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Earning all those dual credits...I don't get it


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Not sure what I'm missing here.

 

I've read for years about students, both PS and HS, who graduate high school with oodles of college credits - sometimes as many as 30, meaning they enter college as sophomores. That saves money and time, and I'd like to save both, too! Some of them are taking dual credit at the local CC. Some are getting CLEP credits, or AP. My son just finished his sophomore year and I am just now sitting down to look at how he can jumpstart his college career. :)

 

I looked at one of the colleges we are considering, Texas A&M. After poring over their website, it appears that he could earn (and they would accept) a grand total of NINE credit hours before entering. Hmm. I looked around at a few other colleges in the area, and it seems to be the same. They are not obligated to accept the CC hours and there are only a few CLEP or AP credits that fit his degree plan (Engineering).

 

So, what am I missing? If your student earned a bunch of credits before ever entering college, can you tell me more about it? Does it depend upon your major?

 

I should add, I'm not trying to 'cut corners' on the college experience; I advised my oldest to take EVERY college course and drink in the full four years of college experience, which he did. It was good for him. But for this son, his degree path (Engineering) is a tough one; I would like to clear the decks of ANYthing extraneous - Am History, English Comp - and let him focus on the math and science courses that will be so challenging.

 

Okay, enlighten me! What am I not understanding? How can I lighten his college load?

 

Thanks,

Leslie

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every school is different, some will accept all the credits you have, others won't accept any (my dd's fancy little LAC won't, and won't even let her skip the classes she's already taken). IF the school takes anything, even 9 credits, your son will have a little advantage in that he will be considered a sophomore faster, and get a "higher" position to select classes, dorm rooms, etc. Minor, but better than nothing. He might be able to graduate a semester early with 9 credits going in - if he doubles up once or twice. Or, he could use the extra time to take a few fun classes he might not have the time for otherwise. A lot of kids will take introductory required classes, like an intro to writing class that almost every school seems to require, so they can skip them at college, especially if they are part of the 200+ student survey classes.

 

In my state, dual credit classes were $100/ea, my kids took a few for multiple reasons, to learn to follow a schedule someone else (not me) set, to take classes in subjects I knew nothing about, and to prove to themselves that they were bright and intelligent and capable of moving on.

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I don't know about Texas A &M, but the schools we looked at had no limit on credits earned in High School. There is a limit on how much you can transfer from another college, but it didn't count if you took those classes as a high school student. The schools looked at dual credit differently.

 

Does that make sense? You would need to check with the school about their policies, but they probably don't have it on their web-site.

 

FWIW, my dd is going to college in the fall and she earned 28 credits while in highschool. The school is taking all of them. :001_smile:

 

HTH

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I'm mostly with you. If we do any cc classes they will be taken only to help enrich and document our high school classes. Our cc system is very restricted in terms of what you can take so I'm not sure it will be of much use to us.

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It often depends upon the school and the major. In general, the higher ranked the school is, the less they will take from elsewhere with the reasoning being that pretty much ALL the incoming students will have had the same background (AP or whatever), and therefore, the 101 class essentially reviews the AP material in a couple of weeks, then moves on. (I've heard this from students in the classes - not just from theory.)

 

This tends to mean that within a major, a higher level school won't allow testing out unless the introductory class is, indeed, the same material. With classes outside of a major (English for a Bio major) they might as they don't care as much about the depth - it's not built upon later.

 

With regards to cc classes, many upper level colleges again won't accept the credits (or many credits) due to not being sure of the level of those classes. They are less "known" content-wise than AP (which has a set of topics on the test). Some colleges will accept cc credits for electives, but not toward the actual content course-work. The vast majority of students I've talked with have said their cc classes were inferior to their 4 year counterparts IF they went to a higher level school. There wasn't much of a difference (if any) for a lower level school.

 

Engineers have a huge set of required classes for their 4 years. You'd be wise to see which credits (if any) would transfer and aim that direction to best set up your student. Having Calc in high school, then repeating it in college, is also highly recommended. If the high school calc wasn't up to par, they'll at least have an intro to make the college calc easier. If it is up to par, then it'll just mean the student has an easy class their freshman fall quarter. That will help them adjust to college without damaging their GPA. Seeing calc for the first time in college (for an Engineering major) is not wise. Some top schools expect calc in high school for Engineering applicants even if they don't expect it for other majors.

