Earning a high school diploma was something Jamie Duquette had been dreaming of for quite some time. So when the Covid-19 pandemic forced her to leave her job as a school custodian, she decided it was the perfect opportunity to focus on her education and make her dreams a reality. “I was looking into all the different high school things you can do, and it was like hundreds and hundreds of dollars… I just kept researching, and then I found VLACS,” Jamie said.

With only 3.5 credits left to earn her diploma, Jamie knew the finish line was near and reachable, so she joined the Adult Education program at the Virtual Learning Academy in March 2020. “I flew through the classes because with quarantine, I mean, it was perfect timing,” Jamie explained.

She wasn’t the only one in her household to start learning online. Her children also began their online journey when schools closed, and classroom learning became remote. “When we started, it was right at the beginning of quarantine, so I was really focused on my kid’s school because we hadn’t really done remote stuff. I just focused on their school stuff, and then I would do my stuff later on,” Jamie said.

But as they all got into the swing of things, online learning became a family activity. “For the last few months, I would just sit every morning with the kids and do my work with them,” she added.

For Jamie, VLACS has worked so well for her because she could work at her own pace, on her own time. Since VLACS uses a competency-based approach to learning, students can take as much time as they need to master the material in their course. This approach empowered Jamie to learn in a way that works best for her learning needs and style. “It’s really nice to be able to go at your own pace and kind of learn as you need to instead of having to learn it at the teacher’s pace and then having to continue on to other things and still not know what you are doing,” Jamie said.

Along with the freedom and flexibility to work in a way that suits her best, Jamie said the encouragement she received at VLACS also helped make her experience so successful. From the instructors to even the help desk, she felt the support to keep moving forward. By building positive relationships with her instructors, Jamie was able to remain focused, motivated, and on track towards her goal. When she needed help, her instructors were there for her.  “With VLACS, the teachers are so understanding. They don’t care how long it takes you to learn as long you are learning it and doing it. They are always there, whether it’s with emails or setting up a meeting. They have just been really, really great.”

When Jamie isn’t doing schoolwork, she said she loves to take her children on adventures. “We take the weekends off from schoolwork, and we go enjoy ourselves,” Jamie said.

What’s next for Jamie? She looks forward to the opportunities available to her now that she has earned her diploma. “The possibilities are endless now.”

Jamie is among several other students who choose VLACS's Adult Education program to provide a customizable, relationship-focused education. We carefully crafted our program to ensure that students have a relevant and meaningful learning experience that allows them to thrive and succeed. Whether you are looking to earn your high school diploma like Jamie, or you would like to use our program for enrichment, professional development, or career advancement, our robust and rigorous courses could be an excellent fit for you. Explore our program and attend an open house to learn more about Adult Education at VLACS!

 

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