ASU Preparatory Academy is a group of Phoenix-based K-12 charter schools affording students an optimum learning experience with the ultimate goal of college readiness and graduation. Last year, they took their mission a step further and gave juniors and seniors the option of enrolling in Global Freshman Academy (GFA), a set of freshman level courses offered through Arizona State University and offered through the edX platform. This allowed students to take college level courses with the option of converting for college credit at a very reduced cost.
Minerva Cardenas and Brooke Seifert, Academic Advisors at ASU Prep, work closely with students completing the GFA coursework. They love being able to offer a low-risk option that allows students to transition into college level coursework. Minerva tries to encourage as many students as possible to enroll in the courses offered.
“GFA provides them with a very simple and smooth transition into the college experience by building college credits and helping them understand what will be required of them academically, as well as what resources are available.”
Since there are no AP or dual-credit classes at ASU Prep, both advisors find that students and parents are extremely excited about this opportunity. Last year, some students were nervous about taking on a college level class but quickly learned that with a bit of guidance and organization, the courses were completely manageable, and even complimented their high school classes.
Brooke believes “the fact that it was rigorous and kept them engaged and challenged just increased their sense of success as they completed the course.”
The advisors assist in promoting and getting students set up and comfortable with the GFA courses and software and then students are assigned an independent study, to have time for GFA coursework during school hours.
Even students that don’t have plans to attend a university after high school would benefit from enrolling in GFA coursework.
“A handful of students may be starting at community college, or trade school, but having the opportunity to witness what a college class is and where they are headed (hybrid and online), gives them experience and a skill set to be successful in any program after high school. These courses taught self-reliance and resiliency, which as a campus we are trying to really increase in all of our students,” offers Minerva.
Minerva and Brooke agree that their favorite part of assisting students through GFA coursework is seeing the students succeed and that sense of accomplishment for having completed their first college level course. They were especially proud last year when graduating seniors transferred their college credit from GFA to their new universities.
Moving forward, ASU Prep hopes to bring GFA offerings to more students, especially underclassmen and bring more information to parents about this opportunity. Starting this fall, students taking higher level English will automatically be enrolled in the GFA English Composition course, and use other GFA courses as electives. They also hope to bring back ASU Prep Alum to talk with current students about how Global Freshman Academy assisted them on their path to higher education.
We look forward to the success of Global Freshman Academy and ASU Preparatory Academy Students!
Global Freshman Academy is an alternative start to higher education. Students can enroll on the EdX platform and take freshman level courses taught by ASU faculty and only pay once they pass the course. This allows learners to to earn university credit as simply as possible and without any barriers.