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Mine took/take community college classes so they can get into college and so they can stay there once in. In other words, they are taking them so colleges have outside confirmation of their academic abilities and to learn how to learn in a "brick and mortar" classroom from someone other than mum. We don't necessarily expect any classes to transfer. The classes did transfer for my older sons and they lightened the freshman year load, which was nice because college was a big adjustment. It may allow them to minor. My youngest, who is headed for engineering, was advised to get his humanites electives out of the way. This may or may not work with his first choice college, but *if* the classes transfer, then having those humanities requirements out of the way might allow him to minor in something else technical or give him a bit of a cushion so that if he flunks something, he doesn't wind up going to college for an extra semester. Composition is another one that he might be able to transfer. He also might be able to transfer a basic programming class. The calculus might or might not transfer. I am assuming that whereever he goes will give all their freshman a math placement test during orientation and place them in classes accordingly. That may or may not happen, but it is a sensible way of proceding when you have a mixed batch of technical students all of whom probably have had some calculus. At any rate, I doubt he could get into his first choice school without taking calculus and the community college is an easy way for us to do this. Same with physics and chemistry. AP classes would also work, I'm sure, providing he scored well on the exam, or he could take the classes at our well-known public school, but this is easier for us because of the scheduling. We are quite sure our middle son was accepted to college because he had math and science community college classes from a known community college and our oldest, who was accepted into an engineering technology program, was accepted provisionally and had to take a community college math class and get at least a 2.0. This was because he had been out of school for a few years and they wanted to be sure he could still do math. So - upshot is that community college may or may not shorten the length of time it takes to get a degree, but it may strengthen one's application and it probably will help prepare one for college.

 

HTH

 

Nan

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Mine took/take community college classes so they can get into college and so they can stay there once in. In other words, they are taking them so colleges have outside confirmation of their academic abilities and to learn how to learn in a "brick and mortar" classroom from someone other than mum. We don't necessarily expect any classes to transfer. The classes did transfer for my older sons and they lightened the freshman year load, which was nice because college was a big adjustment. It may allow them to minor. My youngest, who is headed for engineering, was advised to get his humanites electives out of the way. This may or may not work with his first choice college, but *if* the classes transfer, then having those humanities requirements out of the way might allow him to minor in something else technical or give him a bit of a cushion so that if he flunks something, he doesn't wind up going to college for an extra semester. Composition is another one that he might be able to transfer. He also might be able to transfer a basic programming class. The calculus might or might not transfer. I am assuming that whereever he goes will give all their freshman a math placement test during orientation and place them in classes accordingly. That may or may not happen, but it is a sensible way of proceding when you have a mixed batch of technical students all of whom probably have had some calculus. At any rate, I doubt he could get into his first choice school without taking calculus and the community college is an easy way for us to do this. Same with physics and chemistry. AP classes would also work, I'm sure, providing he scored well on the exam, or he could take the classes at our well-known public school, but this is easier for us because of the scheduling. We are quite sure our middle son was accepted to college because he had math and science community college classes from a known community college and our oldest, who was accepted into an engineering technology program, was accepted provisionally and had to take a community college math class and get at least a 2.0. This was because he had been out of school for a few years and they wanted to be sure he could still do math. So - upshot is that community college may or may not shorten the length of time it takes to get a degree, but it may strengthen one's application and it probably will help prepare one for college.

 

HTH

 

Nan

 

This was us too. We didn't expect the credits to transfer but were pleased when they did.

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It really all depends on where you live. Here in Florida, all public university have a 2 + 2 = 4 agreement with the community colleges, so a student can begin a degree at the local community college and finish at the state school and all credits will transfer. On top of that, all dual enrollment classes are tuition free for Florida high school students, and so it ends up being a fantastic deal which can save half the cost of college.

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I thought that, in Texas, there was an agreement between the state schools and CC so that all Texas core classes had to be accepted. Look at the Texas common core classes. I would call the school for confirmation that only 9 hours would be accepted.

 

Linda

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I know that it does depend partially upon your major.

 

UT Dallas accepted credits from all but one course my dd took at cc. She is working on a degree in animation. They took Drawing I (counts towards her degree), Drawing II (as elective because it isn't required for her degree), English I and English II (only English II counts towards her degree, English I counts as elective), Psychology (counts as a core requirement), Statistics and Trigonometry (count as core requirements), Physics I and Introductory Chemistry (count as core requirements), Japanese I/II/II (count as elective because not required for degree). They did not give her credit for Digital Imaging I because they said it was too different from their Computer Imaging course (which is required for her degree).

