Florida Virtual School Helps International Baccalaureate Student Find Her Passion

12th-grade student Ashley Francis thinks of herself as a Florida Virtual School (FLVS) “Student Ambassador” and it’s easy to see why. Her love for FLVS is evident when speaking with her or reading her comments on online discussion boards. But it was a lucky circumstance that led Ashley to FLVS four years ago.

When selecting classes as an accelerated freshman student at her brick-and-mortar school, Coral Reef Senior High School, Spanish was Ashley’s language of study. But because four years had passed since she completed a Spanish class, she needed to rebuild her Spanish knowledge. To ensure her success in Spanish, she was placed into Spanish 1, which wasn’t offered at her school. And so, she turned to FLVS to complete her requirement while still taking a full load of advanced courses in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. 

She appreciated being able to work on her FLVS course whenever she had free time in her schedule and to work ahead. Due to her positive experience, when she finished the Spanish 1 class, she was already looking at other FLVS classes that piqued her interest and that weren’t available in her school’s IB program. 

While it might seem daunting to be in an IB program and take additional classes through FLVS, Ashley says that although it can be rigorous, she enjoys it because the FLVS courses really interest her and provide her with a foundation for her future. By supplementing her learning with online courses, she can envision what she wants to do as a career or study in college.

Career and Technical Education Courses That Fit Her Future Goals

With nearly 20 Career and Technical Education (CTE) electives available for the 2022-23 school year, FLVS provides students the freedom to explore their interests and prepares them with the academic, technical, and employability skills needed for the in-demand careers of tomorrow.  When several of these CTE industry-focused classes are taken in progression, it creates an accessible pathway (called a Program of Study) to gain the skills and certifications needed for college and career success. 

FLVS has eight CTE Programs of Study that provide students with classes that examine real-world learning opportunities in high-demand fields. And it was through these FLVS CTE courses that Ashley found her love of cybersecurity. 

Although interested in computer science and coding since she was young, during her Computer and Network Security Fundamentals class she realized cybersecurity offered her more opportunities to work collaboratively with others and use more investigative techniques to work through problems. She also liked that cybersecurity is an always-evolving field and that it can be used with counterterrorism as well. This motivated her to focus her learning on courses that would prepare her for a career in cybersecurity.

FLVS also motivated Ashley to earn professional certifications that weren’t available to her as an IB student at her school. Industry certifications may make students more competitive for job openings. She has already earned her Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) and MS-900 Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certifications through FLVS and has plans to finish the Programs of Study for Principles of Teaching and Applied Cybersecurity, completing the industry certifications attached to those programs as well. 

FLVS provides Ashley the flexibility to do her coursework online whenever she has free time and she can even work on the go if needed. Plus, with the additional classes she has taken, her GPA increased as well. Ashley appreciates seeing her accomplishments as she knows they will only benefit her and her career in the future. 

If you’re interested in flexible online learning at FLVS to either get ahead, get caught up, explore your passions with electives and CTE courses, or are looking to fill a graduation requirement, visit www.flvs.net/noclassroomrequired. For more information about FLVS CTE courses, visit www.flvs.net/online-courses/career-education-courses.

Katie HodginsKatie Hodgins brings her wealth of experience and passion to the FLVS team, assuming the role of Content and Public Relations Specialist. A military veteran and lifelong learner, Katie enjoys communicating unique and innovative stories about people, places, and opportunities to inspire and engage the next generation. Having traveled throughout the world, she is excited to plant roots here in Florida and with Florida Virtual School.

5 comments on “Florida Virtual School Helps International Baccalaureate Student Find Her Passion

  1. Gisselle

    Wow! This was absolutely phenomenal. I loved reading this article and I hope to hear more from Ashley Francis in the future! You will go so far in life with this positive attitude. Actually, because of you I have decided to take my own FLVS course. This is changing lives, and I so look forward to my experience with FLVS and I know it will be just as positive as Ashley’s. 💜💜

  2. Kaylee Espinosa

    Oh wow! I never thought FLVS could be so helpful for my future life (career and college). I have taken a few classes and I actually really enjoyed them. I think Ashley has motivated me to take so more classes in order to help push me further into my future.


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