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Memoria Press Online Academy (MPOA) Diploma Program


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Hello!

I recently enrolled my 8th grade daughter for four classes for fall 2021/2022 school year with Memoria Press Online Academy. We were initially just going to enroll her in just a couple courses, but then she became so interested in the Logic and Literature courses they offer, that we ended up with four. Now I'm looking at the diploma program and considering having her apply for it (we would just add one more course to do so).

I'm trying to sort out reasons for obtaining/advantages to having an MPOA diploma vs just taking MPOA classes here and there to add to our homeschool transcript to demonstrate rigor and outside accountability.

Does anyone have a teen enrolled in the diploma program? I know MPOA is not accredited by one of the 7 or so accreditation organizations, so is there any point in getting this? It seems that the accreditation is most important to high schools, such that if you plan to re-enter your local state or private school you better make sure your classes are accredited so you are not re-taking courses or being held back a grade in high school. I don't know that colleges/universities really care about accreditation. I've always had the impression that being a homeschooler puts your teen in a separate category of applicants and that many universities have admission staff that work specifically with homeschool applicants.

Are there any advantages to getting a diploma?

Thank you in advance for any advice or thoughts you may have! And frank thoughts are totally fine! That's why I posted here:) You guys are awesome at helping posters like me sort things out!

Sincerely,
Kim

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We haven’t done the diploma program but I have had two kids take a total of almost 20 classes from MPOA so I am familiar with the situation.

I looked at the diploma program and saw no advantage for our family. It is accredited by the association of Latin schools or something which I believe is also part of the Memoria Press organization. If someone wanted to be a stickler about accreditation I don’t think they would be impressed but that is all just my feeling on it. 

For us, the diploma program would put more requirements on us but wouldn’t yield a benefit. I don’t need record keeping or academic advising. I wanted to retain the freedom to pick and choose classes from a variety of sources and not commit to five classes a year from there. My dc so far have done de senior year and would not have wanted 5 online classes. If they had, we would have signed up and taken them independently. Of course, you can always drop out of the program if your needs change. It isn’t an ironclad commitment. 

I would rather retain control of all things for our homeschool and how transcripts are structured, what classes are taken, etc. than hand that over. 

There were also some testing requirements that I didn’t want to have to meet. One is the PSAT which is difficult to schedule where I live and not of interest to me unless I have a student with National Merit potential. So far I haven’t had that. Another requirement is (or was) taking an AP exam. I didn’t want to agree to that or fool with that if it didn’t suit our goals.

I like MPOA a lot but they have really had a rough year. They have had obvious growing pains and administrative changes and it has frustrated families that have been with the school for years. Hopefully that will all shake out but at this moment I wouldn’t be comfortable recommending putting all the eggs in the MPOA basket. 
 

As far as colleges go, I am firmly convinced accreditation doesn’t matter. As far as returning to high school, maybe, but I don’t know if MP accreditation would pass muster if an administrator didn’t want to take transcripts at face value. 

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I am a huge fan of MPOA, and I have often sung their praises on this forum.     In fact, I was planning on having my students take a lot of classes with them through homeschool---and now I don't even feel comfortable with that anymore.     Things have gotten really, really messy over there.  

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An ‘accredited’ transcript/diploma such as they offer is no better than the mom transcript/diploma I will create for my kids. Your student will likely be viewed as a homeschooler during the college admissions process, with or without MPOA’s stamp of approval.
 

My local high school would not grant credit for any classes taken outside of a regionally accredited school if we tried to transfer in mid-high school. MPOA is not Regionally Accredited.

I, personally, would not give up the flexibility and ability to personalize my students’ education in exchange for the accreditation/diploma they offer.

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8 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

I am a huge fan of MPOA, and I have often sung their praises on this forum.     In fact, I was planning on having my students take a lot of classes with them through homeschool---and now I don't even feel comfortable with that anymore.     Things have gotten really, really messy over there.  

Do you feel comfortable sharing your concerns? That could he helpful for others considering their programs.

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8 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

I am a huge fan of MPOA, and I have often sung their praises on this forum.     In fact, I was planning on having my students take a lot of classes with them through homeschool---and now I don't even feel comfortable with that anymore.     Things have gotten really, really messy over there.  

