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From the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, shared July 14:

Last school year, 32,349 students enrolled in 40,932 virtual courses through the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) – a 20 percent increase over the previous year’s enrollment.

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“The NCVPS offers students the opportunity to take classes they may not have been able to otherwise,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “We’re thrilled that increasing numbers of students are taking advantage of this program and know that they will be better positioned after high school graduation as a result.”

The 2010 Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning listed the NCVPS as the nation’s second largest virtual school in terms of enrollment. The demand for online classes continues as districts seek ways to solve scheduling conflicts and space issues while expanding course offerings during difficult economic times.

The NCVPS has a number of programs students can take advantage of such as its Credit Recovery Program, which enables students to retake courses they initially failed in order to earn credit toward graduation. NCVPS also offers high-level honors and Advanced Placement courses and unique elective courses such as Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture, Visual Journaling and Medieval Studies. Another popular option for students through the NCVPS is the SAT Prep course.

The NCVPS offered its first online courses in June 2007. It was established by the E-Learning Commission, an organization created by the Business Education Technology Alliance (BETA) under the leadership of then-Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue. BETA was formed by the General Assembly to ensure that technology was effectively incorporated into North Carolina’s public schools for the purpose of preparing a globally competitive workforce and citizenry for the 21st century.

For more information on the NCVPS, please visit

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 100 charter schools serving over 1.4 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state’s public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

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Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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