…All the answers to your questions.
Is the student enrolled in the U.S.?
Yea, the students are enrolled at Mater Academy High School through its International Dual Diploma.
Mater Academy is a Florida-based organization with 23 schools. These schools combined form a complete formative system, starting from the elementary up to the high schools. Mater Academy is managed by Academica Corp., an innovative institution within the field of the Charter Schools in the U.S. and one of the biggest in terms of centers and students.
What is a Dual Diploma?
Thanks to its flexibility, which is one of the advantages of the online educational programs, Mater Academy offers the possibility to attend courses in two schools at the same time: the one in your country and Mater Academy online. These courses, which follow the official regulations needed to graduate in the U.S., offer the student the possibility to graduate from Mater Academy International, which means they will have a High School diploma from the State of Florida.
The diploma will not have a specific title, whereas in Italy we have different curricula. In the U.S., it is the student himself that creates his own curriculum according to his interests and abilities. This happens also in the Dual Diploma: two of the six courses are electives.
The Dual Diploma curriculum follows the standards of the State of Florida and the American national standards. The Dual Diploma teachers are recognized by the state and certified by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which gives the Dual Diploma the same value of the Diploma the students get when they physically attend class in Florida. In the U.S. each state manages the school system through specific regulations and it has national validity. The Mater Academy International Diploma has the same value in Florida as well as in any other U.S. state and gives you the chance to apply to any U.S. university. The student will still have to take the SAT exam (Standard Admission Test) and deliver the required documents to apply to the U.S. universities. Mater academy is at your disposal to support the families and students interested in this formative path.
What advantages does it offer to the student?
The Mater Academy International course plan emphasizes the linguistic skills in English. This is why all the courses and interactions with the teachers are in English. All this creates an immersive virtual environment in the target language, an essential feature of any program which aims at achieving a high linguistic competence. It goes without saying that English is considered as a ‘lingua franca’ of the global economy, both in trading and in science, technology and aeronautics. Its influence has never been stronger. Being able to attend courses you would not normally have access to implies a great academic improvement for the student. Just including this degree in the CV will show the potential employers that this candidate has the discipline and skills needed to complete two degrees: one American and one Italian.
The candidate will also be able to prove his skills in the English language and in the most advanced technologies of digital learning.
Soon through Mater Academy it will be possible to access courses for a ‘Dual College Enrollment’, which means the students will be able to access the AP courses that count as credits both for the High School and the university.
A high school student that would like to attend an American university will have a great advantage in applying to an American university, since he will have the required linguistic skills and the preparation needed to pass any admission tests that may be required. Moreover, the Mater Academy Italia and U.S. staff will be at your disposal to help you with the admission procedures.
How does the Program work?
The program normally begins during the first or second year of High School, even though it is still possible to enroll during the third or fourth year.
Mater Academy converts up to 75% of the 24 credits required to graduate in the U.S.. This means that the students will only have to complete the 6 remaining credits (6 annual courses): 4 mandatory subjects (2 English courses, American History and American Economy and Institutions) and 2 electives.
How much effort does it take to complete the Dual Diploma?
The effort varies and it depends on the high school attended in Italy and on the initial competence in English. With a 4 years study plan the average effort required is about 3-4 hours/week.
You can consider the Program just like any other extracurricular activity that the students can carry out in the afternoon, evening or during the weekend, just like any other activity that takes place after school.
What does it imply for the school?
For Italian high schools it will be an improvement of their extracurricular activities, as well as a great way to diversify from the other schools.
It is a personal, individual program for the student, which enhances his competences and study method. This result is amplified when the program is offered to the students by their own institutes, particularly if it is integrated in the didactic program.
Attending the course at school (e.g. using the computer labs at the school) allows the student to remain within a place that enhances the concentration and the achievement of goals.
We warmly suggest the schools to allow such a use of its spaces, possibly with a teacher supervising.
What is the difference between the Dual Diploma and the IB Diploma?
Click here for more information.