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Case Study: Pinnacle Online High School Part 1

Updated on December 19, 2011

I've decided to do a Case Study on Pinnacle Online High School for a couple of reasons.

1.) My son needs wants to take some extra high school courses to finish early if possible

2.) To really see how the online high schools operate

It's going to take me a couple of days to get it all together but Part 1, which I am writing today is going to give you the information about the school and Part 2 is going to unveil my results and how everything played out.

What is Pinnacle?

Pinnacle is an Online High School based in Arizona. They also have ground campuses in which students can attend as well. Residents of Arizona can attend pinnacle FREE of charge, but out of state high-schoolers must pay $279 per course (at the time of writing), books and materials are included in tuition.

Who can attend Pinnacle?

Pinnacle Online High School (POHS) is open to everyone. Students can even take dual enrollment courses, which are college credit courses - POHS has partnered with Grand Canyon University (GCU) to be able to offer these courses. Your High Schooler can get a head-start on earning college credits. These courses start at $210 in-state and varies for out-of-state residents.

How does the online program work?

There are several options available to students. Students can be considered Full Time Virtual or Concurrent Enrollment.

Full-Time Virtual Enrollment

Students can take up to 4 courses at a time. The courses last for 12 weeks and studens should at least spend 2 hours per day on school work.

Student can choose which classes they want to take via the course catalog. Books are included

Concurrent Enrollment

This allows students to stay enrolled in their current high schools, but take online courses to make-up any missing credits or even to allow them to earn the credits they need to graduate with faster.

Students have the option to enroll at any time of the year to help get those credits.

NCAA Approved Online - Student Athletes

This program can also be great for student athletes because POHS is one of the few online high schools in the country that has NCAA approved courses, so student athletes can maintain their eligibility. They have more information about this on their website if you have a student athlete.

What are the requirements?

There are Admissions Requirements and Computer Requirements

The requirements were impressive. Students do need to be between the ages of 14-22 to enroll into POHS. If you are a resident of Arizona you will need to supply proof to get the Arizona residential discount.

The main things that you will is space and Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.Pinnacle does allow you to use openoffice.org if you don't have the Microsoft Office. You can get a complete list of Pinnacles Computer requirements here.

Overall the information that they supply on the surface looks good and promising, but I need to check on accreditation.

Accreditation Findings

Okay, here is the summary of what I have found. Pinnacle is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, a division of AdvancEd (NCA/CASI) - which is recognized by the US Department of Education.

If you haven't yet read my hub on The Truth About College Transfer Credits now would be a great time, the rules behind transfer credits work the same. It's good news to hear that Pinnacle (POHS) is accredited and it's honored by the US Dept. of Education, but it is up to the "High School" that my son is attending if they will accept the credits from Pinnacle.

This might not be an issue if your child isn't going to be doing a concurrent enrollment. You might also want to check with the local state university to see if they will honor credits too before allowing your child to obtain a high school diploma from Pinnacle.

After the thorough research I have conducted in regards to this school. I would be surprised if they don't honor the transfer of credits from Pinnacle. We shall see in Part 2.

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