Humphreys Garrison takes lead role in virtual education
August 20, 2009
- DoDEA Virtual School Program opening at USAG Humphreys, Korea
- Offers higher-level courses to high school students
- One of three planned Virtual Schools
- Program will be in the new Humphreys Education Center
HUMPHREYS GARRISON - American high school students in Korea will be able to take classes through any computer beginning Aug. 31thanks to the virtual school program the Department of Defense Education Activity set up here.
The DoDEA Virtual School program is in the new Humphreys Education Center and provides supplemental courses to students attending USKF traditional schools.
DoDEA created the Virtual School program to deliver coursework to students worldwide and to provide synchronous instructional support via a virtual hub which places teachers in geographic locations closer to students.
"All USFK students attending Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Republic of Korea will be eligible to take classes, but since there are a finite number of seats available, enrollments are based on established priorities," said Cynthia Flagg, DoDDS-Korea Transformation Specialist. "For example, if a course is needed for graduation by a 12th grade student, that is a high priority. Students in very small high schools are also given priority; 11th grade students have priority over 9th grade students, etc."
There will be 37 courses available through the DoDEA Virtual School Program. DoDEA Virtual School teachers will teach 13 of the courses; 24 courses will be available through a DoDEA contracted vendor. Most of the 13 courses are offered by teachers in the European hub. Eventually, courses will also be taught from a domestic hub. The following semester-long courses will be taught using the DoDEA Virtual School teachers:
Advanced Placement Calculus AB; AP Calculus BC; AP Computer Science; AP English Literature; AP German; AP Physics B; AP US History; Economics; Health Education; Humanities; JAVA I; JAVA II; and Marine Biology.
Flagg said all core courses will be developed that are needed for graduation, plus many elective and advanced placement courses to provide a comprehensive program of study.
"Initially, the DoDEA Virtual School will serve only grades 9 thru 12. There are tentative plans to expand to middle school grades and eventually to elementary school grades," she said.
Flagg anticipates the Virtual School will have an enrollment very close to current distance learning enrollment numbers, about 25 students in Korea.
"There are more students enrolled in DoDEA's Virtual School in other DoDEA-Pacific locations, all DoDEA-Europe locations and in DoDEA's domestic schools," said Flagg. "The major goals of the DoDEA virtual hubs are to provide a fully accredited virtual school program to meet the graduation requirements and address supplemental course needs of eligible students. This will address the educational needs of military dependent students in transition and ensure students have access to a quality DoDEA educational experience, regardless of location or circumstance."
As a result of the Yongsan Relocation Program, the student population end-state at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys will expand to almost 11,000 students. This is the most logical place to position the virtual hub in the Pacific, said Flagg.
According to the web site, www.dodea.edu, DoDEA's mission is to plan direct, coordinate and manage education programs for eligible dependents of U.S. military personnel and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense.
DoDEA plans to have three virtual school hubs. By Aug. 31, there will be operational virtual school hubs in Wiesbaden, Germany and here. DoDEA plans to open third virtual hub the United States.