"A lot of universities are doing hybrid classes -- kind of a mix of face-to-face time and on-line time. They will have experience doing that. They will be able to discover their strengths and weaknesses in that kind of setting, and they will be able to take that with them as they go forward into their college career, and their work careers," Smyth said.
Smyth said the school saw a potential for the courses to succeed based on the methods the company uses in creating the courses to deliver consistent quality through their on-line model of teaching.
"What we like about VHS is that they have a progressive, pedagogical theory that structures the way that they build the classes, the way they train the teachers," Smyth said.
Cathedral High is participating in programs through VHS via a group of small Catholic schools called the Catholic Independent Schools, a collaborative of nine schools. While Cathedral High only places students into VHS courses, some schools provide their teachers to teach a VHS course.
Gene Ward teaches a VHS course "The Psychology of Crime" for St. Joseph Prep, a school in the same VHS collaborative as Cathedral High.
He said students who enjoy television, books or movies that delve into the psychology of criminal law will enjoy his class.
He said the VHS courses reach a teacher with all necessary materials, readings and internet resources already laid out, so teachers can roll right into the course.
Ward said he was impressed with the attention to detail his training at VHS took in preparing him to teach the course.
"Every part of what they do is well thought out, well organized, well run. They leave nothing to chance. I was just so impressed with their whole structure. Their training, which lasted 10 weeks, was amazing," he said.
Both Ward and Smyth said the courses will require nothing more than an average computer with internet access. Additional software will only be required for specialized classes such film editing.
Students participating in the courses at Cathedral High said they felt excited to participate in the classes offered through VHS.
"I'm so excited to take these on-line classes because it is going to be a new environment. I will get to learn certain skills that I didn't know I had before, so it will be awesome," said Danisha Charles, a senior at Cathedral High.
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