Issue 13 | June 29, 2012 | How Many Hours for a Credit?
While attending the NARHS graduation last Saturday in Portland, Maine, I had an opportunity to speak individually with all the graduates, attempting to confirm the pronunciation of all their names. There was a brother/sister graduating so I asked if they were twins. The brother said that he was younger but was graduating a year early so that he could attend classes next year at New England School of Communications where he has been accepted. One statement that really caught my attention was that "NESCOM loves NARHS graduates!" Find out more about Evan Roger LeVasseur in the story below.
Some of you might be wondering why a NARHS self-designed credit only requires a minimum of 80 hours. Years ago I asked the founder, Steve Moitozo, that question, and his explanation was very logical. An 80-hour-credit is considered a "tutorial" credit. When a student is totally engaged in the study, at high school level, 80 hours is the average time it takes to master a year's worth of work.
Public and private schools usually consider 150 hours necessary to master a year's worth of work when learning through a classroom system. Considering what all is involved with classroom settings and learning, it is understandable that it would take more time to achieve mastery.
If you are planning on a self-designed course to earn a credit at 80 hours of invested study, you have good reason for those expectations. However, there is a catch. If you ever need those self-designed courses to be transferable into another school, or if you want a college to recognize the credits, you would be wise to extend those hours to 120, minimum. The counselors and enrollment officers of "classroom" institutions are not thinking in terms of "mastery" as much as they are yielding to "regulations."
FEATURED STUDENT: Evan Roger LeVasseur
Evan is one of those young men that has a lot going for him in terms of ambition, multi-faceted talent, and work ethic. Just to briefly illustrate: He worked for a dairy farmer where he learned everything about cows, including the shoveling responsibilities. Because of his attitude and industriousness there, the dairyman hired Evan again, but this time to load hay into a barn. His current job has him maintaining a cemetery. These are not glamorous jobs, but what is sterling about Evan is his reputation that has spread among people who are looking for someone they can count on to provide excellent work. Even at church he has proved himself valuable. While running the sound board, problems occurred causing Evan to take the entire system apart and reassemble it into good working condition. The driving thought through that process was, "There has got to be a way." Drawing on another of his talents, Evan needed to find a way to finance camp one summer. He decided to go into the gourmet cheesecake baking business that turned out so successful, he also helped his sister pay for camp. He believes that the people in his church may have gained a bunch of pounds that summer. Putting his love of music and technology skills to work, Evan figured out a way to hook up a computer with a digital piano so that the sound created by it resembles an orchestra; all this to accompany a singer, such as his mom. And lastly, his eye for photography has enabled him to win a competition and earn money at the same time while selling his artistry.
With skills so diverse, it is no wonder that a college might find him a worthy candidate. Because of his experience with rebuilding the sound system at church, Evan knew that he wanted to be trained in communication technology. So he applied to the New England School of Communication in Bangor, Maine. When he went for his interview, he explained that he was a NARHS student. The interviewer replied that she loves NARHS students, and then expressed an important insight that we all should keep in mind: "NARHS does not set limitations." You find out what kind of a student you have when the young person can set their own limits.
Visiting with Evan's mom, Kelly Jo, helped me realize that Evan is just as special as he appeared to me the day of graduation. She is going to miss him so much when he leaves for college, because she fears that no technology will be kept in working order during his absence. But she does have a plan to delay his exit. "He is not leaving home until his bedroom is clean."