West River Academy offers students the opportunity to graduate from an accredited private academy.* The High School Diploma Program is 6 months long. You can start it anytime during your final year of high school. Most students start on November 1 and graduate May 15. Please keep in mind that if you start in one academic year and graduate in the following year, you will have to pay for enrollment for both years.
If you have not been enrolled in West River Academy for all your high school years, your final transcript will cover only the years you have been enrolled. You can enroll retroactively for those years at any time by paying the enrollment fees. US college applications generally ask you to list the high schools you have attended and the dates of enrollment. If you list homeschool, you may be asked to submit a portfolio in addition to your West River Academy transcript. So it is advisable to be enrolled in programs that can send colleges an official transcript. It will save you a lot of work!
West River Academy does not require that a transcript be issued after completion of the Diploma Program. The Program is more akin to a rite of passage to adulthood than an accumulation of credits. There is no credit requirement for graduation. A transcript is optional.
If a student wishes to propose an alternative to the program outlined below, he may do so.
TO GET STARTED:
- Submit the fee of $375 online by credit card or mail a check/money order. Please note that this fee is in addition to the yearly enrollment fee. It is due on the first day of the month you wish to start the program.
- Write your EDUCATIONAL BIOGRAPHY and submit it by the first day of the month that you wish to start the program. Send it by mail or by email attachment in doc, docx, pdf or pages attachment. The educational biography is a self-introduction that allows us to know you as an individual and allows you time to reflect on your education. It should have the tone of a friendly letter, and be written in standard English with proper paragraphing, spelling and punctuation. Begin with your earliest memories of your education and continue up to the present. Please reflect on your education, highlighting the positive and negative learning experiences that brought you to where you are now. Finally, describe your future goals and aspirations. Please do not make a list of anything, such as courses or books. Your educational biography should be approximately 3 single-spaced pages in 12-point Times Roman font. You may add pictures, which are to be in addition to the 3 minimum typed pages.
- Write 6 MONTHLY REPORTS beginning with the month you start the Program. If you start November 1, you will submit reports at the end of November, December, January, February March and April. Each report should be similar to your educational biography in style and grammatical accuracy. It should be approximately 1 single-spaced page in 12-point Times Roman font. Please write about what you LEARNED during the month--from classes, independent study projects, work experience, apprenticeships, sports activities, hobbies/interests/passions, leisure time and family time. Please DO NOT LIST activities or books, or submit a journal. Summarize and highlight your activities. Then write about what you LEARNED from each one--about yourself, other people in your life, your relationships, your career or life path, and even your spiritual truth and development. Each report is due by the 15th of the next month.
- Submit a PARENTAL ENDORSEMENT if you are under 21 years old. This is a one-sentence statement signed by your parent(s) that they believe you are ready to graduate. It should be submitted after your final monthly report. It can be emailed or mailed.
- Submit the courses, credits and letter grades for your FINAL TRANSCRIPT on an Excel spreadsheet template that will be emailed to you. You can find ideas for Course Names to use. We will work with you to produce the final transcript. We will send it to the colleges and employers of your choice. We will send your transcript to any school, college or employer at any time for no extra fee. There is no limit to the number of transcripts or how far into the future your request is. Please go to our Transcripts and Grade Reports for help in making your transcript.
*HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS PLEASE NOTE:
Only those students who go through our High School Diploma Program are eligible to graduate from West River Academy. Students desiring a transcript who do not complete this Program may pay the transcript fee and receive a transcript. However, the transcript will include the following notation: "John Doe did NOT meet the requirements for graduation from West River Academy."
Autumn, a 2013 graduate from Collbran, Colorado, USA writes:
"I am finding that as each month passes, I look forward with anticipation to finishing another essay. It gives me a chance to look back, and reflect upon what I learned and experienced in that month. These assignments present me with a challenge, which I have always loved, but that isn’t the key reason of why I find such enjoyment in writing. When I begin to put the words down on paper, it’s as if I am reliving my experiences. The good, and the bad ones, I feel as though I can almost go back to that time. I can feel the same emotions that I felt when it happened, and I can remember the thoughts that were going through my head. Just as I feel reading takes me to a new place, I feel that writing almost allows me to go back in time."
Kevin, a 2011 graduate from Boulder, Colorado, USA writes:
"It's been so great reflecting on my education each month. I’ve totally enjoyed the process of thinking about what I have learned and applying it to my life plan. It helps me to see progress in myself, my goals and dreams. I’m going to try to do more journaling so that I can keep in touch with myself. It feels like a healthy practice to continue. Thank you for this great experience, Peggy."
Aurora, a 2008 graduate from Santiago, Chile says about the program:
"The kind of consistent chronicling you've demanded of me in these months is completely unprecedented. I've never recorded so much of my life. I think it's been a valuable exercise, and I'd like to thank you for prompting it of me."
Here's a letter from a 2004 graduate:
I just wanted to give you an update on what my sister and I are doing after our graduation from West River Academy in June 2004. It has been a busy 3 and a half years. As you might remember, our mother was very sick during our senior year of high school. Her health continued to decline until her passing in April 2005. While this was difficult, Joy and I have really excelled.
We fit in well at Red Rocks Community College, where we started in Fall 2004. We both earned 4.0 averages during our first semester and were inducted in the Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges. At Red Rocks we made friends and got involved in student activities. I joined the colleges’ honors program and co-chaired a major event, as well as sitting on the honors committee. I also became an officer in the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter that gave me additional leadership opportunities and travel away from home for the first time as I attended the international convention of PTK in Seattle in April of 2006.
Joy and I both transferred in Fall of 2006 to the University of Denver to complete our degrees. Joy is majoring in Anthropology, with a minor in Art, and I am double majoring in Political Science and Public Policy. It was another adjustment to a larger more demanding school; living at home kept us grounded.
Joy is on track to graduate with her Bachelors in June. She is very excited and hopes to start her own bakery with a couple of friends in a few years. I will be graduating in June of 2009 with my Bachelors and Masters in Public Policy as I was just accepted into the 4+1 Masters program. I will hopefully attend Law School after earning my Masters degree in 2009.
I just wanted to drop you this line to let you know that we are doing well, and that being home schooled helped me move into what I wanted to do with my life.
I hope you are well,