Apex Learning and the University of Washington Collaborate To Develop Online Courses for Virtual High Schools

September 28, 2001

Apex Learning and the University of Washington (UW) today announced a partnership to develop ten new online courses for high schools. The leading provider of virtual school solutions to K-12 institutions, Apex Learning brings its virtual school platform and expertise to developing the new core curriculum courses while the UW contributes its knowledge of the content areas, educational strategies, and experience in online learning.

With four years of experience offering online Advanced Placement and foreign language courses to high school students, this partnership expands Apex Learning’s online core curricula. The new courses will include full year chemistry, intermediate algebra, pre-calculus, introduction to American literature, U.S. history and earth sciences; and one semester geography, Internet, sociology and psychology courses. All 16 semesters of new content will be available to Apex Learning’s virtual school customers beginning with the 2002-2003 school year.

“We are very excited about this partnership and to be working together with one of the most recognized universities in online learning today. By combining the University of Washington’s content and course development expertise with Apex’s knowledge and experience in serving the K-12 market we will together produce powerful solutions for virtual schools,” said Keith Oelrich, president and CEO, Apex Learning.

“We want to work with K-12 communities around the nation to extend the resources of the University of Washington and to better facilitate the student transition to higher education,” said Dave Szatmary, vice provost for UW Educational Outreach. “Apex Learning’s leading position in this market will connect us with these groups.”

Szatmary said the UW brings years of experience in the design and teaching of online courses to this collaboration. The University of Washington is a leader in online education among public universities, offering 11 distance learning degrees, 24 online certification programs and more than 300 courses with nearly 10,000 enrollments each year. The new courses are based on content developed at the University, and designed for high school students.

“These courses will be redesigned to include more self-directed quizzes, animations and other innovations, which will eventually also be useful to university-level students,” said Szatmary.

Apex Learning currently has agreements with 28 states including California, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico and Washington – representing 15,000 of the nation’s 25,000 high schools. Apex Learning also works with large school districts including those in Chicago, Houston and Milwaukee. Last year the company served over 50,000 students with its online curriculum, and expects to more than double enrollments in the 2001-02 school year.