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Diploma Partnership

“TPS welcomes individual course (“à la carte”) enrollment by independent (homeschool) students taking one or more subjects — or even all their courses — with TPS as an accredited course provider. We also offer the Diploma Partnership for independent (homeschool) students who want the added benefits of partnering with TPS as an accredited school.”

TPS is a non-profit U.S. regionally accredited (Middle States Atlantic Commission candidate) private online K-12 school for independent (homeschool) students worldwide. Established in 1997, TPS maintains a worldwide reputation for academic excellence from a biblical worldview. Independent students in all 50 U.S. states and 70+ countries currently use TPS courses to support their high school graduation requirements and prepare for college.

Course Provider and School

TPS welcomes individual course (“à la carte”) enrollment by independent (homeschool) students taking one or more subjects — or even all their courses — with TPS as an accredited course provider. We also offer the Diploma Partnership for independent (homeschool) students who want the added benefits of partnering with TPS as an accredited school. Beginning 2022-23, the Diploma Partnership benefits are expanded to include:

  • Advising regularly to review and update your course plan for a standout transcript
  • Enrolling courses with priority seating and placement, including adjustments as needed
  • Providing credible first-hand recommendations for extracurricular programs, scholarships, and college applications
  • Assisting and guiding in preparation of competitive college application packages
  • And more, starting before grade 9 and continuing through graduation

Homeschool or TPS Diploma?

Education laws vary between countries and U.S. states. Some countries and U.S. states require their students to be in an accredited diploma-producing program (including for homeschool) while others do not, and the specific course and credit requirements vary as well. For independent students who are required to be in an accredited diploma-producing program, the TPS Diploma Partnership may be used to meet your requirements (you must verify this for your specific requirements).

Even for those who have no requirement for an accredited diploma, the TPS Diploma is an enhanced partnership between your homeschool and TPS to steadily progress you toward your standout transcript, college application packages, and scholarship applications by working together each year to reevaluate and refine your goals, update your portfolio, and polish and complete the individual packages in time to support your particular application deadlines.

Regardless of your requirements, the TPS Diploma does not replace the homeschool diploma conferred by parents if this is your preference, and it does not change your independent parent-managed education status.

Diploma Partnership Benefits

Every student pays the same per-course tuition and receives the same top-quality instruction, feedback, and evaluation regardless of how many courses are enrolled. However, Diploma Partnership students receive additional benefits (with no extra costs):

  • Worldwide recognition and unequaled reputation for academic excellence. Satisfies general academic U.S. and international requirements for high school graduation and can be adapted to meet specific requirements unique to a state or country. (May not satisfy specific regional eligibility requirements for special programs, financial aid, scholarships, or other local, regional, or specialized applications.)
  • If you prefer to confer your own diploma (e.g., as homeschool parents), a TPS Diploma does not interfere — it can function as your secondary diploma with all the benefits while you still award your homeschool diploma (or both) at graduation.
  • Academic adviser assists each year with selecting courses for best high school preparation and then the strongest high school transcript tailored for the student’s goals and talents. Build your best transcript with our nearly 150 high school credit courses, including honors, college dual credit, and AP courses.
  • Priority enrollment for approved courses (including wait listed and limited enrollment courses). Additional support with complex scheduling and higher priority in wait list seating.
  • Fees (including non-refundable fees) are reduced or waived for course changes made in coordination with the academic adviser.
  • For official state forms requiring a school (non-parental) approval, endorsement, or signatures, TPS will provide school representation for the student.
  • For extracurricular high school student program applications that specifically require a school’s interaction, endorsement, or recommendation (and where TPS agrees to recommend the student for that particular program), TPS will interact, endorse, and recommend as the school on behalf of the student.
  • Transcript processing fee waived for grade 11/12 transcript(s) (the one(s) sent to colleges). (TPS processing fee is waived. Delivery and postage fees may still apply.)
  • (Starting with 2023 graduates) Guidance and support in the college application process, including:
    • Collaborative review of the student’s academic readiness for various schools and programs. (Non-parental counsel can often add a neutral or objective element.)
    • Choosing optimal application paths for the individual student. (The range of processes and applications — e.g., registered school versus homeschool, individual apps versus common app — are often unfamiliar to parents, and there are pros and cons to each so the “optimal” path is different for each student.)
    • Advising the student or parent in completing difficult or ambiguous portions of the application(s). (Applications often make general assumptions or seek specific information which may not apply to the independent student, with no guidance for alternative responses.)
    • Obtaining credible recommendations from teachers and others. (The “favorite” or most familiar teacher is not always the most effective or beneficial choice for a particular recommendation.)
    • Insights for creating impactful essays. (College application essays are different from the essays students have written during their 11-12 years of school.)
    • Explaining or portraying unique elements or even “trouble spots” in an application package. (A “rough patch” challenge that was overcome may become a feature not a blemish.)
    • Helping students recognize and articulate their unique story. (Effective college applications provide an accurate compelling coherent narrative that uses all the elements of the app and interviews to match the student’s story to the school’s interests.)
    • In the case of some highly competitive schools and programs (and where TPS agrees to recommend the student for that particular school or program), it may be in the student’s best interest (or may even be required) for TPS to complete portions of the application that are exclusive to a school and outside of the student’s purview.

