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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click on a category for information about the Mesa Distance Learning Program

General Information

Course Delivery

Curriculum Information

Course Credits

General Information

What is distance learning?
Distance learning is a form of education that focuses on independent study and individualized instruction for students. Distance learning students are not in a physical classroom, rather they attend school using such means as the Internet, correspondence, television, or by some other avenue. MDLP is a computer-based online learning program. Students submit course work and communicate with teachers online.

Who is a good candidate for distance learning?
Average to above average students who are motivated to learn are good candidates for distance learning. Distance learning courses are very demanding and are developed to deliver 18 weeks of instruction. MDLP is not suited for credit recovery.

What can I do to keep safe while taking online courses over the internet?
Mesa Public Schools: EdTech has a collection of internet safety videos available to view. They cover topics such as cyberbullying, digital footprints, protecting personal information and site awareness.

Click Here for Kids K-6
Click Here for Teens 7-12
Click Here for Parents and Educators

How do I register for courses?
First decide which courses the student will be taking. Students currently enrolled in a Mesa Public School will need to seek advisement from their school counselor before registering with MDLP. The counselor or other designee will submit the online dual enrollment form to the MDLP office. Students currently enrolled in other districts should receive advisement from their home school counselor before choosing MDLP courses. This will help to ensure that all students are enrolled in courses that apply toward graduation requirements at their school. After advisement, part-time students need to complete the online registration form.

Full-time MDLP students should complete the online registration form. After completing the online registration form, a counselor is available to review transcripts and advise full-time MDLP students and their parents about course selection as it applies to graduation requirements. In order to expedite the registration process, full-time students may want to contact the student's former school and have transcripts and high school AIMS scores sent to MDLP before registering. Transcripts may be faxed to 480-472-0887. Transcripts are not required for part-time MDLP students.

How many online courses can I take?
Full-time high school students should take at least four courses. Full-time junior high (grades 7-8) should take at least six courses.

What do I need to know about attendance for full-time distance learning students?
Parents can ensure that students log a minimum of five hours per week per course. That means a full-time distance learning student who is taking four courses should be logging a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Student attendance (shown in the timesheet calendar) is automatically updated at midnight, reflecting the previous day's work. Because automatic attendance entries use the time a student is logged in, the timesheet calendar does not reflect time spent working offline (reading, studying, doing lab work, bowling, etc.). Offline time may be added by selecting the date and time (use the arrows) in the timesheet calendar then clicking the 'Send' button. Parents of full-time distance learning students are asked to confirm attendance each week by clicking on a link in their Progress Report e-mail.

Parents may continue to monitor student attendance through the Parent page or through Monday progress reports. For more information, click on the 'Learn More' button in the timesheet calendar.

Is MDLP a home school?
Home school students are welcome to enroll in our courses and usually qualify for free classes. Once enrolled in MDLP, full-time distance learning students are part of Mesa Public Schools and are required to take mandated state tests such as AIMS or Terra Nova in order to receive free classes. Students can take courses from MDLP while being home schooled.

What if I already attend high school full-time?
If you attend school full-time, you may register as a dual enrolled student. Dual enrolled students need to see their home school counselor for advisement before selecting distance learning courses. MPS counselors will advise dual enrolled students and help them select appropriate courses. They will then complete the online dual enrollment form. This form must be sent to the MDLP registrar BEFORE Mesa Public School students submit the MDLP online registration form.

What if I do not attend a Mesa public school?
MDLP is a distance learning program that has students from around the world. All students are welcome to register.

Are MDLP students required to take the AIMS test?
All distance learning students who reside in the state of Arizona are required to take state mandated testing for their grade level. For more information, see our state testing page.

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Course Delivery

Do I have to complete all of my work using a computer online?
Yes. Distance learning students will need a Windows or Macintosh computer and an Internet connection. Students use word processing software to complete homework assignments in some courses. MDLP can provide word processing software for a small deposit.

What if I do not have a computer?
New computers can be purchased at various stores. Used computers may be purchased from shops that sell refurbished computers. Check the yellow pages or ask others who have purchased computers. MDLP does NOT recommend the use of public computers such as those located in libraries for distance learning courses because time limits are placed on computer usage and test back up files are not saved. Click here for recommended computer specifications.

