2011, Archer joined the Online School For Girls to expand course and learning style options for Archer students. Now, the program is a defining aspect of Archer’s diverse learning outlets with over 30 students currently enrolled.
As the first online independent single-sex school, The Online School for Girls is committed to offering courses that are “designed for the ways that girls learn best.” Similarly, part of Archer’s mission is to “create and sustain a collaborative teaching and learning environment” specifically for girls.
Currently, 12 online classes, 8 of which are advanced placement, are offered to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade Archer students.
The OSG is useful for girls who are interested in participating in classes that Archer does not offer. For example, lack of student interest in AP science classes combined with concerns about the memorization-heavy exams resulted in Archer’s decision to remove them from regular course registration options. However, Forensic Science, AP Environmental Science, AP Human Geography and Genetics are now available for students through OSG.
“I chose to take [AP Macroeconomics] online because its not offered at Archer,” said one senior in a survey. “It has quickly become one of my favorite classes… I like being in a classroom setting with people that I have never met before. It is nice to be in a class with different people than I have been in for the past six years and get new perspectives.”
Another student says she find the out-of-classroom experience, and the fact that “[you] don’t actually meet classmates slightly disconcerting, but kinda fun too.”
Interest in online classes for college and post-grad schools has grown exponentially over the past decade. According to a study “based on responses from over 2,800 academic leaders” conducted by Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board in 2012, over 32 percent of all students are enrolled in at least one online course.
“It is important to prepare our students for learning in the 21st century, and online/blended courses are becoming more popular,” said Upper School Director Samantha Coyne-Donnel
Before applying to take an online course through the Online School, students should consider the amount of responsibility and time-managent skills required for success.
“I would council students to fully research the course they are interested in taking before they commit to an OSG course… In addition, online classes require greater independence, organization, and time management skills than the typical Archer class…it can be easy to put off the learning, and it won’t happen unless students develop a schedule and stick to it,” said Coyne-Donnel.