Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Terence C. Ahern.


Online learning has grown so much in recent years that researchers have struggled to keep up with its evolution. Practitioners are interested not only in how many schools are using online courses, but also how these courses are being delivered and how programs are being implemented.;The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the impact of virtual programs on Appalachian Ohio school districts including: which Appalachian Ohio High Schools are using virtual programs, what programs are being used, and why these programs are in place. Rural school districts have added hardships because they are usually limited in course offerings due to budget constraints and geographic location. This study will specifically look at The Appalachian Ohio region and determine how the use of virtual programs is being implemented.;The outcomes of this study will help educators make more informed decisions on the educational infrastructure they create, as well as the support mechanisms in place for students. It is important that educational institutions understand how to best support their students throughout their educational career and provide the best training to prepare a 21st century workforce.