“Whether it be enabling me to take AP classes I otherwise couldn’t have, or helping me decide my major in college, OSSM has opened up a plethora of opportunities for me. Being from a small town, there aren’t many options for higher level STEM courses, but OSSM filled that gap for me. If you have the opportunity to take classes with OSSM, I definitely recommend trying, especially if this is your only access to college-level math and science courses, as it was for me.” – Devin L., OSSM Virtual Regional Center Student
OSSM’s Virtual Program seeks to provide the same challenging science and math coursework offered at the residential campus to students across the state of Oklahoma, enabling them to continue their lives at their home high school, while greatly expanding academic opportunities. The OSSM Virtual Program is designed specifically for students who have exhausted their science and math options at their current high school and seek more challenging coursework.
In addition to the coursework at the Virtual Program, students maintain their local high school affiliations and extracurricular activities. To ensure successful course completion, students need the support of family, local high schools and the Virtual Program faculty.
The Virtual Program is designed to provide a rigorous one- to three-year program of academic instruction for students talented in science and mathematics. Classes are held primarily online with lab days and events scheduled throughout the school year. Students attend the Virtual Program for two to four hours while remaining in their local high school for other academics, electives and extracurricular activities.
For the 2021-22 school year, we currently anticipate offering the following courses:
Option A: AP Physics C: Mechanics and AP Calculus BC (requires Algebra 2 and Physical Science or higher, Precalculus or Trig recommended)
Option B: AP Physics C: Electricity & Magnetism and Calculus III/Differential Equations (requires successful completion of Option A)
Option C: AP Statistics, AP Environmental Science and Algebra II (these courses may be offered depending on instructor availability and student interest; additionally, if courses are offered in 2021-22, students may opt to take one or two classes only).
All courses are year-round starting in August 2021. Students may attend from anywhere they can access the internet and have a computer. Students meet with instructors remotely, either from a classroom, library or even home. Additionally, students will meet with instructors in person (typically at the student’s high school or another centralized location) about once per month to work on labs or other activities.
* Note, the in-person requirement has been waived for the 2020-21 school year due to COVID-19. This waiver may continue for the 2021-22 school year, depending on local case rates, safety guidelines, parent/guardian and student comfort, etc.) Students can attend the Virtual Program up to three years by completion all options listed above.
One of the most attractive benefits of the Virtual Program is that it allows students to continue to participate in extracurricular activities at their home high schools. While many of the assignments are virtual, students must continue to complete assignments and engage with the coursework, which includes meeting with instructors at dedicated times. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the program or a failing grade.
As with OSSM’s residential program, there are no tuition, fees or book costs for students to participate in the Virtual Program. Students are responsible for costs associated with school supplies and incidental expenses related to their course work. Some of these may be met by the student’s district or other sources (such as district-provided laptop or calculator).
Admission to the Virtual Program of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics is a highly competitive process initiated by written application.
In addition to the Virtual Regional Center, OSSM operates six regional centers throughout the state of Oklahoma. These are found in Enid (Autry Tech), Okmulgee (OSU-OKC), Poteau (KTC), Stilwell (ICTC), Tahlequah (ICTC) and Wayne (Mid-America Tech).
Click here to learn more about OSSM’s Regional Centers.