Serving the Diocese of Palm Beach ... and Beyond
Approved by the Office of Catechetical Leadership, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Formation • Anthony C. Marchica, Director
Searchlight Virtual School FAQs
If we have not answered your question below, please send us your question by e-mail or phone.
E-mail: Michelle@SearchlightVS.com • Phone: 772-563-9457
What should I do first?
The first place to visit is the Enrollment page. Whether you are a catechist seeking Basic or Intermediate Catechist Certification or a Catholic school teacher seeking the Foundation Certificate or Level 1 Certification, enrollment is the first step. This page clearly outlines the steps of the enrollment process.
What are the system requirements for using the Searchlight online courses?
Attention Mac Users
You must be running OX 10.7 or higher. Install all security updates from Apple.
• A high speed internet connection.
• Acrobat Reader: Please download (or upgrade to) the most recent version. This application is necessary to support the electronic PDFs associated with each course. (Note: Electronic PDFs with interactive text fields are not supported on mobile devices and must be filled out via computer.) If you do want to complete your interactive course PDFs on an iPad or iPhone, you can purchase the "PDF Forms" App from the Apple App Store.
• The online tutorials are accessible on mobile devices.
Note: If you have technical questions regarding the use of these programs, contact the School Director. For contact info, click here.
What is the difference between Echos of Faith Catechist Certification and Searchlight Virtual School Catechist Certification?
Echos of Faith is a parish-based Catechist Certification program which the Diocese of Palm Beach has been using for a number of years. It is still a valid method for obtaining Catechist Certification in this diocese and now also offers an online venue.
The Catechist Certification program offered by the Searchlight Virtual School is called "Getting Up To Today: An Online Adult Religious Studies Program For Catholics." It consists of six web-based "Foundations" courses that are available for online study 24/7. For those who have difficulty participating in the parish-based sessions or prefer the flexibility of the internet, this is a good option.
Is the Searchlight Virtual School part of the Diocese of Palm Beach?
The Searchlight Virtual School was created for the purpose of serving the Diocese of Palm Beach. We now also officially serve several other dioceses. However, the school is a division of Ocean East Publishing, which is a privately-owned company.
Who issues Certification: The Searchlight Virtual School or the Diocese of Palm Beach?
While the Searchlight Virtual School provides and facilitates the online courses, the Diocese of Palm Beach issues both the Certificates of Completion and Certification when the certification requirements have been met. Careful records are maintained by the Office of Catechetical Leadership, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Formation for the Diocese of Palm Beach. For those outside the Diocese of Palm Beach who participate in the school, certificates and certification are issued through the Diocese of Palm Beach unless one's own diocese has a formal participation agreement. In this case, the certificates may be issued through one's own diocese.
Can I take the courses using different computers in different locations?
Yes. The online tutorial portion of each course is online and available 24/7. If you want to be able to complete the worksheets from a second computer, for example, your computer at work, save the worksheets to a USB Flash Drive.* Always access, enter information, and save your answers using the document saved to the Flash Drive. This way you can work on the courses anywhere you can connect to the internet.
* Flash Drive: A small, portable flash memory card that plugs into a computer's USB port and functions as a portable hard drive. USB flash drives are touted as being easy-to-use as they are small enough to be carried in a pocket and can plug into any computer with a USB drive. USB flash drives have less storage capacity than an external hard drive, but they are smaller and more durable because they do not contain any internal moving parts. USB flash drives also are called thumb drives, jump drives, pen drives, key drives, tokens, or simply USB drives.
I sent in an Enrollment Application but haven't been contacted by a Searchlight Representative. What should I do?
If you sent in an electronic enrollment form and you have not received an e-mail confirmation within 24-48 hours max, please call our office: 772-563-9457. Also, please review the information provided in the next question.
I am having trouble using the "Auto Submit" button on the forms. What should I do?
It is actually safer not to use the auto-submit buttons we have embedded in the electronic forms. Please use an alternate method for submitting the forms. Open the form, fill it out, and save it to your local computer. Then send us an e-mail and attach the form to that e-mail. Send the e-mail to: Michelle@SearchlightVS.com. An e-mail link can also be found at the bottom of each page and on the "Contact" page.
I am a catechist in another diocese and would like to use the Searchlight Virtual School courses for my certification. Can I do this?
The answer depends a great deal on your own diocese. The best thing to do is to call the Office of Catechetical Leadership, Youth and Young Adult Ministry Formation for the Diocese of Palm Beach and ask the diocesan director, Anthony Marchica, to get in contact with the catechetical director for your own diocese. He can discuss this with your diocesan leadership. For contact information go to the "Contact" page.
You might also consider calling the Director of your own diocese's Catechetical/Religious Education Office. Explain about the Searchlight Virtual School and invite him or her to visit the web site. Direct him or her to the Diocesan Affiliates page.
Can a Catholic Diocese other than Palm Beach use the Searchlight Virtual School courses?
The Searchlight Virtual School has been set up in a way that will allow other dioceses to make the school part of their diocese's catechetical ministry. Please visit the Diocesan Affiliates page.
How do I access the Catechist Certification courses?
The Certification courses for both parish catechists and Catholic school teachers can be accessed from any page of the web site. Roll over the "Courses" button at the top of any page. Read and follow the directions on the page that opens.
How can I get the course materials?
To receive course materials you must:
• Complete the Searchlight Virtual School enrollment process.
• Purchase a Searchlight Subscription Plan.
When the above steps are complete, your class materials are sent to you as an attachment to an e-mail. You receive the materials for all the courses required for a particular level of certification. The content is delivered online and can be accessed 24/7 via the internet from the "Courses" page.
How do I attach a form or the worksheets to my e-mail?
In your e-mail program you should compose a simple message and address it to: Michelle@SearchlightVS.com. Give the message a "subject." Then click the "attach" icon (typically looks like a paper clip). Choose "Browse." The "Browse" feature allows you to find and choose the folder containing the document you want to attach. When you locate the appropriate document, highlight it, then choose "attach or open." A PDF icon should pop into your e-mail. Once it does, you can send the e-mail.
The Searchlight Virtual School is a division of Ocean East Publishing.
The Searchlight software programs used on this site are the property of Ocean East Publishing and are for individual use by Searchlight students.
© 2017 Ocean East Publishing
All rights reserved.
Phone: 772-563-9457 • E-mail: Michelle@SearchlightVS.com