Credit Flexibility is a new requirement from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) that was approved by the Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education in January 2010. It allows for students to earn high school course credits through a pre-approved educational plan or a student created educational plan of their own. Olentangy Local Schools has a history of supporting various student-learning plans. Credit Flexibility simply formalizes this long-standing belief into a process that is supported by ODE.
While Credit Flexibility does create many great opportunities, it also generates questions. Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions with answers to help everyone better understand this new educational option.
What is credit flexibility?
Credit Flexibility is new way for students to earn high school credit through coursework, assessment and/or performance. Students must apply for Credit Flexibility and select either a pre-approved plan or design a curriculum model themselves.
Is approval of a Credit Flexibility plan required?
Yes. While a student has a great deal of opportunity when it comes to creating a course credit model, the plan must be submitted in advance to the school office for review and possible approval by the principal or their designee.
Who initiates the Credit Flexibility request?
The student initiates a request to take a course and/or earn a high school credit via the Credit Flexibility option. The Application for Credit Flexibility form is available through the district’s website or from a guidance counselor. The student develops the plan and submits it to the school office for review by the due date. The student will be notified regarding approval status.
What are pre-approved Credit Flexibility courses?
Olentangy Local Schools offers three courses that include a pre-approved Credit Flexibility plan. This means that requirements to earn this credit outside of the normal class time have already been created. If a student completes these substitute requirements, then they earn the credit. While additional pre-approved Credit Flexibility plans will be available in the future, the district currently offers Art I.
Can a Credit Flexibility plan be changed once it is agreed upon?
Yes. If conditions change once the plan is approved, then the school, in accord with the student and parent, may modify the terms of the original plan.
Can Credit Flexibility be used to earn a credit for a course not offered by Olentangy Local Schools?
Yes. Through this option, the student would create their own educational plan that includes rigorous academic content and measurable assessments to demonstrate mastery of the course.
If a student requests to use Credit Flexibility to earn a credit for a course not offered by Olentangy Local Schools, whose responsibility is it to find the course of study or educational program that supports that academic credit?
The student requesting Credit Flexibility is responsible for locating and/or identifying a mutually acceptable course of study or educational program not offered by the district to earn a desired credit.
May an online course taught by another organization be used for Credit Flexibility credit?
Yes. The student must still complete the application and include the course syllabus from the online provider. If the application is approved then the student may complete the course and earn the appropriate credit. If the online course has any fees or costs, then the student and their family are responsible for those financial obligations.
How does credit earned through Credit Flexibility impact my transcript and grade point average? What about athletic eligibility and the NCAA?
Approved credit awarded through Credit Flexibility will be posted on the student’s transcript and count towards a student’s grade point average (GPA), class rank and as graduation credit in the related subject areas or as an elective. Credit Flexibility may impact a student’s athletic eligibility just as any course taken under the traditional model. However, the NCAA currently does not accept course credit taken as a Credit Flexibility option.
If a student completes a Credit Flexibility plan for an Olentangy course that includes a fee, are they required to pay the fee?
Fees for courses taught by Olentangy Local Schools are for specific items used in the classroom such as workbooks or lab equipment. Since the student will not be using these materials through their Credit Flexibility plan, then they do not pay this fee. However the student is also responsible for supplying all materials used in their plan.