July 30, 2020 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement
At a time when online schooling has not only become a convenient option but also a necessity for some families, Liberty University Online Academy (LUOA) has been meeting the increasing demand.
The K-12 accredited academic program has seen an impressive 240 percent increase in applications since this time last summer and has projected it will surpass 12,000 students enrolled by the end of the year.
“A lot of families, in order to find some stability in these uncertain times, are coming to us and saying, ‘We want to find a quality education for our children, a place where we can plug them right in and know that they can continue to learn without disruption,’” said LUOA Dean Chris Rusk. “COVID, amongst other things, is really propelling families to find answers that are built on solid information and not government recommendations to schools, which can change weekly.”
Students are attending LUOA from all 50 states and over 36 countries.
As a product of a university that pioneered distance learning, Liberty Online Academy is known for its strong academics.
“Families who are making the switch from public school systems are amazed at how rigorous our program is,” Rusk said, adding that LUOA erases the stigma of impersonal online learning because teachers and academic advisors give personalized assistance to every student in the program. “We’re working alongside the parents, and we want to see our students succeed as much as they do.”
LUOA offers over 250 distinct K-12 classes, as well as electives such as guitar, public speaking, creative writing, and more.
Superintendent Dr. Dusty Miller said faculty not only bring their expertise into the virtual environment, but also show true compassion for their students.
“We are very proud of our in-house curriculum, but it is the extra support provided by our licensed teachers and academic advisors that set us apart from other online institutions,” he said. “Every course is led by a licensed teacher to provide academic support throughout the year. In addition to their qualifications, our support staff genuinely loves and cares for our student body, and it is our desire to produce young Champions for Christ!”
Rusk said families are drawn to the convenience of the program, which operates on a rolling enrollment schedule, with start dates every Monday (except holidays). The program offers a 10-month curriculum; families can decide to go year-round or add in their own breaks.
The flexibility of the program also allows students to work at their own pace. If they need more time, they can always relisten to the sessions as many times as they want, so they are never at risk of getting left behind like they can in a traditional classroom. Likewise, faster learners don’t have to wait for students who are behind them in levels to catch up.
“It’s very adaptable to family schedules. We have students who are athletes and travel all over for competitions. We even have students who are actors and actresses,” Rusk said. “The program also helps parents whose jobs can move them all around the country, as well as families who have children with medical conditions that make it hard to attend a traditional school. Our goal is to always help out families, to not only provide the right fit for the students, but for all family members. We partner together in the educational pursuit.”
Liberty Online Academy is also one of the top providers of dual enrollment education nationally, setting up high school students for success in college.
“No one else has the type of program we have,” Rusk said. “We have worked with Liberty University provosts to ensure that the students we are preparing are ready to step into the college classroom.”
The dual enrollment program is available to all eligible high school juniors and seniors, with an option to enroll in select college courses for both high school and college credit or the option to earn an associate degree in one of 15 disciplines from Liberty while earning their high school diploma. Courses are one-third the price of normal college online courses.
LUOA is now partnering with more than 170 schools across the globe through its affiliate program, expanding the schools’ course offerings and assisting many Christian schools that are unable to afford the cost of adding a high school option for their students.
“With many families in unchartered territory this year, LUOA is experiencing unprecedented growth,” said Aaron Marks, LUOA Director of Recruitment, Admissions, and Strategic Communications. “For those still on the fence, they should be reassured that LUOA is not new to online education. Since 2007, our team has provided a one-on-one, personalized admissions experience for each student, at a fraction of the cost of a brick-and-mortar private school. With our 30-day, risk-free, money-back guarantee, there’s never been a better time for families to enroll.”
Liberty University recently announced that its online adult education program is also experiencing record enrollment this year, hitting the milestone of 50,000 new students enrolled for the year and reaching 108,000 online students overall. (Liberty’s previous online enrollment record was 98,000 in 2014.)
“Our online numbers show that more people every year are choosing to advance their careers through an institution with a long history of providing quality online programs,” said Liberty President Jerry Falwell. “With the pandemic, more people are considering online education and they’re choosing us because they know we’ve spent 40-plus years perfecting the product.”