Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

What are the credentials of NorthStar Academy teachers?

NorthStar teachers hold a bachelor's degree from a four-year university as a minimum. Teacher certification and experience information is found in our “Meet the Teachers” section.

Does NorthStar Academy support both Macintosh and PC users?

Yes. The school's conferencing and productivity software may be used by both Macintosh and Windows users.

Does NorthStar Academy issue transcripts?

Yes. Transcripts may be mailed directly to the student or to the school or university of his/her choice. To order your transcript, download the transcript request form and then email this form to the registrar whose name will be given within the NSA online school environment.

Is NorthStar an accredited school and able to grant diplomas?

NSA holds dual accreditation from AdvancEd through the regional office of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). To order your diploma, download the diploma order form and then email this form to the registrar whose name will be given within the NSA online school environment.

Would NorthStar Academy allow students to take only one or two "specialty" courses while they attend day school?

Yes. NorthStar Academy is very open to partnering with other schools by providing individual courses to the host school as a way to complement their existing program and course offerings.

What advantages are there for this type of education?

We have realized the following advantages for an online school:
  • students who are tutored or who study individually or in very small groups have been found to achieve close to two standard deviations above the mean of comparable students in grouped instruction*
  • students who study independently are better prepared for post-secondary studies**
  • students are more likely to edit and refine their work when using a productivity tool like word processing software than if they were using pen and paper.
  • students are not inhibited by time or shyness factors of a traditional classroom environment
  • students can review every aspect of their class activities to include class lectures, presentations, assignments, and group discussions because all of these items have been digitally recorded, a clear benefit over oral communications that can easily be forgotten.


*Bloom, B.S. (1984, June/July). The 2-Sigma problem: the search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13, 4-16.
**Hathaway, W.E. (1993, April). Rural education: Challenges and opportunities. The Canadian School Executive, 12 (10), 3-9, 42.

Does NorthStar Academy support homeschooled students?

Absolutely! Educators at NorthStar Academy understand the demands of homeschooling and realize that parents will need assistance from time to time. NorthStar Academy welcomes those families who may only need one or two individual courses to complement their homeschooling program.

What is the grading scale used at NorthStar Academy?

NorthStar Academy uses a 100 pt. scale as opposed to a 4 point scale or a letter scale. The grading scale is available here.

When does NorthStar Academy start?

NorthStar Academy offers many different start dates and operates year round. As a general rule students can begin a course any month and have up to 52 weeks to complete 36 weeks of lessons (1.0 credit) or 26 weeks to complete 18 weeks of lessons (0.5). See our Course dates for more info.

What are the timelines for completing a course and the individual assignments?

Because NorthStar exists to help meet the needs of families, our policy promotes flexibility within reason. We do not have "due dates" in the traditional sense of the term. Rather, we have suggested turn-in dates that are offered to students to help them gauge their pace so that they may finish their course within a traditional 9-month school year, but with 12 months to do so (for 1.0 credit courses). Please see the School and Course Completion Dates section for detailed information.

How many credits may a student transfer in to NorthStar Academy and still receive a NorthStar diploma?

A student may transfer into NSA no more than 18 credits toward his/her graduation requirements. For a student to earn a NorthStar Academy high school diploma, he/she will need to satisfy one of the several flexible diploma "options" offered by NorthStar, please contact us to request your copy of our diploma options, which include dual enrollment at a junior college to choices in the type of diploma.

* NSA defines one credit as either a full-year course or two half-year (one-semester) courses.

Who can be the student's supervisor?

The parent or a designated adult, 20 years of age or older. The supervisor does not need to be a certified teacher or hold any post-secondary degree. It is highly recommended that the supervisor be an English speaker. If not, the student must have access to someone who has English speaking and reading abilities for support.

Does NorthStar Academy have a faith statement?

