Two MU High School Graduates Overcome Challenges to Earn Diplomas Online
Columbia, MO, June 06, 2012 —Two students a world apart will physically arrive at their high school for the very first time when they receive their diploma June 9.
Approximately 94 students earned a diploma from MU High School, and 17 of these students will attend the graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 9 at Memorial Union on the MU campus. As MU High School graduates students year-round, students graduating in fall 2011 or spring 2012 semesters are invited to attend the 2012 MU High School graduation ceremony and reception.
“The graduation ceremony is just as important for online students as it is for traditional students, and in many ways it is more meaningful,” says Kristi Smalley, principal of MU High School. “This is often the first time students will meet each other face-to-face and interact with staff and teachers.”
Attendees include Caitlin Yoder, who will leave her current home in Sri Lanka to participate in the ceremony, and LaTessa Wright, a student with a hearing disability from New Florence, Mo. While the two students have different backgrounds and challenges, they were able to graduate thanks to the flexible online course format provided by MU High School.
For Yoder, her parents have used MU High School for home-schooling, as the family is in Sri Lanka to assist with flood relief and provide help to orphanages. Yoder said courses such as health, career planning and personal development helped her solidify her decision to study nursing in college starting this fall.
“My parents and I loved having the online high school option because it allowed me to be homeschooled without putting too much stress on them,” Yoder says. “My parents have been able to be a part of my education, but still have the comfort that we can contact a teacher if there are any problems or questions.”
Wright struggled to complete her education after becoming a parent and leaving a school that serves students with hearing impairments. MU High School allowed her to watch videos with closed captioning and subtitles to earn her diploma. Wright says her favorite subject was speleology, the study of caves.
“The instructors were very patient with me,” says Wright. “I have had problems with grammar and my teachers worked extra hard to help me.”
The University of Missouri has offered high school-level independent study courses since 1913. In 1999, the university established MU High School as an accredited diploma-granting high school. Students can choose from more than 150 online courses for high school and college credit, as well as core classes, electives and languages.
For more information on MU High School, visit muhigh.missouri.edu.