High school learners lead the charge in their education by setting goals, working independently and exploring potential career and college options.
High school students at Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA) lead the charge in their education by setting goals, working independently and exploring potential career and college options.
Our cyber high school serves students in grades 9-12. CCA’s high school curriculum is designed to guide each student into a successful future – whether they choose to attend college or a technical school, enter the military or workforce after graduation. From a high school student’s initial cyber school enrollment, CCA is invested in helping Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Harrisburg and all Pennsylvania students pursue their dreams and find success.
High school students continue to work with learning coaches and guidance counselors to develop a personalized plan to help them meet their goals after graduation. At our cyber charter school, students use technology to participate in a live, virtual classroom environment where they can interact with their peers and teachers more independently. They use the learning management system to turn in assignments and build a student portfolio.
At CCA, the focus is not just on graduation, but life after graduation. We strive to make sure students leave school with the skills to become leaders who can positively contribute to Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and all PA communities.
More course options available for CCA cyber students
Math, science, English and social studies continue to form the core virtual curriculum, approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center. However, high school students are offered a wide variety of courses, electives, activities, and conservatory opportunities, allowing them to explore a variety of career options. A virtual special education option is available for high school students as well.
In our online setting, high school students have many more elective course options compared to the oftentimes limited choices at other schools. Students can take elective courses in areas they are interested in, such as:
- Foreign languages options: Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Sign Language.
- Business options: accounting, administrative duties and office management, marketing, management.
- Career and technology options: digital technology, engineering design, game design, astronomy, journalism, web design, anatomy, art history and many more.
Students also can explore their passions in CCA's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and Arts and Humanities conservatory programs. Students in conservatories participate in hands-on activities, workshops, lectures from professionals in the field and job shadow opportunities in areas of their career interests. These unique programs provide group experiences around the state and work with students to provide personalized internships.
Because our cyber high school students can work at their own pace, we offer many honors and AP courses for students looking for more rigorous academic opportunities, such as:
- AP Art History
- AP Computer Science A
- AP Computer Science B
- AP Human Geography
- AP Macro Economics
- AP Micro Economics
For high school students who aim to go to college, AP courses can be an opportunity for them to earn credits toward their degree. We also allow high school students to take college courses while still in high school through our dual enrollment program.
Our cyber charter school acknowledges that no student is the same, and no student learns the same way. Some students excel in certain areas and struggle with others. For some, school comes easy and for others, it takes a little more time to tackle. Because of this, CCA offers students the opportunity to learn between the school year with our online summer school program. The online summer programs are a great way to explore electives, get ahead with additional courses or to catch up on credits.
Life beyond graduation
For the teachers and staff at CCA that are dedicated to helping high school students succeed, graduation is not the end result. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
Keeping a student’s life after high school graduation is the focus of our online education, CCA provides in-depth support to ensure parents and students understand the graduation requirements and are well-prepared for life beyond high school.
At CCA, college- and career-planning classes start engaging students in conversations about the future in eighth grade. In high school, the curriculum shifts each year to meet students where they are, beginning with introducing them to different career paths and having them take interest surveys to match them with potential fields. These surveys are repeated each year to encourage students to consider a variety of ideas and to reinforce the need to start thinking about the future. By senior year, students are turning concept into practice. Students who are undecided about their future can follow both tracks.
When students reach 12th grade, the curriculum splits into two paths: college and career. Students have the option to select the course that best meets their plans and receive the information most relevant to their path.
Students who opt for the college track receive guidance related to identifying schools and majors, applying to college, understanding financial aid and organizing their time effectively.
The career track includes education about workplace norms and expectations, and training to develop skills with interviewing, applying for jobs and writing resumes and cover letters.
CCA’s STEM and Arts and Humanities conservatories take career readiness a step further by coordinating job-shadowing and internship opportunities. At CCA, we help high school students find internship opportunities in their fields of interest and encourage them to get experience in high school – giving them a head start compared to students at other schools who may not get an internship until college or after graduation.
In addition to a large number of online college tours and various in-person college tours, CCA coordinates with college admissions counselors to come into our family service centers around the state.
To prepare PA high school students – whether they are in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg or elsewhere in the state – for real-world situations, CCA also requires every student to take a personal finance class, a course that most other schools do not have available, let alone set it as a requirement.
Cyber school graduation and requirements
CCA ensures graduating seniors are well-prepared for the transition from high school to becoming productive community members, Certified guidance counselors at CCA work with each student to help them plan for life after graduation.
CCA holds in-person graduation ceremonies across the state so parents can still see the monumental moment when their children walk across the stage in their cap and gown and receive their diploma. Although our high school students take classes online, we still believe their hard work and success should be celebrated with a ceremony and celebration filled with music, food and family photo opportunities.
CCA high school students must successfully earn a minimum of 21 credits to graduate. Students also will complete a graduation project, build a student portfolio and meet state testing requirements. A typical course load is six classes per semester.
CCA high school students must obtain the following course credits to graduate:
- Language arts: 4 credits
- Math: 3 credits (including Algebra and Geometry)
- Science: 3 credits (including Biology and Physical Science)
- Social studies: 3 credits (including U.S. History and Government)
- Physical education: 1 credit
- Health: 1 credit
- Technology: 1 credit
- Humanities: 2 credits
Additional credits of electives are required and these courses allow students to explore their areas of interest.