FAQs

What is the Micro-Collegiate Academy (MCA) program?

The Micro-Collegiate Academy (MCA) program is an affordable, turnkey collegiate-academy curriculum and experience for grades 9-12. The MCA program is designed to combine online education with the human interaction elements of micro-schools and is optimized for individual families, micro-schools, and homeschool organizations, and other groups. The program is being offered in partnership with existing charter/virtual charter partners, as well as for independent micro-school and homeschool students. Students enrolled in the MCA program have the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours (two years) of college credit by the time they graduate high school.

What are the costs associated with the program?

The MCA program includes both high school and college-credit courses. High school courses are free to students enrolling in the MCA program through one of our partner virtual high schools. For independent micro-school students, we provide a low-cost curriculum option from BrightThinker, with micro-schools or families responsible for course instruction.

For the current 2020-2021 academic year, the MCA program is supported by a generous grant from the Charles Koch Institute, which provides a 50% discount on all costs for independent micro-school and homeschool students, as long as funds remain available.

Here are the costs for independent micro-school and homeschool students with scholarship support. Click here to see full detail about program packages and costs.

9th and 10th Grade Curriculum

9th Grade Curriculum*

$200 per student

10th Grade Curriculum*

$200 per student 

College Courses

10th Grade Sequence (10 hours of college credit)

$335 per student

11th Grade Full Sequence (30 hours of college credit)

$1000 per student

11th Grade 5-Course Package

$500 per student

12th Grade Full Sequence (30 hours of college credit)

$1000 per student

12th Grade 5-Course Package

$500 per student

*This cost only covers the high school course curriculum for 9th and 10th-grade through BrightThinker. Parents and micro-schools are responsible for any instructional costs.

Who is eligible to participate in the MCA program?

The MCA program is designed specifically for students currently enrolled in high school (grades 9-12) or the homeschool equivalent.

How do I enroll my students in the program?

There are two options for enrolling students in the MCA program. In Oklahoma and Texas, parents can enroll their students in the Institutional Model of the MCA program through one of TEL Education’s virtual public charter high school partners (EPIC Charter Schools in Oklahoma and  Resolute Academy in Texas).

Students anywhere in the United States may enroll in our Independent Model, which is designed to support micro-schools, home-school co-ops, and other independent school models. Parents choosing this model can enroll their students directly through this website. The Independent Model is also available to US citizens living outside the United States.

Micro-schools and homeschool co-ops may choose to have parents register their students individually or enroll them as a micro-school group or cohort.

How do I apply for an MCA program scholarship?

While funds are available, academically qualified students who enroll in one of the MCA program tracks automatically receive a program scholarship. “Academically qualified” means that a student has demonstrated academic performance in previous coursework that indicates they will be successful in college-level courses, more specifically receiving A or B grades at or above their current grade level. 

For maximum program benefits, we encourage families to enroll with one of our virtual school partners, join an existing micro-school group (including homeschool co-ops), or form a micro-school group with other like-minded families. We have provided a list of resources for families wanting to form their own micro-schools.

How much college credit can a student earn through the MCA program?

The MCA program is designed to provide a complete collegiate academy experience, meaning that students fulfilling all course requirements for the full program can earn up to 60 hours of college credit, the equivalent of an associate degree.

Where do students take courses for the MCA program?

The MCA program is designed primarily for online delivery. Whether studying with a virtual high school partner or using our Independent option, students access program curriculum and courses via an online platform. They also receive instructional and technical support via online tools. In addition, TEL Education offers facilitation guides for our college-credit courses to help micro-schools and homeschool co-ops or families provide on-site support.

Where does the college credit come from?

College credit for collegiate academy courses is provided by select regionally accredited universities. Our partners for the program include Oklahoma Christian University, Mid-America Christian University, and York College. These institutions provide official college transcripts for college coursework in the MCA program

 Is there an add/drop period? If so, what is the policy?

Add/drop and refund policies for the Institutional version of the MCA program are determined by the high school and higher education institutions offering high school and college-credit courses. Check with the school you select for details.

For the Independent Model, college-credit courses are provided through York College, which has its own specific add/drop and refund policies. Students can receive a refund for the purchase of the 9th- or 10th-grade high school curriculum up to seven days after purchase.

What is the overall curriculum sequence for the MCA program?

The MCA program provides a scaffolded curriculum sequence that guides students through a high school learning journey designed to culminate with up to two years of college credit and an associate degree. With the Independent Model, micro-schools and families can choose the courses they want and use the checklists provided for guidance. 

Micro-schools and families can also use a more formal course sequence if they want to earn an associate degree while completing their high school requirements. Here is a link to the suggested collegiate academy course sequence for grades 9-12 based on the requirements from York College for our Independent Model. This sequence will fulfill the requirements for an associate degree from York College. 

There may be slight variations in the overall curriculum sequence for Institutional Model programs based on the different university partners.

What courses are available through the 9th and 10th-grade curriculum?

In the MCA program, 9th-grade students pursue a traditional sequence of high school courses as they build a foundation for college-level courses. In the 10th-grade year, students pursue traditional high school courses in their first semester and, if they choose the 10th-grade Collegiate Academy package, they then take a mix of high school and college courses in their second semester.

As a general rule, except for College Algebra, students can take college courses once they have completed two years of high school courses in math, English, social studies/history, and natural science. High school Algebra II is a prerequisite for College Algebra. College-credit courses in the MCA program are designed for dual-credit, meaning they award college-credit but are also aligned to applicable state standards to satisfy high school requirements.

