Since I have graduated from NSA, I have started my college career. I attend Gordon College in the North Shore area, studying for a degree in business administration and Christian Ministries. Finishing my senior year with NSA equipped me for college by instilling in me an ability to teach myself and seek help when necessary. I learned to be disciplined and follow the syllabus as well as be creative in finding ways to engage with the community.
I am greatly appreciative for my year with NSA. I learned a lot about discipline, curiosity, motivation and time management.
I am currently a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham pursuing a PhD in condensed matter physics. I owe my gratitude to NorthStar for introducing me to this subject and preparing me for the journey that was to come.
At the beginning of my NorthStar Academy adventure, I took the physical science course and found it intriguing. During sophomore year, I took biology and chemistry and was captivated. However, it was when I met physics my junior year that I fell in love. NorthStar gave me the opportunity to do the class experiments at home and provided me the time to adequately study and ponder deep concepts presented in the course material. The nerd in me went so far as to create a science blog so that I could post my results of physics experiments for the whole world to see – although I always wondered why it was so hard to gain followers. Because seriously, who does not love physics?
It was in my NorthStar physics class that I failed my very first test in high school. I will never forget when my teacher Mr. Kirkbride emailed me, related how he was shocked by the test score since he believed that I could give more, and instructed me to study again and harder for the purpose of retaking the exam. Needless to say, I made an A the second time and from that point on continued to excel throughout the duration of the class. I thank NorthStar Academy for following God’s will in hiring Mr. Kirkbride as a teacher. Unfortunately, he passed away right after my junior year due to a tragic accident, but I often think about him. I wonder sometimes how proud he would be if he saw me now, to know that I would not be where I am if it were not for him and his belief in me.
NorthStar Academy taught me to practice endurance, to manage my time, to strengthen my character, but above all to maintain a passionate devotion to the Lord through what I study.
As a homeschooler, my parents and I find ourselves pulling from various sources and curriculums to make up my educational program. NorthStar gives me an outlet to take courses that I would otherwise be unable to take. For instance, I took three Spanish classes with a teacher who was a missionary in Latin America, which is a much more effective way of learning a language than trying to work through a textbook with my mother who does not speak Spanish at all. NorthStar also gave me an avenue to take AP classes. The AP Literature and Composition class fully prepared me to take the AP exam at my local high school.
What I believe really sets NorthStar Academy apart from other online learning options is the close-knit community. I have found from experiences with other online schools that there is generally no interaction between students, and only limited interaction between students and teachers. NorthStar has really made me feel that I am part of a community. Through the Student Café forums, I have made friends with people literally all over the world and have kept in contact with them even outside of NorthStar. I have gotten involved in many student organizations including the Student Council, Welcome Committee, devotional groups, school newspaper, and student podcast. There are several more opportunities to get involved in the school as well.
Each one of my teachers has made the effort to know me as an individual. As a result, they became personally invested in my success and are there to help me with everything from an assignment to spiritual growth. When I took two different classes with the same teacher, she did not just remember my name from the previous class, but also my work as a student. This type of student-teacher relationship is something that I have never gotten at any other online school. My older brother, who graduated a few years ago, still keeps in contact with his teachers who like to be updated on his success in college and employment.
I have found NorthStar Academy’s coursework to be challenging yet engaging. It has pushed me to work independently which is an important skill that is necessary to have for college and even beyond. However, most importantly, NorthStar has helped me to grow in faith and leadership.
If I could sum up NorthStar Academy in a few words, it would be these: family oriented, academically focused, and always encouraging.
NorthStar Academy (NSA) has been a huge blessing to my family. I’m an MK living in Asia, and was NSA’s 2016-17 Student Council President. When Mom heard about NSA from a friend, she visited NSA’s website and felt that this might be the school for me. I can now say that after attending NSA for four years, NSA is quite special.
NSA’s focus on family is prevalent in the social side of NSA. I was encouraged to get involved in the social side just a few months after joining NSA. I took a leap that has left me feeling welcomed and like a part of the NSA family. I have friends from all over the world. I’ve even had several opportunities to meet up with different NSA students (NSAers) and get to know them outside of an online program.
Family focus does not stop there. The teachers have been there for me academically as well as personally – praying for me and investing in me. I’ve had teachers who have gone out of their way to help me with whatever I’ve struggled with. Some have even helped me with college applications! Throughout my years on NSA, I have met countless teachers who have motivated and encouraged me to expand my learning on whatever topic was being covered and grow – even cracking jokes and puns to make the learning fun. And finally, I’ve had teachers who helped me focus on my goal to pursue Nursing as a career.
This school has also been a place where I’ve been encouraged to take on new responsibilities. In 2015, I was asked to become the Spiritual Life Leader for NSAers. Later, I took on the role of Student Council President this past year. I can say that even though it has been challenging, the encouragement of NSA staff has always helped me feel capable of leading.
Looking back on the four years I’ve attended NSA, I believe without a shadow of a doubt that NSA was the right school for me! Being encouraged to take a chance and interact with other students has left me with friends all over the globe, experiences that I will always treasure, lots of hilarious memories, and a TON of Skype calls under my belt. My experiences at NSA also leave me feeling confident to take on the responsibilities college has in store. Being part of a community that focuses on family, academics, and encouragement has helped build a solid foundation through which I can enter adulthood.
I am proud to be an NSAer, and I am ready to take on the world.
My name is Marissa, and over the past four years, I have been a student at NorthStar Academy. I was honored to serve the NSA community as a member of the Student Council for three of those years. I have had the opportunity to be involved with other online students, be taught by teachers all over the world, and experience a great education.
NorthStar has been a wonderful learning experience for me. Over the years, I have been public schooled and home schooled, as well as attended NorthStar as an online student. NorthStar offered me such a unique learning experience that I will never forget. I have been taught by teachers all over the world who are incredible at what they do. The communication from the teachers has always been amazing. As an online school, NorthStar has done a great job in assuring the communication between teachers and students has always been on par. Emails and instant messages can be exchanged for quick questions, and if a little more help is needed, a video or voice call can be scheduled. This keeps the students and teachers in touch and assures the student can learn and get help when it is needed.
One of the attributes I value most about NorthStar is the spiritual environment it provides. The teachers and staff, as well as the students are genuinely interested in encouraging my relationship with God. The teachers are always on hand to answer faith questions along with our homework help. The students also put together devotional and prayer groups to keep one another encouraged and spiritually involved.
Not only has NorthStar been spiritual and educational, it has also been a social experience. NorthStar has provided a social platform to get to know fellow students and interact with them. It is apparent that NorthStar values community, even though students live thousands of miles away from each other. When I first joined NorthStar, I never expected to end up with so many amazing relationships. I have made friends with other students who live all over the world, from China to India and elsewhere in the States. I have had the chance to work and interact with my fellow students on the Student Council, the Welcome Committee, the student-led Navigator, and much more.
NorthStar has definitely influenced my life and my learning. I have become more independent, and I feel more prepared for college. I have been challenged in my learning, my faith, and even in my own leadership skills. It has challenged me in many ways and has benefited me and my education. I would definitely recommend NorthStar Academy after experiencing it firsthand.