SOURCE: The Virtual High School

Arnold Communications

June 09, 2015 16:23 ET

The Center for Translational Science Education & The Virtual High School Collaborate to Bring Great Diseases Curriculum Online for the First Time

Summer Online Course for Middle & High School Students to Help Improve Health Literacy & Grow Health Sciences Workforce

MAYNARD, MA--(Marketwired - June 09, 2015) - The Virtual High School (VHS) (http://www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org), a non-profit empowering schools with the industry's best online learning programs, and the Center for Translational Science Education (CTSE) at Tufts University School of Medicine (http://sites.tufts.edu/ctse/), which brings the science behind health and disease into the high school classroom, today announced the two organizations are collaborating to bring a portion of the Great Diseases Project curriculum to middle and high school students worldwide. Beginning on June 22, students all over the globe will be able to take CTSE's Neurological Disorders course, being offered for the first time with VHS teachers.

"We are excited to be collaborating with the Center for Translational Science Education at Tufts to adapt CTSE's Neurological Disorders course to reach more students and improve health literacy," said Jeffrey A. Elliott, President & CEO of VHS. "Together with CTSE, we want to do our part to help provide students the skills they need to effectively manage their health in the 21st century through content that is engaging and meaningful."

Great Diseases: Neurological Disorders, a new 4-week online course being offered by The Virtual High School (VHS), incorporates the CTSE curriculum designed by scientists, educational researchers and teachers. Great Diseases: Neurological Disorders focuses on how the brain works and how diseases and the choices one makes can alter the brain. Students explore how their brains sense and interpret the environment, uncover the molecular details of neuronal transmission, visualize how diseases like epilepsy, Alzheimer's and addiction impact the brain and consider how factors such as sleep and pain affect brain function.

Like all VHS educational offerings, this Great Diseases course is designed to inspire, ignite and enhance learning as well as enable students to develop independent learning skills, participate in global classrooms and explore college majors and careers. Limited to just 25 students, the course will be taught by a qualified and trained VHS teacher who also has extensive experience developing and implementing CTSE's Great Diseases curriculum.

Developed by faculty at Tufts University School of Medicine in collaboration with high school science teachers, CTSE's Great Diseases Project modular curriculum facilitates student learning of science by engaging them with content that connects to their lives. By supporting teachers and by involving students in authentic science practice, the courses promote students' health literacy and self-efficacy in scientific problem-solving, skill sets required for health management and the biomedical and health sciences workforce.

About 230 teachers and more than 10,000 students have benefited from free CTSE courses, but some schools don't have the setting or resources to accommodate an elective biology course. The new online offering from VHS provides students with direct access to this material.

"This collaboration with VHS will provide more students access to this life-relevant health science learning, especially those in rural areas where the full in-person curriculum isn't an option. Importantly, it offers online learning with high quality teacher instruction that builds student community," said Berri Jacque, Research Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the CTSE at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Great Diseases: Neurological Disordersis one of 27 online courses being offered this summer by The Virtual High School. Two 4-week sessions are available starting on either June 22 or July 20. To enroll or for more information, go to http://thevhscollaborative.org/course-offerings/summer-school.

About The Virtual High School

The Virtual High School is an online learning pioneer. Since 1995, the non-profit organization has been setting the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development in 21st century teaching for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development, individualized course offerings, and support for blended learning initiatives.

VHS' design and delivery standards was the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association's (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices.

For more information, visit www.TheVirtualHighSchool.org or call (978) 897-1900.

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