VIP Focus: Students Learn, Earn Credit and Still Enjoy Their Summer Vacation While Taking Online Courses

DashBoard, June 8, 2016

It won’t be too long before the days are long, the temperatures are hot and students are on summer vacation. Some students look forward to days at the beach and time away from school. But a growing number of students take advantage of summer to earn credits before the next school begins and—probably without even realizing it—combat summer brain drain.

Students who take online courses learn and earn graduation credits and still have time to go on vacation with their family and hold a summer job.

“Summer is a great time for students to stay connected to formal learning while in informal environments like at the cottage, state park or beach,” Jamey Fitzpatrick, MVU® President & CEO, said. “Taking an online course during this three-month break gives middle and high school students an opportunity to get ahead in a high-interest subject area, or retake a course.”

While summer school isn’t the only way to combat summer brain drain—a summer job or volunteering also help students from losing as much as two to three months of math and reading skills over the summer—the flexibility of online learning makes it possible to earn credits in advance of the next school year without missing out on the family trip or spending time with friends during the summer months.

Learning online can be anytime, anywhere—a student can take a laptop to the lake and get online a couple hours a day while earning high school credit in English, math or in a variety of electives. In general, summer online learning provides students with more credit forward options in a 10-week session than in a traditional face-to-face summer program.

Plus, there are many other benefits to online learning in the summer.

  • More time—frees up time in the regular school year to schedule around band, art and other electives.
  • Fulfill prerequisites—allows students to enroll in an AP class in the fall.
  • College possibilities—allows students time in their schedule to take dual-enrollment college courses during the regular school year.
  • College-bound athletes—earn credit in NCAA-accredited courses.
  • Flexibility—helps students solve scheduling conflicts.
  • Focus—small class load in the summer increases time for students to concentrate.
  • Expanded choice—expands the range of courses available to students, especially in small, rural or inner-city schools, beyond what a single school can offer.
  • Make up lost credit—credit earned in the summer makes up for credit that might not have been earned during the regular school year.
  • Personalized instruction—online teachers personalize instruction and support learners who have much more control over their pacing with online curriculum.

Students can find summer online learning programs in local districts like Brighton, Three Rivers, Hartland, DeWitt, Holt and Williamston, and at the Michigan Virtual School.

If you have questions, contact Anne Craft at

VIP Focus articles are company-sponsored advertisements and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of MASB. It’s intended to provide Very Important Partners with a space to share information of value to you and your district.

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