The following list of courses are available for high school credit only in collaboration with BrightThinker:

  • English I
  • English II
  • English III
  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • Biology I
  • U.S. History (Since 1877)
  • Personal Financial Literacy

Please consult MCA program degree checklist and course prerequisite documents for further information.

MCA Degree Checklist – Texas

MCA Degree Checklist – Oklahoma

MCA Degree Checklist – Kansas

Can parents of 10th-grade Collegiate Academy students opt to use a different high school curriculum than the one provided by the MCA program?

Yes. TEL Education has partnered with BrightThinker to provide a proven traditional 9th- and 10th-grade curriculum for micro-schools and homeschool families adopting our Independent model. However, schools and families are free to use other curriculum solutions for these grade levels.

10th-grade students in the MCA program will still be required to purchase and take prescribed college-credit courses regardless of the particular high school curriculum they use.

What college-credit courses are included in the MCA program?

College-credit courses for the MCA program are part of a scaffolded curriculum sequence that guides students through a high school learning journey designed to culminate with up to two years of college credit and an associate degree.

Here is a link to the suggested collegiate academy course sequence for grades 9-12 based on the requirements from York College for our Independent model. There may be slight variations for Institutional programs based on the different university partners.

Here is a link to the full list of courses available in the MCA program.

 How do parents decide which college-credit courses their students should take?

We provide degree checklists as well as course sequencing documents to help parents know which college-credit courses their students should take.

TEL Education also provides advice for parents over the phone or via email. Parents wishing to speak with an MCA program advisor should send an email to mca@tellibrary.org.

Do you provide any kind of academic advising or counseling to help parents decide which courses their students should take?

 TEL Education also provides advice for parents over the phone or via email. Parents wishing to speak with an MCA program advisor should send an email to mca@tellibrary.org.

Is there a maximum or a minimum number of college-credit courses a student can sign up for with the scholarship offer?

To be eligible for the scholarship, families enrolling students in the MCA program’s Independent Model should take one of the prescribed course sequences or packages we offer.

College Courses

10th Grade Sequence (10 hours of college credit)$335 per student
11th Grade Full Sequence (30 hours of college credit)$1000 per student
11th Grade 5-Course Package$500 per student
12th Grade Full Sequence (30 hours of college credit)$1000 per student
12th Grade 5-Course Package$500 per student

Parents should keep in mind that 30 hours of college credit is equal to approximately 10 courses, which is considered a full year of college study.

Students who enroll in the non-college-credit options — the 9th- and 10th-grade curriculum through BrightThinker — are eligible for the scholarship as well.

If you are interested in an option not outlined above, we can work with you to create a program that works for you and your student. Email us at mca@tellibrary.org.

 Can I enroll my 9th-grade student in college-credit courses?

The MCA program curriculum is scaffolded to ensure that students develop the necessary academic foundation to be successful with college-credit courses beginning in the spring semester of the traditional 10th-grade academic year.

If, after reviewing our degree checklist and course sequencing documents, parents feel that the students are ready for college-credit courses prior to the 10th grade, they should contact us at mca@tellibrary.org and speak with an MCA program advisor.

Will my student(s) receive both high school and college credits for their coursework?

The MCA program is designed to help students earn up to two years of college credit while also satisfying the requirements for a high school diploma.

Students enrolled in a collegiate academy program with one of our virtual high school partners will work directly with their high school counselors and administrators to ensure that students receive the appropriate credits for their high school and college-level work.

Students working in the Independent Model will have complete records/transcripts of their high school and college-level work, and will receive an official college transcript reflecting all college-credit earned. It will be up to the micro-schools, homeschool organizations, or individual families to verify completion of high school requirements and issuing credit or a diploma for that work.

Are there any resources available for micro-school or homeschool parents looking to provide instructional support for their high school curriculum?

Yes. We have created this list of resources for micro-school and homeschool families.

Do families have to be associated with a micro-school (including homeschool co-ops) to participate in the MCA program?

No. Individual homeschool students may enroll in the program. However, for maximum program benefits, we encourage families to enroll with one of our virtual school partners, join an existing micro-school group (including homeschool co-ops), or form a micro-school group with other like-minded families. We have created this list of resources for micro-school and homeschool families.

We are interested in starting a micro-school and having our students enroll in the MCA program. Can you provide assistance with this?

Yes. We have created this list of resources for micro-school and homeschool families. In general, we define a micro-school as consisting of at least five students who meet together at least once a week, either virtually or in-person, with some form of coach/instructor facilitation. We recommend that coaches/facilitators have completed at least two years of college.  

In addition, TEL consultants are available to speak to you about options for starting your own micro-school and how to enroll your students in the MCA program.

 Can a homeschool co-op or small private school participate in the MCA program?

Yes. Homeschool co-ops or small private schools can enroll students in the Independent Model of MCA program. The MCA program manages the online college course work of its students. It does not place requirements, or restrictions, on any other activities of its students, their parents, homeschool co-ops, or private schools.

Can students in the 11th or 12th grade enroll in the MCA program?

Yes. The MCA program has course sequences and course packages designed specifically for 11th and 12th-grade students wanting a collegiate academy experience. These students are also eligible for program scholarships.

College-credit courses in the MCA program are designed for dual-credit, meaning they award college-credit but are also aligned to applicable state standards to satisfy high school requirements.

I noticed in the college-credit courses listed for the Independent Model that there are Bible or religion courses. Are these required?

Bible or Religion courses are part of the Associate of Arts degree program offered by York College and are required if a student wants to complete the entire course sequence to earn the AA degree. However, the courses are optional for students not intending to complete a full degree program from York College. For further information, these York courses do not require a student to subscribe to any particular religious belief, nor are they devotional or inspirational in content. Rather, they are strictly informational, similar to those offered by public universities.