I'm wondering if you could share your concerns? I'm considering a few courses at MPOA next year, too.

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Not @TheAttachedMamabut what I have seen is a slip in quality of teachers. Over the spring and summer 2020, it seemed they added alot of class sections to meet demand and not all of the teachers have panned out to have delivered the same quality of instruction and communication people had come to expect from MPOA. It did not happen to us but many parents reported teacher assignments changed last minute and teachers stepping down during the school year. While these situations do come up and are sometimes unavoidable, it seemed to happen much more frequently than before or what would be expected. Registration for 2020-2021 posted much later than usual, and when it was posted many class times are still left TBA, and there has not been good communication. The rolled out a new registration page/website design the same day registration went live and there were just alot of problems.

I'm seeing on FB people having trouble with the applications to the diploma program and left not knowing how to proceed with registering for classes that are rapidly filling. 

There might be good explanations for these things and many of these issues might not be that out of the ordinary for some places, but in the past the administration and communication from MPOA was excellent. Their customer service has always been top notch and registration was always early (and for us painless). Emails and phone calls were always answered quickly and cheefully. In fact, the couple times in the past years that I have had to email the director with a question he usually called me right away instead of email to make sure we solved the issue. Now, phone calls and emails are going unanswered. It may seem like a bigger deal than it actually is partly because MPOA had always been so on the ball before and the change is so dramatic. But there has been a palpable change.

My dd had five classes from MPOA this year and she has had a fantastic experience. I still am very fond of MPOA. I registered her early and got the teachers I wanted for her and none of them changed. There have been more tech problems this year but nothing insurmountable and I don't know if they were the fault of MPOA or not. I will say, though, that I have never before seen the number of complaints about MPOA that I have seen on the FB group this year. I am changing directions for next year so the registration rollout didn't impact me but I know I would have gone nuts if I was trying to make a schedule and figure out what my dd would be doing next year. 

There is a new director and I do not have enough experience to know his competence or to what degree he would work to solve any issues. However, I have seen enough to say that his communication style is not doing him any favors. He could calm some of the distressed parents with some communciation but he really seems to not see the urgency of it. I guess it seems some of his answers to questions on the forums and requests for info are a little tone deaf maybe? I don't know. I have really fond feelings for MPOA and I really hope they work out their issues. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes but it is something. I hope they work it out. I could fullheartedly endorse so many instructors there and my dd just loves her classes and has learned and grown so much. So, if we were doing online classes next year I probably would have hung in there and tried to ride it out. They have built up alot of capital for me. But I would be apprehensive about new teachers and probably very stressed by registration. I really hate to run MPOA down like that. 😞 It was such a high quality experience, for us, in the past and even this year. 

Now I'll let @TheAttachedMamaanswer the question. She has more relevant and current experience, I think.

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3 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

Not @TheAttachedMamabut what I have seen is a slip in quality of teachers. Over the spring and summer 2020, it seemed they added alot of class sections to meet demand and not all of the teachers have panned out to have delivered the same quality of instruction and communication people had come to expect from MPOA. It did not happen to us but many parents reported teacher assignments changed last minute and teachers stepping down during the school year. While these situations do come up and are sometimes unavoidable, it seemed to happen much more frequently than before or what would be expected. Registration for 2020-2021 posted much later than usual, and when it was posted many class times are still left TBA, and there has not been good communication. The rolled out a new registration page/website design the same day registration went live and there were just alot of problems.

I'm seeing on FB people having trouble with the applications to the diploma program and left not knowing how to proceed with registering for classes that are rapidly filling. 

There might be good explanations for these things and many of these issues might not be that out of the ordinary for some places, but in the past the administration and communication from MPOA was excellent. Their customer service has always been top notch and registration was always early (and for us painless). Emails and phone calls were always answered quickly and cheefully. In fact, the couple times in the past years that I have had to email the director with a question he usually called me right away instead of email to make sure we solved the issue. Now, phone calls and emails are going unanswered. It may seem like a bigger deal than it actually is partly because MPOA had always been so on the ball before and the change is so dramatic. But there has been a palpable change.

