After almost a year of waiting, course access for Missouri students is finally in sight. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has published a list of approved education providers and classes students can take through the Missouri online course access program. In May 2018, the legislature passed course access for Missouri students and the governor signed it into law. Now, students can take classes online that would otherwise be unavailable at their school.
The combined course list shows courses available on a wide range of topics including foreign language, different types of science and even audio and visual production classes. Some of the classes are even available at the AP (Advanced Placement) level. The education providers include Mizzou, K-12, Edison Learning, and others.
Show-Me Institute analysts have written extensively about the need for course access in Missouri, and seeing it signed into law was exciting. Although DESE did not produce the list of approved providers and courses as promised at the end of 2018, we’re glad to see that it is finally available on the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP) website.
The law also requires districts to inform parents and students about MOCAP, but not all districts are compliant yet. For example, the North Kansas City School District has a MOCAP page on its website, but the Adair County R-I School District does not. As DESE is implementing course access, districts should be informing their students about the opportunity.
Not every student has access to opportunities like AP or foreign language classes in their home district. Now, students should be able to take the classes they need to build their future without being constrained by the offerings of their local school district. As the 2019-2020 school year approaches, we look forward to seeing students enroll in MOCAP classes as they customize their education and prepare for the future.