Submitted by Eve Wall, Online Coordinator
Note: The information in this profile represents SY2011-12 unless otherwise indicated.

School/organization overview

Name Faith Christian Academy
Type Independent or private school: Faith-based: Evangelical
Locale Suburban
Headquarters Arvada, Colorado
First year of operation Before 2000
Grades served K-12
Annual tuition $2,000
Average expense per pupil

Blended-learning program

Name Faith Christian Online Learning Program
Focus Credit recovery, General
Year launched SY2007-08
Enrollment 25
Blended grades 6-12
Blended subjects
Math, English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Science, Electives
Content Seven Star Academy, self-developed
SIS None
Independent LMS Moodle
Independent gradebook Seven Star Academy
Independent assessment  Seven Star Academy
Professional development

Program model

Program model: Self-Blend

Model description
Students can elect to enroll in online courses as supplements to their brick-and-mortar courses or as a means for credit recovery. Most courses are taught by online teachers provided by Faith Christian Academy and students can work through courses at their own pace.

Program background

History and context
Faith Christian Academy (FCA) is a private religious school that has been serving students since 1972. In 2007, FCA instituted its online-learning program to provide opportunities for home educated students and students who were struggling in the traditional school setting. Working in conjunction with Seven Star Academy, FCA has provided all students in grades 6-12 the option of taking a full course-load online or blending online courses with traditional courses.

Blended model
FCA offers online courses in partnership with Seven Star Academy to students in grades 6-12. Students can choose online courses from among Seven Star’s 200+ offerings as well as from several courses created by FCA teachers in Moodle. All courses are taught by FCA-employed online teachers, except for those in which there is no qualified teacher for a particular subject matter. Students work with academic counselors to decide if online, self-directed options are best for their learning style and to determine the best way to blend their online and face-to-face classes. Some students work on their online courses in the school computer lab, whereas others complete their work at home. All online tests must be taken on campus in the computer lab. FCA employs one online coordinator to oversee all online learning at the school. The coordinator is responsible for monitoring student progress, assisting students in the lab, and ensuring course completions and reporting.

Within each online course, there is a minimal pace chart that is organized weekly to help students keep on track to complete the course by the end of the semester. If a student desires to move faster through a course, however, she can arrange an accelerated schedule with her teacher and take tests and/or complete the course at any time. Each online teacher sets up a schedule of communication with his or her students, which includes personal emails at last once a week and phone calls as needed. Because most of the online teachers are local, students can also arrange to meet with them face-to-face.

Notable results
Administrators at FCA report that the level of engagement among students who have opted to take an online course has skyrocketed. Students are excited and energized by the flexibility that online options provide and many thrive in an environment where they can work at their own pace. The online and blended schedules have significantly helped re-engage students whose learning styles caused them to struggle in the traditional classroom. Students have been successful in earning credit through the online courses, and the number of students taking advantage of the online program has continuously grown from year to year. Additionally, because of the lower cost of online courses in comparison to face-to-face courses, the online program has allowed greater financial flexibility for students who otherwise may not have been able to remain enrolled at FCA.

On the horizon
FCA hopes to offer an even wider array of courses to its students in the future. Administrators are also hoping to incorporate dual enrollment courses to allow students to earn college credit online. Additionally, FCA would like to reach out more effectively to home-educating families and to recognize and respond more fully to students whose learning styles correspond better with online options than traditional face-to-face courses. In the future, administrators are hoping that more of the online offerings will be courses written by FCA’s own teachers. FCA seeks to continually improve the quality and enhance the effectiveness of its online offerings.


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