My dd had five classes from MPOA this year and she has had a fantastic experience. I still am very fond of MPOA. I registered her early and got the teachers I wanted for her and none of them changed. There have been more tech problems this year but nothing insurmountable and I don't know if they were the fault of MPOA or not. I will say, though, that I have never before seen the number of complaints about MPOA that I have seen on the FB group this year. I am changing directions for next year so the registration rollout didn't impact me but I know I would have gone nuts if I was trying to make a schedule and figure out what my dd would be doing next year. 

There is a new director and I do not have enough experience to know his competence or to what degree he would work to solve any issues. However, I have seen enough to say that his communication style is not doing him any favors. He could calm some of the distressed parents with some communciation but he really seems to not see the urgency of it. I guess it seems some of his answers to questions on the forums and requests for info are a little tone deaf maybe? I don't know. I have really fond feelings for MPOA and I really hope they work out their issues. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes but it is something. I hope they work it out. I could fullheartedly endorse so many instructors there and my dd just loves her classes and has learned and grown so much. So, if we were doing online classes next year I probably would have hung in there and tried to ride it out. They have built up alot of capital for me. But I would be apprehensive about new teachers and probably very stressed by registration. I really hate to run MPOA down like that. 😞 It was such a high quality experience, for us, in the past and even this year. 

Now I'll let @TheAttachedMamaanswer the question. She has more relevant and current experience, I think.

Thank you for taking the time to share this info. I really appreciate it.

 

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12 minutes ago, Tiffany said:

@teachermom2834Could you name some of the high quality Latin teachers? 

The only one we have used is Dr Dray for First and Second Form. He is an enthusiastic thumbs up for being fun and engaging and making Latin enjoyable. He is smart and funny and kind. The jury is out on retention and how well my dd has learned this year’s material. That’s on dd, too, as she has six classes and Latin does not get the daily work it needs but I think the quizzes and grading are set up for her to get by with decent grades while still not fully getting it. We’ve kind of dropped the ball on that as she is going to a cottage school next year and might be in second form again. If not, we had already decided to do an intensive review over the summer. 
 

There are other names that get mentioned for Latin but I don’t have personal experience. There is a FB group that people discuss teachers sometimes and you could ask there. Also maybe try asking on the K-8 curriculum board. 

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16 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

Not @TheAttachedMamabut what I have seen is a slip in quality of teachers. Over the spring and summer 2020, it seemed they added alot of class sections to meet demand and not all of the teachers have panned out to have delivered the same quality of instruction and communication people had come to expect from MPOA. It did not happen to us but many parents reported teacher assignments changed last minute and teachers stepping down during the school year. While these situations do come up and are sometimes unavoidable, it seemed to happen much more frequently than before or what would be expected. Registration for 2020-2021 posted much later than usual, and when it was posted many class times are still left TBA, and there has not been good communication. The rolled out a new registration page/website design the same day registration went live and there were just alot of problems.

I'm seeing on FB people having trouble with the applications to the diploma program and left not knowing how to proceed with registering for classes that are rapidly filling. 

There might be good explanations for these things and many of these issues might not be that out of the ordinary for some places, but in the past the administration and communication from MPOA was excellent. Their customer service has always been top notch and registration was always early (and for us painless). Emails and phone calls were always answered quickly and cheefully. In fact, the couple times in the past years that I have had to email the director with a question he usually called me right away instead of email to make sure we solved the issue. Now, phone calls and emails are going unanswered. It may seem like a bigger deal than it actually is partly because MPOA had always been so on the ball before and the change is so dramatic. But there has been a palpable change.

My dd had five classes from MPOA this year and she has had a fantastic experience. I still am very fond of MPOA. I registered her early and got the teachers I wanted for her and none of them changed. There have been more tech problems this year but nothing insurmountable and I don't know if they were the fault of MPOA or not. I will say, though, that I have never before seen the number of complaints about MPOA that I have seen on the FB group this year. I am changing directions for next year so the registration rollout didn't impact me but I know I would have gone nuts if I was trying to make a schedule and figure out what my dd would be doing next year. 

