Note: This transcription may vary from the words used in the original video for better readability.
Next thing I want to talk about is the advantage of the Diploma program. So back to taking one, taking three or taking six [classes]. If you want to walk across our graduation stage, let's look at that one more time. Here is the graduation stage. If you want to walk across this graduation stage and you want an accredited diploma, an accredited transcript, you will need to be in our Diploma Program.
So that's an extra layer. So what will the Diploma Program offer you that just taking chemistry or calculus with us won’t?
Options Only Offered to Diploma Students
The first thing is only our diploma students have access to things like student government opportunities and student connections. Student government is self-explanatory. You can be class Vice President.
Student Connections, our monthly meetings that we have with all the diploma 10th graders and all the diploma 11th graders. You'll be with your class and they have fun little evenings. They play games. They get to know each other, all of that.
[Please see the Clubs, Community, and Student Leadership video for more about the fun extras for VSA Diploma.]
Another advantage to our diploma program is receiving an accredited transcript. This is what an accredited transcript looks like. I will be going over this in-depth in just a minute, but that, in my mind is worth everything to be in the diploma program.
Every year I help 30 or 40 students get into college, and that accredited transcript alone is worth its weight in gold. You will also get a lovely graduation. Oh, and a nice diploma. I could walk around the corner and show you my son's diploma. He's five years out. He is still displaying that on his desk.
FAQ: We’re members of ACCS, but we are not actually accredited through ACCS. We're Middle States accredited, and that is comparable when you talk about the West Coast Accreditation or other U.S. regions. Because our home office is located in Pennsylvania, we are part of the Middle States and there are different regions throughout the country. It's all tied into the same major accreditation boards and recognized from state to state as students move.
Another thing that you will be getting if you’re in diploma is grade tracking. So we as advisors, we will be keeping an eye on your student's grades. We're not going to micromanage them. We're not going to say, “Hey, Sally, don't forget you got a project due on Friday.” But what we would reach out and say is, “Hey, just checking in. I noticed Sally missed like four assignments in a row. She took zeros for those. I'm just checking in to see if all is well.” Or, “I saw that Henry didn't do so well on his recent algebra test. Maybe it's time that we look at a tutor. Can we talk a little bit more about that?” That is something that you will get being part of the diploma program.
Another thing is seminar access. We have a lot of these seminars more than once a month and they're very valuable and you get access to this, these type of seminars to be educated and to learn more.
So for like next week, next Tuesday night, we're having a senior only meeting where we as advisors are rolling out to our seniors everything they need to have on their radar in August and September to get the ball rolling if they want to be applying to colleges.
I think probably the biggest thing other than the accredited transcript is you will have an expert advisor who has your back.
This is not a fabricated testimonial. This is something I got six days ago from one of my families. Her name is Sharon. “Thank you, Susan, for always being there for us. You are one of the reasons I have stuck with homeschooling, knowing that you are just an email away with good advice when I have needed it. Many blessings to you and yours.”
Shout out to Sharon. I get these emails at least every three days. Something to this effect, that I have your back, and I will help you along. There are about ten of us who do this same job as academic advisors. I would say all of us are experts, and all of us will have your back. So that is worth in my mind paying for the diploma fee.
So way back when, before I even had this job, even though I knew quite a bit, I mean, I was an educator, I brought in a lot of knowledge. I still had my kids in the diploma program and I had an advisor who helped me choose my kid's classes, make sure they were on the right track, etc.
Assurance You’re Doing Enough
The next one is assurance that you are doing enough. Let's get a shout-out in the chat box for how many sleepless nights we have all done. Whether you're a mom or dad because you're concerned you are not doing enough. This is where your advisor will come in and say, “I've got you. You are doing enough, and I am double-checking your student has enough credits to graduate. I'm double-checking they have the right courses!”
The last thing is you're going to get hand-holding if you want it. Great. If you don't want it, fine. But you're going to get it. If you want it for college, for the college process. Like do you know how to fill out of FAFSA?
Trust me, you have to have a Master's degree almost just to fill out those things. How to do recommendation letters, dual enrollment, all of that. So that is the advantage of the Diploma Program. And towards the end here, if you want to be thinking about the Diploma Program, will put a link. And I think actually, Dion, I see she put a link in. So that's two messages ago where to jump at the Diploma Program information. And this in my mind is where to start.
You can go take chemistry with us or calc. great. But if you want that hand-holding with an expert, the diploma program is where it's at. And we even have some students. I mean, you do have to pay, obviously, for the Diploma Program. If money's tight, maybe they drop out for a year and then come back to us just for our expert advice so we can assure them that they are on the right track.