For gifted students with the means, Stanford offers a way to take advanced classes that prepare students for elite universities. The Online High School at Stanford (press release, PDF) is the nation's first fully accredited online high school for gifted and talented students, eSchool News reports.
The courses, all of which will be taught by certified teachers, professors, and other members of the Stanford faculty, will be delivered through a combination of real-time virtual classroom instruction, video conferencing, eMail communication, and written assignment. Courses will cover advanced concepts in mathematics, science, engineering, social studies, and English, among other subjects.
Officials say the program is intended especially for students in rural areas or overseas, as well as those who are home-schooled or whose local schools don't feature courses sophisticated enough to meet their academic abilities and interests.
Run by Stanford's Education Program for Gifted Youth, it's not a program for the disadvantaged. While cheaper than a Stanford college education, the high school runs $12,000 a year or $2,000 a course.
Apparently, schools like Stanford don't take public school Advanced Placement courses too seriously. The initiative puts Stanford's brand name on advanced high school courses that a number of top schools might be more impressed with.
"There is some disconnect between how the College Board represents these courses to students and how colleges actually view these courses," he explained. That might not be the case, however, if a high school student were to produce a diploma endorsed by the likes of Stanford, he said.