How does the program work?
MDLP is an online distance learning program. Students submit course work and communicate with teachers online. Teachers grade student work and provide assistance when requested. Students who wish to register should go to the registration page.

Are textbooks used with courses?
Some courses require textbooks. About two-thirds of MDLP courses do not require textbooks. Refundable deposits are required for textbooks. Additional materials are outlined in the course catalog and on the course information page of each course. Questions about materials? Call the registrar at 480-472-0878 .

Is distance learning difficult for courses without textbooks?
Courses without textbooks provide online content which is similar to information found in a textbook. Hands-on interactivities, videos, and tutorials assist students in learning course content.

Is an online course easier than traditional schooling?
Distance learning is different than a traditional classroom setting. Our courses involve a large volume of individualized reading. They are primarily designed for average to above average self-motivated students.

Are the classes the same as those offered in a traditional school?
The curriculum offered in the Mesa Distance Learning Program is the same as that offered in a traditional school. The program is open entry/open exit. Students can start anytime during the year and finish the course 18 weeks later. Students can set their own schedule to work toward course completion. Students need to spend at least one hour per weekday (Monday - Friday) per course to complete the course in 18 weeks.

How long do I have to finish?
Students typically have 18 weeks to complete a course.

What if I do not finish on time?
Extensions - Effective July 1 2013, students will be eligible for one 30-day course extension. A link to request an extension will appear on the student main page when students are within ten days of their end date. Clicking the link will add 30 days to the end date. Students are expected to complete all course work and take the final exam by the end date.

How is student progress monitored in a course?
Parents receive weekly progress reports and are able to view student progress and grades online through a secure parent page.

Can students go at their own pace? Can they "get ahead" so they can graduate early?
Yes. However, parents and students should keep in mind that MDLP courses are full semester courses, designed to be completed in 18 weeks.

How is student progress monitored?
Parents receive progress reports and are able to view student progress andgrades online through a secure site.

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Curriculum Information

What courses are offered?
MDLP 7-12 offers 85 high-quality semester courses. Refer to our online course catalog for more information.

Do the courses follow a set curriculum?
Yes. All courses are aligned with Mesa Public School district curriculum, Arizona state standards, and national curriculum standards where applicable.

How were the courses developed?
Our courses were developed by highly qualified-certified teachers.

Who teaches the online courses?
Our courses are taught by highly qualified-certified teachers.

Who helps the students?
A highly-qualified, certified teacher is assigned to each course. Teachers help monitor student progress and interact with students, answering course questions as they arise. Students send messages to the teacher when questions arise. Content specialists are available by phone to answer questions during the work day. Although MDLP does not provide tutoring, teachers and specialists can answer specific student questions. Technical support is available by phone during the day or by e-mail on evenings and weekends.

Do the courses align with Arizona state standards?
Our courses are aligned to Mesa district, state of Arizona and national curriculum standards where applicable.

Is MDLP accredited?

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Course Credits

How do my grades transfer?
Grades transfer in the same way as those taken at a traditional school. However, school districts receiving MDLP grades can decide whether or not to accept grades for distance learning courses. For this reason, we suggest that prospective students check with other school districts to see if they will accept our courses for credit. Mesa Public Schools accept all MDLP courses for credit.

Will credits from my previous school transfer to your program?
Your school counselor must first approve credits applied toward graduation. District guidelines for credit approval apply. All credits must come from an accredited institution. Students transferring from charter schools may not receive credit for all courses. Life experience, religious courses, or community summer programs do not qualify for credit approval. If you have additional questions concerning credit transfer, contact our registrar.

Do the courses count for high school credit?
Our high school courses count for high school credit in many school districts. Contact individual school districts for more information. If you are currently enrolled in a school outside of Mesa Public Schools, you will need to check with your counselor to ensure that course credits from MDLP will be accepted for graduation. Some schools limit the number of transfer credits accepted for graduation.

Will my diploma be accepted by a university?
Colleges and universities accept our courses, however, it is always recommended that you check with the college you are interested in attending. MDLP is currently the only distance learning program whose science and fine arts courses meet the lab science and fine arts requirements for Arizona universities.

Do you offer courses for grade replacement?
Yes, but the original grade remains on the student's transcript. The grade received from MDLP will be recorded in addition to the first grade for the course.

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