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Need Help figuring out a "Diploma"/AP/NCAA-Combo, Looking at VPSA and TPS

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DS13 is in 7th grade this year.

He is taking six online classes, four with VP (Omnibus, Algebra 1, Latin 1, Biology) and two with TPS (English 1, Geography). He is currently in the VP-Diploma program.

The year has been intense, but I really wanted to get a feeling for his ability to function in this kind of learning environment during 7th/8th grade, as we intend to outsource a majority of classes for high-school.

We will need to keep a couple of parameters in sight when planning high-school, and I am increasingly dubitative about the VP-Diploma for our needs...


We live in Europe. Moving in the not too far future (South-Africa) is a possibility, but we want to keep doors to Swiss/European universities wide open. Access to these is highly dependant on AP exams (at least 5 by the end of Junior Year). We will also need to provide an "official" high-school diploma.


On the other hand, ds is swimming competitively and dreams of swimming while studying at a college in the US. He will need to pass the NCAA clearinghouse...


So, our options as I see them:


1.) Stay with VP

This would provide the Diploma & NCAA recognition. On the other hand, I can not immagine how we would integrate the necessary APs... VP seems increasingly rigid about using their online-classes, and frankly, I don't care for ds to graduate with "pass/fail" grades, or an "Assiciate/Standard"-Diploma...

Particularly when it comes to AP exams, I want to make sure we go with well-established providers with a proven track record (PA-Homeschoolers, etc.)


2.) Use TPS Diploma program

They seem considerably better organized on the AP-side, with, as an added bonus, significantly more flexibility concerning the integration of not-TPS courses.

The problem is their lack of NCAA recognition, and I don't see this evolving...


3.) Do our own thing

We would organize the diploma "somehow" (homeschool-/transcript service for a fee), pack the necessary number of APs, and groom a (second?) transcript for NCAA...


This last solution seems like the most straight forward way to go...apart of me...not.wanting.it.


I am literally frozen at the thought of no-one holding my hand, and doing this alone...

What if "my diploma" is not good enough? What if we run into trouble with the NCAA?


I am almost tempted to just go K12 for the whole shabang...Diploma/APs/NCAA, all included...,but then, I don't really want this either...


Any thoughts? Any brilliant Diploma/APs/NCAA-Combos I have not thought about?


Thank you for having read this far!

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I don't know anything about VP, but I am just wondering how they have NCAA approval if they award pass/fail grades? The NCAA requires that a letter grade be assigned for all core classes.


My oldest is in 10th and will be playing his sport at the college level. There has been a recent thread on the high school board discussing the NCAA worksheets that are now required that you may want to check out.


Fwiw, I have decided that I am not going to let an athletic association determine the educational choices I make for my kids. I am in charge of assigning the final grade on the transcript and therefore I am declaring myself as the teacher of record on the NCAA worksheets. I will choose online providers based on the academic fit for my kids and not worry about whether the online provider has paid the fee to the NCAA in order gain NCAA stamp of approval.


Unless you move to New York, the diploma that you would issue your son as the homeschooling parent will be accepted by the NCAA.

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VP only assigns "pass/fail-" grades to classes not taken with them, which would be quite a few for us.

I agree with your approach of dealing with the NCAA. But this still leaves us with the problem of basically having to ADD any ("outside") AP classes to the already full VP programm...

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VP only assigns "pass/fail-" grades to classes not taken with them, which would be quite a few for us.

I agree with your approach of dealing with the NCAA. But this still leaves us with the problem of basically having to ADD any ("outside") AP classes to the already full VP programm...


So if you need/want 5 AP classes, which do you envision taking? To what extent would it be a matter of some self-study in order to master the specifics of the exam format?


For example, I think that VP would probably do a pretty good job exposing a student to the type of books referenced on an AP English Lit exam. On the other hand, you might have to make sure that the student understood the terms associated with literary criticsm and literary movements and figures that might be in the multiple choice section.


The history exams might be difficult to align with a more chronological study of history. You might end up needing to take several history exams the same year or carefully planning which test was which year. (There was a recent thread I started about AP World History that discussed some the the scope and sequence issues.)


Science. Would you be trying to cover AP level sciences? What instruction?


Language Is there an AP exam for the community language where you live. If your kids are already fluent, this might be an early one that you could get out of the way.


I also have a swimmer who hopes to swim (somewhere) in college. And a runner behind him. Neither are likely to get money for sports, but they may want to try out for teams. I'm trying to keep doors open. On the other hand, while I hope swimming and running is something they do until they hit old age, I have to prioritize academics. It is too easy for a shoulder or a knee injury to end a sports career. And I'm not willing to let someone in an office who's never met my kid be the final arbiter of their value as people or of my wisdom as an educator. (Not when they will cheerfully tell homeschoolers that AP and SAT 2 scores don't matter, only if the course is certified.)


If you go back to your original post and tag it with "NCAA" "Advanced Placement" and "AP Exams" I think it should link you to a number of other really great threads on the topic. You also might find good discussions in the various transcript and advanced placement threads in the big stickied thread Lori D started.

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What about Laurel Springs? I no nothing about them, beyond what I've read here on the WTM boards, but I know they are NCAA accredited, you receive an accredited diploma, and they offer AP classes. Incidentally, we live in the U.S. and have kids who will likely swim NCAA Division I in college, so we opted to put them in school this year, partly for this reason. It isn't perfect, but we have a very good local district in which challenging classes with good teachers and motivated peers were available from the first semester. In my heart of hearts, I would have loved to have HS'ed all the way through high school, but I was out-voted by the rest of the family.

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Thank you for your replies!


I will look into Laurel Springs...


As far as the APs are concerned, they will need to be 1 Math, 1 Science, 1 History, 1 Language, 1 Optional (no "soft APs", like Geography, Psychology, etc.). To be on the safe side, I want ds to choose the optional AP to be a language, too.


It helps me to read about your perspective on weighing academics vs. athletics, as I agree with your evaluation, on keeping swimming at its "just place", and not compromise on the academical part of his dossier...


I just so wish we could have it all - the rigorous course of study, with inbedded APs and a diploma at the end. NCAA recognition should be a no-brainer in this scenario!!!

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