There is a new director and I do not have enough experience to know his competence or to what degree he would work to solve any issues. However, I have seen enough to say that his communication style is not doing him any favors. He could calm some of the distressed parents with some communciation but he really seems to not see the urgency of it. I guess it seems some of his answers to questions on the forums and requests for info are a little tone deaf maybe? I don't know. I have really fond feelings for MPOA and I really hope they work out their issues. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes but it is something. I hope they work it out. I could fullheartedly endorse so many instructors there and my dd just loves her classes and has learned and grown so much. So, if we were doing online classes next year I probably would have hung in there and tried to ride it out. They have built up alot of capital for me. But I would be apprehensive about new teachers and probably very stressed by registration. I really hate to run MPOA down like that. 😞 It was such a high quality experience, for us, in the past and even this year. 

Now I'll let @TheAttachedMamaanswer the question. She has more relevant and current experience, I think.

Can I just say ditto?  🙂 That pretty much sums up many of my concerns.   To the OP, I would feel fine signing my students up for a few classes.   However, I would not feel comfortable entering into any contractions or trusting them with the graduation of my student.   

 

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On 2/24/2021 at 10:26 PM, lvmom said:

I'm trying to sort out reasons for obtaining/advantages to having an MPOA diploma vs just taking MPOA classes here and there to add to our homeschool transcript to demonstrate rigor and outside accountability.

...... I've always had the impression that being a homeschooler puts your teen in a separate category of applicants and that many universities have admission staff that work specifically with homeschool applicants.

I'm going to jump in and say that universities are not going to see MPOA and think "rigor and demonstrated outside accountability."  Classes you teach at home will have the exact same value in terms of admissions as any random provider.  The idea that co-ops and generic outsourced classes validate your homeschool transcript is a mantra that is repeated as a Truth, but it is not one that our family has witnessed as being necessary.  My current college freshman took 2 outsourced classes total in high school.  I'm pretty sure that those 2 classes meant diddly to anyone.  I outsourced them bc I didn't want to teach them, not bc I thought I needed outsourced classes on her transcript. 

Have her take classes bc the classes interest her and you don't want to teach them at home.  That should be the sum game in motivation for that type of outsourced class.  (DE for college cr bc you want to transfer in cr as a college freshman....that is totally different reason for outsourcing.) 

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14 hours ago, Tiffany said:

@teachermom2834Could you name some of the high quality Latin teachers? 

Not @teachermom2834, but my high schooler absolutely loved Meredith Cutrer for Third and Fourth Form Latin.  Peter Joslyn teaching Caesar Latin is phenomenal.  High Schooler also enjoyed class with Brian Davidson for Second Form (although I am not sure he is still with MPOA).

High schooler has had wonderful experiences with classes and teachers at MPOA until this year.  We interpreted one teacher's comments in class as disinformation and inappropriate for class.  Teacher did correct statements in the following class, which was appreciated.  I think what was said above about the quality of teaching is really true.  It really varies from teacher to teacher. 

 

 

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50 minutes ago, rainbird2 said:

Not @teachermom2834, but my high schooler absolutely loved Meredith Cutrer for Third and Fourth Form Latin.  Peter Joslyn teaching Caesar Latin is phenomenal.  High Schooler also enjoyed class with Brian Davidson for Second Form (although I am not sure he is still with MPOA).

High schooler has had wonderful experiences with classes and teachers at MPOA until this year.  We interpreted one teacher's comments in class as disinformation and inappropriate for class.  Teacher did correct statements in the following class, which was appreciated.  I think what was said above about the quality of teaching is really true.  It really varies from teacher to teacher. 

 

 

My son has really enjoyed her husband for 2nd Form this year (she guest taught a few of the classes, I think, and my son was bummed she isn’t teaching 3rd Form this upcoming year). He also enjoyed Mr Wilhite for 1st Form. So far from my making him take paper quizzes and practice NLE exams, it seems to be sinking in pretty well. 

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On 2/25/2021 at 5:58 AM, TheAttachedMama said:

I am a huge fan of MPOA, and I have often sung their praises on this forum.     In fact, I was planning on having my students take a lot of classes with them through homeschool---and now I don't even feel comfortable with that anymore.     Things have gotten really, really messy over there.  

I feel the exact same. I don't know what happened or why, but it the entire feel of it changed for us. Five years in and we are moving away from MPOA entirely.