The following are the belief statements that constitute NorthStar Academy's statement of faith:
  1. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God (Exodus 24:4; Psalms 19:7-10; Luke 24:44; Matthew 5:17-18), without error in the original writings (Deuteronomy 4:1-2), the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of man, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith, life, and conduct (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
  2. We believe in one God (John 10:30), Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1), infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
  3. We believe that Jesus Christ, without any change in His eternal deity (John 10:31-38; Hebrews 1:3), became man through conception of the Holy Spirit and virgin birth (Luke 1:31-35), that He died on the cross (Mark 15:23-26; John 19:16-18), a perfect and complete sacrifice, in our stead and for our sin according to the Scriptures (Hebrews 9:13-15; Ephesians 1:6-7). He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Acts 1:6-11) where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate (Hebrews 2:16-17).
  4. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14) and, during this age, to convict of sin and regenerate the sinner upon belief in Christ (John 16:7-12; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:11); at the time of regeneration baptizing the believer into the one body of which Christ is the head (Galatians 3:26-28) and to indwell, guide, instruct, fill, and empower the believer for Godly living and service (Romans 8:26-27 & 15:13; Proverbs 3:5-6).
  5. We believe that man was directly created by God in His own image (Genesis 1:27), but fell into sin (Genesis 3). The entire human race is, therefore, lost and only through repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10), faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:4-9), and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, can salvation and spiritual life be obtained (Romans 8:13-14).
  6. We believe that the atoning death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground of justification and salvation for all who believe (John 14:6; Acts 4:12), and that only such as receive Jesus Christ by personal faith are born of the Holy Spirit and by Him sealed to the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
  7. We believe in the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 4:1), and that the hope of His appearing has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (2 Timothy 1:8-10).
  8. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead (Romans 8:11), of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord (Romans 4:7-8), and of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting and conscious punishment (Matthew 25:46; Hebrews 10:29).
  9. We believe that the Church is composed of all such persons who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ, of which He is the head (Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
  10. We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during this present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as a means of salvation (Matthew 28:19; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29).
  11. We believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, that homosexual behaviors or any violation of the unique roles of male and female including traditional, biblically defined and genetically determined gender identity standards and definitions are moral misconduct. (Romans 1:21–27; 1 Corinthians 6:9–20; Genesis 2; Ephesians 5).
  12. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as will honor and glorify and not bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord, and that it is commanded of God to remain separate from false doctrine, sinful pleasures, practices, and associations (Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Peter 2:11).

What about the student's socialization?

NorthStar students have access to over 30 special interest groups and other extracurricular activities from which to choose.

Could existing schools which are having difficulty in offering a full program partner with NorthStar such that NorthStar Academy would provide individual courses to complement the school's program?

Yes. NorthStar Academy can provide individual courses for the students whose school may not be able to offer certain courses during a particular semester or year.

Would there be a certain schedule each day for working online, or would we just download our assignments and work on them at our own pace?

Yes to both. Each lesson has a suggested schedule for the student to follow, but the student is free to follow it or to devise his own schedule and pace (within reason).

Are students able to select their own courses, or is there a mandatory program or course schedule that they must follow?

Grades 4-8 course schedules are basically set (pre-planned) with a few elective choices - though you can select anything you desire. Students in grades 9-12 have many courses to choose from as they make their schedule of courses.

Is the interaction with teachers just through e-mail, or could there be real time chatting?

Students have both options. Teachers and students may chat via text-chat and audio-chat which is built into the software, and they can audio and/or video chat using software such as Skype.

How much actual Internet time can we expect the courses to use? We live overseas and our internet service is sometimes sporadic, so we are a little nervous about something that would require many hours online.

The number of hours that a student will actually spend online varies. Much of it depends upon the course. Not all of the course work is completed online. For example in math, the students will complete their problems with pencil and paper and then scan their work or take a digital photo and submit it online. They may read from a textbook or novel, they may work on a project using common household items to make a model, or they may do a science experiment. However, many assignments are completed online as well, and there are many video and audio materials in our courses for teaching as well as web based activities in which students will engage. We highly recommend 5 Mbps of steady Internet but some families are able to be successful with less. You may spend as little as 25% of your time online in a given day or as much as 80%. There may even be days that you are working on an ongoing project that you do not need to be online for at all.

If our son/daughter wants to take an elective from another online or day school, is that transferable?

Yes, assuming that the other school is accredited. If the school is not accredited, your son/daughter can take a NorthStar Academy Challenge Exam and/or complete the Course Credit Request Form to be submitted to the NorthStar Academy Academic Advisor for review.

If our son/daughter has taken courses elsewhere or at home and we want to transfer credits to NorthStar, what type of transcript do you need for registration?

We do not need any transcript at the time of registration; however, if your child will be graduating from NorthStar transfer credits as detailed under Graduation Requirements under Academy Info will need to be awarded prior to the start of your child's senior year.

How do students find and purchase the needed course resources for their NorthStar course(es)?

Students and parents may find and purchase all of the course resources for each NorthStar course from our custom-created online bookstore, or they may choose to buy the needed course materials on their own from vendors of their own choosing by using our online bookstore information which shows all of the needed course materials organized by course name.

In which countries does NSA have students?

Over the past 12 years NorthStar has served students in the following countries:
  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • American Samoa
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Columbia
  • Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • England
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Ethiopia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guam
  • Guinea
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.)
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • USA
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia

How important is it that a student taking NorthStar courses have their own computer as opposed to trying to share a computer with the parents?

Answer from a "NorthStar Mom":

I think it is vital for the student to have his own computer if the parents consistently use the computer during what we would consider school hours. My son attends a cooperative school during the day. He shares a computer with 1 other student during school hours so a schedule has been worked out between the 2 students. However, he has his own computer at home to do homework. My husband spends many hours a day on the computer and sharing did not work well.

What is NorthStar Academy's policy on the use of common core?

Please click here to view NorthStar Academy's Statement on Common Core.

Is there an age requirement for students to attend NorthStar Academy?

NorthStar students must complete their coursework before their 21st birthday. We do not offer an adult learner program.