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How It Works

Choosing a course

Online Programs courses are designed to enrich and accelerate academically advanced students in the areas they show the strongest abilities.

For courses in writing, critical reading, grammar, visual fluency, or social science, students must achieve qualifying scores on the verbal portion of the appropriate above-grade level test.

For courses in math, science, or computer science and technology, students must achieve qualifying scores on the math portion of the appropriate above-grade level test. A chart based on the student's previous course work can help students choose an appropriate math course. In addition, students with qualifying math scores may take a placement test.

Students with qualifying math or verbal scores are eligible for Introduction to Chess, world languages, web design, JavaScript, forensics, music, Grammar FUNdamentals, and certain Young Readers' and Young Adult Readers' critical reading courses.

CTY Online Programs courses are offered in three different formats:

  • Individually paced,
  • Session-based, and
  • Flexi-paced.

Most courses have prerequisites listed in each course description that must be satisfied before a student can enroll.

The eligibility section has more information about how academically talented students are admitted to the program and become eligible to take courses. The fastest way for eligible students to enroll is to fill out the online application.

Once registration is complete

When a student enrolls in an Online Programs course, course materials are delivered electronically. A separate materials purchase may be required; see course descriptions for more details. Course materials may include online courseware, texts, workbooks, and even chemistry kits for doing hands-on experiments. A highly qualified CTY instructor is assigned to introduce the student to the course and provide instructions, encouragement, and guidance. Students interact extensively with their instructors using e-mail, telephone, and online virtual classrooms. Many courses also include interaction with other CTY students in virtual classroom settings.

Although many of our students have never taken a distance course before they enroll with Online Programs, they learn quickly that the courses are demanding but fun and very engaging. Working with their instructors, they dive into challenging and advanced course material appropriate to their level of ability, typically well above their grade level. For more information about what is expected of Online Programs students and the Student Code of Conduct, visit Online Programs expectations of students.

The important role of parents and guardians

Parents or guardians are vital components to a child's success. They play a key role by both seeing that work is submitted on time and encouraging regular communication with instructors to ensure that students maintain an acceptable rate of progress.

Some general tips:

  • Encourage your child to do the best work possible.
  • Help your child to understand that it may require one to two weeks to get familiar with the course format.
  • Remind your child to communicate with the instructor regularly.
  • Oversee the timely completion of assignments and exams.

First-time students may feel unsure about taking an Online Programs course. Both the nature of the program and the absence of a physical classroom may be new to students. Many initially anxious students have expressed gratitude to their parents for encouraging them to enroll. Nevertheless, no matter how enthusiastic a parent may be about the program, we do not recommend enrolling a strongly reluctant child.


Online Programs News and Deadlines