We have loved Cutrer and Dray for Latin. 

Last year my daughter registered for a HS Comp II and the teacher was a good teacher but not very caring or compassionate to circumstances beyond our daughter's control. The attendance policy at MPOA varies by teacher, which is not a great way to run a school, and this teacher would not allow absences for dd to compete in speech/debate. Furthermore, she expected that her Comp II class knew her expectations without explicitly stating them, as she also taught Comp I, but as dd didn't take Comp I from her, she was unaware of many of them. She was short and mocking of dd when she asked questions in class or in the Ask a Teacher Forum. The admin gave us a full refund, because he agreed with what we were saying, but rather than transfer her to another class, we were left high and dry without a Composition class for the year. This would be find in Middle School, but was completely unacceptable at the high school level. It is my belief, given my daughter's exceptional relationships with other teachers there over a five year time period, that she should have been given an exception and transferred to a different section. 

Registration has been a complete joke. As another stated, I have fond feelings for MPOA, but they just completely dropped the ball this year. We registered for classes at WHA and VPSA. I am so disappointed.

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1 hour ago, mamamoose said:

I feel the exact same. I don't know what happened or why, but it the entire feel of it changed for us. Five years in and we are moving away from MPOA entirely.

We have loved Cutrer and Dray for Latin. 

Last year my daughter registered for a HS Comp II and the teacher was a good teacher but not very caring or compassionate to circumstances beyond our daughter's control. The attendance policy at MPOA varies by teacher, which is not a great way to run a school, and this teacher would not allow absences for dd to compete in speech/debate. Furthermore, she expected that her Comp II class knew her expectations without explicitly stating them, as she also taught Comp I, but as dd didn't take Comp I from her, she was unaware of many of them. She was short and mocking of dd when she asked questions in class or in the Ask a Teacher Forum. The admin gave us a full refund, because he agreed with what we were saying, but rather than transfer her to another class, we were left high and dry without a Composition class for the year. This would be find in Middle School, but was completely unacceptable at the high school level. It is my belief, given my daughter's exceptional relationships with other teachers there over a five year time period, that she should have been given an exception and transferred to a different section. 

Registration has been a complete joke. As another stated, I have fond feelings for MPOA, but they just completely dropped the ball this year. We registered for classes at WHA and VPSA. I am so disappointed.

Ha!  Based on your description, I think my daughter has this same teacher for literature.   

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Dd is graduating from MPOA this year. It's served its purpose for us and we haven't had any issues. But, dd is only taking 2 classes there this year: AP Latin and French 1. Both are going well and MPOA has been quick to send transcripts when we've requested them.

Our main reason for choosing MPOA was that dd wanted to do her hs classes online since she likes that format. They had all their classes approved by the NCAA which was important at the time since dd was rowing and thinking about doing it in college. It was just easier to go with one school and follow their program than it would have been to piece together classes from multiple sources.

They're actually pretty flexible if you take Logic, Latin and Classics classes during middle school or overload your freshman and sophomore years. That leaves plenty of space in your schedule to DE your jr and sr years. This is what dd did and she's been able to finish both the MPOA diploma and earn her AA from our local CC.

(I think dd had the horrible comp teacher for her Lit 2 class. She really is a nightmare but she's also a long serving teacher, so I doubt they'll get rid of her.)

Overall, MPOA was okay for us but there are probably better options available now than there were 4 years ago.

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21 minutes ago, chiguirre said:

 

(I think dd had the horrible comp teacher for her Lit 2 class. She really is a nightmare but she's also a long serving teacher, so I doubt they'll get rid of her.)

 

Actually, I’m pretty sure these are two different teachers being discussed so that would be two really problematic high school teachers that teach many classes. 🙁
 

I know your nightmare teacher @chiguirrefrom past discussion and I’m pretty certain who the others are talking about.

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23 hours ago, TheAttachedMama said:

Ha!  Based on your description, I think my daughter has this same teacher for literature.   

Mr. Schaeffer said she gets nothing but glowing reports and everyone loves her. He just could not understand at all what our problem was. The teacher does teach both comp and lit, but it could be two separate teachers, I suppose. I am happy to share a name privately. 

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