Online Program Featured in National Journal

Kirkwood High School Distance Learning cited in Education Week story

An online class option offered by Kirkwood Community College recently garnered some national attention. Education Week magazine looked at the topic of “virtual schools” and online learning programs across the U.S. The Web-based and more traditional mail-delivered courses from Kirkwood were among those featured by reporter Katie Ash in her story, “E-Learning in All Shapes and Sizes.”

Operating a K-12 virtual school program though a higher education institution may be a natural fit, since colleges already have the resources and structure in place to provide student services, said Marcel Kielkucki, the coordinator of the High School Distance Learning program at Kirkwood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“Community colleges do partnerships [with K-12] for many other things, ” such as career and technical education,” he pointed out. “The High School Distance Learning program, for one, is helpful for rural districts in the state that may not have the resources to provide a vast array of courses to a small number of students,” he said.

“Because of the sheer volume of what we can purchase, we try to work with small districts,” Mr. Kielkucki said.
Securing funding to keep the program going, however, can be challenging, Kielkucki said.

“There are limited resources that everyone’s looking for at the moment,” he said, “and some educators may perceive the program as taking resources away from local districts.”

Kirkwood High School Distance Learning has partnered with nearly 200 schools across Iowa and adjacent states since 2008. The service offers more than 40 packet and 40 Web-based courses, with an average of 650 annual student enrollments.

More information on Kirkwood’s High School Distance Learning offerings is available by contacting Marcel Kielkucki at 319-366-0142 ext. 114.

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