Some frequently-asked questions and answers about about online learning with Northern Star Online.
Northern Star Online offers the same rigorous, student-centered experience as our on-campus courses--only the environment is different. In NSO courses, you'll find student-focused faculty, innovative instruction, and online learning that is flexible and allows students to work at their own pace, place and time. Although it's not for everyone, some students like online course work that offers a unique opportunity to build community, to learn in a new setting, and to learn in a new way. The availability of online learning to students anywhere creates the sense of a "school without borders".
Northern Star Online enrollment is open to Minnesota secondary public, private, and home-schooled students.
Yes. Students from out of state are welcome to register for Northern Star Online courses, but will need to pay tuition and any course fees.
Does my Minnesota public school and district need to know that I am taking a Northern Star Online course?
Yes. If you wish to have your credits paid for by the State of Minnesota, you are required to notify your school and have your enrollment form signed by a school representative. We recommend that you begin the conversation with your counselor as soon as possible to discuss how online courses will fit into your schedule and graduation requirements.
I am a public school student, do I need to contact my public school counselor to take a Northern Star Online course?
Yes. It is required in the enrollment process for public school students to make sure that the course(s) will count toward the student’s graduation plan, and to also identify a contact person in case the Northern Star Online course instructor needs to contact someone from your school.
No for private and home-school students. While it is not required for private school students, it still is suggested that students contact their school to make sure the courses will be accepted and count towards graduation.
Yes. Adult learners are welcome to register for NSO courses provided tuition and any course fees are sent with the returned enrollment application. This includes courses that are taken for enrichment purposes.
Public school students generate state revenue that can fund either online or traditional classroom courses. The state, therefore, pays for online course work that is not considered beyond a full load. Students who currently are taking more than a full load at their school will not qualify for online state funding, and will need to pay tuition for these extra courses. For non public school students (private or home schooled), 2005 Minnesota law no longer provides funding to take NSO courses.
Follow the instructions on the Registration Overview page of our website for a description of the enrollment process.
Full instructions for withdrawing from a course are available on the Withdrawal Process page.
Although it is difficult to delineate characteristics that reliably identify a good candidate for online learning, the literature suggests that successful students have proven to be self-motivated and self-directed. Some students may start the course with these traits while others will learn the skills through experiences in the course. In an online class, you will probably need to read and write more than you do in a traditional class.
Yes. A student with a disability is allowed to enroll in an online course. The student’s individualized education (IEP) team helps determine any accommodations necessary for the online learning course.
Parent involvement can play a big part in helping a student achieve success. Parents are encouraged to take an active role in learning about the activities and requirements for successful course completion. NSO instructors welcome contact with you and will be happy to discuss your student’s progress in their courses.
Yes. Applicable State Academic Standards are embedded in the courses where required, and all NSO instructors are both Minnesota licensed teachers and faculty of NSO districts.
Complete the Student Readiness Survey (PDF) which is used to raise awareness of what might be expected in an online learning course. This survey will assist both students and parents in further delineating motivational, technical, academic preparedness, and learning styles issues while also highlighting characteristics that foster strong candidate success.
No. The State of Minnesota will reimburse for eligible students to enroll in a maximum of 12 semester-long course credits during a single school year. In addition, students must receive permission from their local enrolling district to take more than half of a full course load online.
Can I enroll in additional courses if I pay separately for more than 12 semester-long course credits?
Yes, additional courses can be taken if the student agrees to pay for the tuition and any course fees. This includes courses that are taken for enrichment purposes.
Most Northern Star Online core courses have been approved for NCAA eligibility. See this page for more information.
Education uses a lot of abbreviations. Some of the ones specific to Northern Star Online or online learning in general are listed here.
funding delineate pays expensive cost district counselor mde parent eligible qualify guardian student disability ncaa minnesota local school many standard register withdraw quarter trimester semester credit drop enroll private public