MUHS classes provide different online options

infographic by Joanne Lee, source:

Joanne Lee

Online courses may soon look different to RBHS students. The University of Missouri High School has split from the Center for Distance and Independent Study to join with MU’s Department of Education, because their focus on providing pre-collegiate courses falls under the Department of Education, which has a similar pre-collegiate core.
Organizationally, MUHS functions to provide online courses to high school students. The reason for the split is that CDIS merged with MU Direct, another distance learning program, to form Mizzou Online, a program aimed at providing online university education. MUHS will continue to offer classes to high school students with little difference.

infographic by Joanne Lee, source:
“Hopefully, [students] will see little change on the surface since most of the changes are occurring organizationally behind the scenes,” principal of University of Missouri High School Kristi Smalley said. “In the long run, it should mean increased course options for students with the possibility of other funding mechanisms that may allow school districts to help fund their students’ enrollments in high school level online courses offered through the University of Missouri.”
This year, because he couldn’t fit personal finance into his schedule, senior Minsoo Soh takes it online.
He takes classes at MU during first block but doesn’t drive, so it is difficult to get back on time for second hour, forcing him to take two alternate unassigned times.
“I didn’t want to take an online course because I’m interested in accounting, which is really closely related to personal finance,” Soh said. “But I had to because it was hard for me to be on time to second block, when I originally had personal finance.”
MUHS offers courses like remedial health and physical education to supplemental Advanced Placement courses such as A.P. Computer Science and A.P. United States history. In addition to MUHS, the MU College of Education is looking at establishing a K-12 virtual school that will have semester-based courses available to Missouri schools and districts.
Another program that offers classes such as these is the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program. MOVIP, funded by the state, operates through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. However, there has been a recent change that detracts from the value of MOVIP courses.
“MOVIP’s funding has been cut drastically, and this has greatly decreased the number of enrollments that MOVIP can support to a limited number of state-funded seats for medically fragile students,” Smalley said. “Students can pay tuition for MOVIP classes as well, but MOVIP courses are more expensive and, for the most part, are coming from other providers outside the state of Missouri.”
This makes MUHS a reputable source for online high school courses. Because MUHS has been entirely self-supporting through the payment of student fees, they have operated essentially as a private school but voluntarily elect to follow Missouri’s graduation requirements, Smalley said.
Additionally, Missouri’s certified teachers are using Missouri curriculum standards develop MUHS courses, and students can work at their own pace.
“MU High offers online courses in a primarily asynchronous mode of delivery, meaning that students can enroll at any time and work at their own pace within certain parameters,” Smalley said. “In addition to offering almost 200 individual courses that students can use as transfer credit at the local high school, we also offer a regionally accredited diploma.”
Smalley said students in Missouri, the United States and those located internationally have taken courses from MUHS. In addition, recent changes to MUHS should not affect the ability of MUHS to deliver the same courses as they have in the past to RBHS students.
“Essentially, MU High School will continue to operate in the same way [as before],” Smalley said, “by providing high quality curriculum to Rock Bridge students and other Missouri students.”
By Joanne Lee