Patrick Henry College is a Protestant institution of higher learning located in Purcellville, Virginia was created in 2000 to address the needs of “Christian” home schooled children, giving them the same accredited, traditional educational opportunities as public/private school students. Founded in partnership with the Home School Legal Defense Association (and now home to its headquarters), it is the first school of its kind and intermingles religion into all levels of education (even requiring specific religious slants on certain science topics and a signed letter declaring a student’s Christian beliefs before admittance).
Patrick Henry is a “teacher’s college”, a baccalaureate school that challenges its faculty to stay on the cusp of educational techniques and continue learning for the benefit of their 350 or so students. Offering Bachelor level training in government, literature, journalism, history, and classical liberal arts, all classes are taught in a way that shows the “interconnectedness” of all disciplines through Christ, and students are prepared for lives of service and glorification of God, regardless of their future occupation.
All students at the college end their time there with an apprenticeship before achieving a degree, a program helped by their location near to the Washington DC area and all the internships/resources available.
There is a distance learning option at Patrick Henry, a pretty vast one that encompasses almost the entirety of their core liberal arts requirements. Granted, there is no degree offered entirely online, but with the amount of core curriculum available for the online learner, you can complete almost the credit equivalent of two years worth of college entirely at home. The 63 credits of core curriculum are available non-traditionally, essentially “the cornerstone of all academic programs” at Patrick Henry, as well as intermediate foreign language classes and various additional offerings each semester.
Again, there are no online degrees achievable without on campus work, but distance learners are treated to a college that is “commited to replicating the on campus experience”, with classes that place “considerable emphasis on dialogue between professor and student, and between students and their classmates”. The Campus at Home program utilizes discussion forums and live chats to mimic the in class experience, with once weekly online “meetings” that are essential (and mandatory) to the collaborative push of the school’s teaching methods. Comparable to their traditional equivalents (with their freshman level online classes described as “sophomore level”) and requiring a good four hours of work per weekly class, the distance learning here allows completion of those sometimes hard to schedule liberal arts requirements at a pace and time you’re comfortable with.
Non-degree seekers from high schoolers to adult learners are welcome to the courses at Patrick Henry, whether they’re looking to get a jump on college at a young age, or are looking to begin work towards a degree at some point and are taking classes to eventually transfer (or utilize the credits at Patrick Henry). Those not enrolled at the school proper can take the same exact classes as enrollees (though at a slightly reduced cost), including unlimited 100-level courses and up to 19 credits of core curriculum before the school requires the completion of a degree-seeking application. It’s a way to get your “feet wet” without committing to the full rigors of total enrollment, kind of a rent-to-own type of program.
Online classes do require the purchase of some textbooks, with some physical and some electronic, and the school also offers online library access, financial resources, and advisement/registration, as well as tech help at all hours.
Bringing God to all students, bringing opportunity to all learners, and bringing the tools to succeed in multiple disciplines, regardless of your educational path thus far, Patrick Henry College provides the tools and means for success.