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Virtual High Schools: Are Courses Off-the-Shelf or Developed Internally?

Off-the-shelf refers to an already established curriculum that is obtained from a third party. This is in contrast with curriculum that is developed internally within the department.

Why does it matter? Using established curriculum can create efficiencies; however, any curriculum used should meet state quality assurance standards.


  • Eleven states use off-the-shelf curriculum.
  • Eight states develop their curriculum internally.
  • Four use half established curriculum and half internally developed curriculum.
  • Information was not available to answer this question in five states.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agencies, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Sources for all data points are available through this link.

    Last updated: August 6, 2007

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush and Michael Colasanti. Please contact Melodye Bush (303.299.3631 or with comments or questions about this database.
  • Are courses off-the-shelf or developed internally?
    Alabama Half of the curriculum is purchased from established sources and half developed internally.
    American Samoa
    Arizona K12 Inc. curriculum is used
    Arkansas Courses are developed internally.
    California Courses are developed internally.
    Colorado Courses are developed internally.
    District of Columbia
    Florida Courses are developed internally.
    Georgia Courses are developed internally.
    Hawaii Courses are developed internally.
    Idaho Courses may be developed by qualified Idaho teachers who possess the necessary technical background and instructional expertise.
    Illinois Half of the curriculum is developed internally and half is licensed coursework.
    Iowa Some have been developed by Iowa educators and some have been purchased from outside sources.
    Kentucky Half is developed internally.  APEX and Florida Virtual High School curriculum are used for remainder.  National Governors Association awarded Kentucky Virtual High School $100,000 to develop online math courses for remedial students.
    Louisiana Courses are developed internally.
    Maryland Accredited providers such as APEX, K12, etc.
    Michigan Half of the courses are modifications from other developers. Other half are developed internally.
    Mississippi Courses are leased from Aventa Learning, and Florida Virtual School.
    Missouri Curriculum from a number of vendors is being modified to state standards by Northwestern Missouri State University.
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico No information available.
    New York
    North Carolina Courses are provided by Apex, Florida Virtual School, Oklahoma State University.
    North Dakota No information available.
    Oregon Online providers include OSU K-12 Online, OSU Extended Campus, Oregon Online, etc.
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina No information available.
    South Dakota Course providers include APEX, Blackhills State University, Northern State University, etc.
    Texas Course providers include APEX and AVENTA
    Utah No information available
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia No information available
    West Virginia Courses are developed externally and providers vary by course. Examples include BYU Independent Study, Florida Virtual School, Virtual Greenbrush, etc.
    Wisconsin Courses are developed externally

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