Diploma Partnership Requirements

TPS offers a “standard” diploma and an “honors” diploma framework in which to build your course plans with your TPS adviser. The primary differences are: (1) Honors Diploma requires higher level courses in upper high school; (2) Honors Diploma requires six credits per year (Standard requires five). The Honors Diploma does not specifically require “Honors” courses, and both diploma plans may choose from our full range of our nearly-150 high school courses to build the strongest custom plan for each individual student.

The TPS Diploma framework requirements for standard and honors high school diploma plans are here (right-click the link and “Save link as…”). These are used as a basis for proposing, reviewing, and approving individual customized high school plans (including waivers and exceptions) each year between the family and the TPS adviser. For middle school students (grades 7-8), the framework is used to build an individual customized plan in each subject (English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Elective) that prepares the student for pursuing his or her standout high school transcript.

  • The Diploma Partnership is available by application to students in grades 7-12 who take all their classes with TPS.
  • It is generally required to join the program prior to the start of grade 9. Grade 10 students are considered on a case-by-case basis. Grade 11 and 12 students will generally not be considered since participation in the advising and planning process over time is required to provide the program benefits.
  • Participation in the Diploma Partnership is more than simply matching courses to grade level requirements. TPS works with each student to build strong individual plans and transcripts. For TPS approval, a diploma plan must provide sustained academic development and progress in all subjects throughout high school while also being individualized for the student’s readiness and goals (i.e., the same criteria used by college application reviewers).
  • To join the Diploma Partnership, a student must be currently enrolled in good standing in TPS English and TPS Math courses consistent with the student’s grade level.
  • Students submit application for TPS approval for their first year, and then renew their agreement each year after. Application and renewal generally precedes enrollment for that year so that TPS may enroll Diploma Partnership families ahead of others.
  • Each Diploma Partnership student meets with his or her academic adviser during the school year for the purposes of preparing for and building the college application portfolio (this is done throughout high school, not just at the end) and to review, validate, or update the student’s approved individual diploma plan prior to enrolling for the next year.

The Diploma Partnership requires an annual agreement with TPS prior to the student enrolling for each year. Without the Diploma Partnership Agreement, the student does not receive any of the benefits, even if the student is full-time in TPS for that year. There are nominal annual service fees for the additional individual advising, academic support, and tailored service of the Diploma Partnership. However, the fees are deferred as long as the student remains in the program and entirely waived when the student graduates. Details of the process and waived fees are explained in the introductory meeting (see below) prior to joining the program.

Starting the Diploma Partnership

To start the Diploma Partnership, a student must be currently enrolled in good standing in TPS English and TPS Math courses consistent with the student’s grade level. The course planning and commitments of the TPS Diploma Partnership require that English and Math level are solidly established as a foundation for a course plan.

For students who are not currently enrolled in good standing in TPS English and TPS Math courses consistent with the student’s grade level, but who may be interested in the Diploma Partnership, we request that you first enroll in your desired courses (including English and Math) and complete the placement approval process. Then notify us that you are ready to discuss the Diploma Partnership using the form below. If you are also new to TPS, you may request a New Family Enrollment Meeting prior to enrolling to discuss initial enrollment, including aligning your first enrollment to the Diploma Partnership.

For students who are currently enrolled in good standing in TPS English and TPS Math courses consistent with the student’s grade level, to learn more or to join the TPS Diploma Partnership, please download this Academic Advising Background Information form (right-click the link and “Save link as…”) and send it to [email protected] with a request to meet with an adviser to discuss the Diploma Partnership. We will reply with time options for a meeting.