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I've been looking at college admission requirements and they all want "academic" references, that I'm assuming mean teacher references. My kids are all taking online classes, but none where they interact greatly with the teacher, enough that the teacher would really get to know them well. They have to post on discussion boards and turn in homework and papers, etc. Is that enough to ask for reference letters?


And if not (and I will obviously be asking Admissions offices as well) have people been successful submitting alternate types of references? These are some of our options (not all for the same kid - I've got 3 graduating next year).


Sports Coach

4H leader

Volunteer Job "Boss"

(these would all be people who have known my kids for multiple years and spent many hours with them).


And nobody seems to want more than 2, they specifically say don't send more than 2....



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My daughter had two academic letters of recommendation from teachers of outside the home classes. In her application package, I also included a letter of recommendation from the person who was her employer for three summers during high school.


If an academic letter is required, I would certainly ask the online teachers. If they decline, I would suggest you write the letter yourself.




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I had DS write a resume which included academic and extracurricular activities, honors, awards, etc. He gave these to the teachers who fit the requirement as academic instructors but who did not really know him outside of the limited class interaction.


All teachers he asked were willing to write the letter and I think were happy to have the resume of details about DS to bolster their impression and opinion of him. I think the academic letters of reference are really looking for confirmation that the student can perform at the college level. Even though an online teacher does not know much beyond the work he/she sees and grades, I think they can put in a letter facts that support academic effort, like: honor society involvement, academic awards earned, etc. It is also helpful to the teacher to see the extracurricular activities since they can tell that the student is well rounded and possibly comment on that. It was a good exercise for DS, too.



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