CCA thinks differently about education. CCA believes learning is different from studying, and for that reason, children are called “learners” instead of “students.” The focus is finding the keys to unlock your child’s passion for true learning in the areas of greatest interest.
CCA strives to help learners gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to become productive, happy members of their communities as adults.
CCA prepares learners to enjoy success in school, land great jobs in their field of choice, and give back to the communities in which they live, work, and play.
The goal is for CCA graduates to become the leaders of tomorrow — and contribute to society’s betterment.
The History of CCA
The history of virtual charter schools tells an interesting story. While cyber school may sound like an especially modern institution, the idea of distance learning has origins in the 19th century. Improvements in the United States Postal Service helped correspondence colleges catch on at this time, and cross-country communication became more efficient than ever. At these colleges, instructional materials were distributed through the mail between professors and students, making learning possible even over great distances.
With the advent of the internet in the late 20th century, distance learning became significantly more efficient — communication was near-instantaneous, allowing students and teachers to operate almost synchronously. At the same time, web developers began to create websites and software designed specifically for education, making it easier than ever to access course materials.
Over the last two decades, the power of individual computers has increased 10,000 times over, without substantial boosts in power usage or cost. The room-sized computers of the past have become handheld tablets that fit easily into our backpacks and purses. Most of us have tiny computers in our pockets in the form of smartphones. Through harnessing that incredible power for education, cyber schools bring greater flexibility and access to schooling.
Since 2003, CCA has led the way in virtual education for Pennsylvania families. The idea of CCA came from seeing students being taught the same information at the same time, regardless of interest or capacity, which prompted the founding trustees to rethink the mission of education.
CCA’s approach to education is to meet kids where they are and personalize the learning process. Rather than expecting all students to learn the same material at the same time at the same rate, CCA assesses each students’ individual educational needs. By incorporating career-mindedness into elementary and secondary education, CCA strives to foster our learner’s interests and passions right from the start.
Using the power of the internet and advanced computer software, CCA can personalize each student’s curriculum to their individual needs. Here, students learn at their own pace with the freedom to progress faster in subjects they love — or spend more time on subjects they haven’t yet grasped.
Those who attend CCA enjoy future success due to the freedom to focus on their passions. Our success stories tell of students who are able to balance their education with their passion for interests like wildlife biology, music, and volunteer work. Many turn their extracurricular activities into future job paths and goals.
As an established trailblazer, CCA continues to adopt and develop advanced virtual education practices. All of our teachers receive specialized training in the most current remote learning practices so our students receive the best education possible.
CCA offers learners a personalized approach to education to help them succeed in school and in life. CCA teachers work with families to create a personalized learning path for each student, taking their strengths and interests into account. Mistakes are a central aspect of learning, which is why CCA allows students to try new things in a safe environment.
CCA educates learners to become the leaders of tomorrow by providing a strong foundation for success. All students take responsibility for their own learning at CCA, and can even enter a career-readiness program to explore different career opportunities that match their interests and skills. Additionally, CCA provides opportunities for the gifted and students with special needs.
CCA student life is about more than just academics — we approach education holistically, which means accounting for the social and developmental needs of students at every level. Through club meetings, sports activities, and field trips, learners and their families have opportunities to connect with each other. With the flexibility CCA offers, students can engage in their passions and even travel without missing out on their education.
CCA students’ family members are a vital part of the education process by supporting, motivating, and monitoring their child’s progress. CCA believes students thrive when parents and instructors come together to create a strong partnership. That’s why we provide a multitude of resources for families to foster their learner’s success, including:
- Family Service Centers: With Family Service Centers around the state, CCA provides physical locations as a resource for learners and families. CCA teachers conduct lessons from the centers, and parents are welcome to stop by for in-person assistance, meetings, and events.
- Family mentors: New families enrolled at CCA receive a family mentor, who’s a veteran CCA parent, to help them learn the ropes of cyber school.
- Multiple communication channels: Families will always have a way to access course content and communicate with our innovative edio (Education for Individualized Outcomes) software. This gives parents, teachers, and students alike the ability to see their progress and make the learning process go as smoothly as possible.
Teachers and Staff
CCA teachers are state-certified and specially trained in virtual education. Every teacher knows how important it is to foster student growth and development. While many think online learning creates distance between students and teachers, CCA students and families form strong connections with their teachers.
CCA teachers conduct their activities from our Family Service Centers, using the best available technology to craft an engaging and exciting curriculum for each student. With the time and flexibility to get to know students’ learning styles and interests, CCA teachers make personalized learning plans that match individual students’ needs.
CCA also has a team of full-time licensed, certified school counselors available to help students set goals, schedule their courses, and provide assistance with personal, social, and career development.
Thomas Longenecker — President and CEO
CCA’s President and CEO, Thomas Longenecker, has been a part of CCA’s administration since 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Shippensburg University and a master’s in educational leadership from Wilkes University. With over 25 years of experience in school operations and even more in education, Mr. Longenecker heads our team of more than 1,400 professionals helping over 22,000 K-12 students in Pennsylvania.
CCA administrators are dedicated educators who know how to think differently about education and strive to meet the unique needs of each CCA family. The CCA board of trustees is an independent governing body that supports innovation in education. All board of trustee meetings are open to the public.
Approach Education Differently With CCA
Now that you know about CCA’s cyber school history and our learners, teachers, and leaders, check out more resources that can help you decide if CCA is right for your family. Read our FAQ page to learn more about CCA, download our program guide, or fill out a short form to request more information.