Face it: When it comes to education, student athletes have unique needs. And if your child is a student athlete, you’re under added stress to find a learning environment that helps them excel.
Now, as student athletes experience the benefits of online learning, they’re racing into online schools.
In this article, we discuss why student athletes are turning to online school and how to pick the right school for your student athlete.
What Makes Student Athletes Unique?
Wondering what makes a student athlete’s situation special? Here are a few challenges student athletes face in a traditional classroom setting:
A student athlete’s day is packed with practice, games, and training in addition to in-class work. In fact, student athletes’ schedules are so crammed that they have inspired several traditional schools across the nation to push back their start times. Unfortunately, even if the first bell rings later than usual, student athletes still face a packed day that’s hard to manage on top of the rigid hours of traditional, in-person school.
If student athletes don’t get the sleep they need, it can hurt their performance on the field and in the classroom. Alarmingly, most student athletes aren’t getting enough sleep. In one study, 68 percent of student athletes reported poor sleep quality. Because they often face late games and early school hours in the traditional school setting, it’s easy for responsibilities to cut into valuable sack time.
Heavy Training Demands
Student athletes who want to excel often need to spend even more time training on their own. That means there’s pressure to squeeze in extra training in between class, practice, and events.
A Need for Additional Support
Many student athletes want to continue their sport after high school. However, of the nearly 8 million high school students who participate in sports each year, fewer than 7 percent go on to play for an NCAA school. That’s because excelling on and off the field at a high level calls for extra support and attention that most student athletes simply aren’t getting.
Why Are Student Athletes Choosing Online School?
Student athletes are now pouring into online schools to rise above the challenges they face in traditional schools. Here are some reasons we’re seeing so many student athletes pick up online learning.
In online school, students have the flexibility to manage their schedule in a way that aligns with their goals. They can also learn from anywhere. That means they don’t need to rush home from road trips or sacrifice sleep preparing for early start times.
Advanced online programs include personalized, self-paced learning that adapts to students’ learning needs. That makes it easier for student athletes to catch up if they’re behind or jump ahead during the offseason.
More One-on-One Learning
The best online schools will feature small classes, targeted instruction, and one-on-one support. That means student athletes aren’t just another face in a classroom. All of those advantages add up to more focused learning and provide the attention that’s needed to qualify student athletes for college.
Clearer Graduation Tracks
With advanced technology, counselors and advisors can now access simpler tools for graduation planning. Online schools make it easier for counselors to see student information, identify college requirements, and chart a clear course to post-secondary opportunities.
How to Choose an Online School for Student Athletes
With so many advantages for student athletes baked into online schools, it’s no wonder they’re rushing to learn online. However, not all online schools are set up to deliver the education student athletes need.
If you’re a parent tasked with choosing an online school for your student athlete, make sure the school has these important components first:
1. Credible Curriculum and School Quality
With so many online schools popping up, it’s critical that you choose a school that has high quality standards. How? Look for a few key indications that the online school is credible:
- The school should have full accreditation from a reputable body
- Coursework should be approved by the NCAA
- Curriculum should align with UC A-G standards
2. Student Athlete Support Structures
It’s no secret that many schools have been forced to pick up online learning on the fly. But if your students have to teach instructors how to use technology, it will only add to their daily pressures. Here’s how to recognize if an online school is set up to provide the support students need:
- It should be staffed with distance learning experts
- It should provide direction from former athletes and advisors
- It should supply counselors and instructors with advanced graduation planning tools
3. Engaging Coursework and Advanced Technology
When a student moves to an online school, it’s important that coursework holds their attention and keeps them engaged.
Beyond sparking engagement, the school’s leaders need to have the tools to analyze classroom performance, pinpoint your learner’s needs, and steer your child in the right direction. That means they should use an online learning system that features built-in analytics and easy access to graduation information.
Start Learning with Method Schools
Looking for an online school built to help your student athlete excel? Method Schools is designed to support student athletes. Here’s more about Method:
- We offer free online public charter school education.
- We’re fully accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
- We offer NCAA-approved coursework.
- Our curriculum is aligned with the UC A-G system.
- We’re staffed with distance learning experts.
- Our support team includes former athletes and provides additional resources for student athletes.
Ready to start driving results on and off the field? Learn more about how Method Schools can help your student reach their dreams.