 

She applied and was admitted as a freshman and got a freshman scholarship.

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I'm not seeing the same thing that you are...Texas A&M awards credit from dual credit hours taken at numerous colleges, all the student has to do is send the transcript from the college where the dual credit classes were taken to A&M (and there is no limit to the number of credit hours they will accept). Here is the page for incoming freshman with dual credit hours; the link on the page to the equivalency website will let you search by institution for transfer course equivalency. For example, if I want to know which courses transfer from my local community college, I select that institution and then select any of the course prefixes (ENGL for English, for example) and it shows me the transfer equivalency for every single English class that is taught for credit at my community college.

 

If you can find anything different, please let me know! My oldest is still young, but dual credit hours at the community college is in her future, so if the universities here in Texas are not going to take dual credit hours, I would like to know now; if she needs to graduate early in order to take higher math and whatnot at the community college, I need to start planning ahead of time!

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It depends on the college. Some take more than others. Some, not at all. For our purposes, college classes and AP tests were about providing rigorous academics to help make them good candidates for college. These provided outside verification of their academic abilities as well as experience with higher level teaching and grading. I considered any college credit that transferred to be gravy. That said, ds18's liberal arts college will be granting him close to 50 credit hours. Some transferred classes will replace requirements. Some won't, but will still count as hours toward graduation. Some will actually count toward his major.

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I think it is because you are looking specifically at engineering. That degree has such a large number of required classes, there is no room for electives. Florida tends to be a VERY generous state for credit transfer, but when dd looked into the U of Florida Environmental Engineering degree in order to help her choose which classes to dual enroll, she found out that only 9 classes are transferable, two of those are not offered at the local CC and a third the CC will not allow her to take. If she continues to lean toward an engineering degree the only classes that will transfer are Calc I, Calc II, Chem I, Chem II, Physics I and Physics II. The AA transfer program is for liberal arts degrees.

Edited by Melissa B
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So, what am I missing? If your student earned a bunch of credits before ever entering college, can you tell me more about it? Does it depend upon your major?

 

It depends on the university.

 

My daughter earned 24 semester credits this past year through our state's dual enrollment program, and will probably graduate with around 50. She's going into engineering also.

 

Some schools limit the number of credits for incoming freshman. Many do not. As long as the credits were earned as a high school student, my daughter will be considered a freshman applicant.

 

For us, there are significant advantages to entering an engineering program with a large number of credits. My daughter's first choice school has told us that her units will free her up to co-op, study abroad, or even complete a double major and still graduate within four or five years. She will have met all of the general education requirements by the time she enters.

 

Edited to add: She is not taking courses to transfer to her degree program. Instead, she is taking courses to meet general education requirements. She wants to take all of the required courses for her major at her four year university.

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DD earned 28 dual enrollment credits through Austin Community College (they have an agreement with all of the state universities). They marked her as an 'incoming Freshman' the first semester then a 'Sophomore' her second semester.

 

A&M gave dd credit for ALL of her dual enrollment courses (did not show up on A&M transcript until AFTER she completed her first semester there.

 

DD is now transferring to Texas State University-- they will accept all of the dual enrollment credits (will not count towards transfer hours for orientation though) as well as all of her A&M credits.

 

Instead of looking at the website-- try calling the admin office. Your CC admin office will also know what courses will transfer. Our CC had a 'list' of approved transfer courses.

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I think it would be tough to go into Engineering with a ton of transferable credits unless you have a good CC feeder system that offers lots of the freshman engineering classes.

 

My oldest is a computer science major, which is in the College of Engineering at VT. He went having done his freshman English and two semesters of Spanish at CC. It just didn't work to have him take more. I was leery of him taking classes like Calculus or sciences in the CC that might not prepare him well enough for later classes.

 

Ds#2 entered the School of Business with 27 credits: English (2 sem), Economics (2 sem), Public Speaking, Music Appreciation, US History I, Sociology, and Psychology. He will start his second year as a junior. We were particular about having him take classes that would transfer and apply to his business degree or to the necessary liberal arts credits.

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I looked at one of the colleges we are considering, Texas A&M. After poring over their website, it appears that he could earn (and they would accept) a grand total of NINE credit hours before entering. Hmm. I looked around at a few other colleges in the area, and it seems to be the same. They are not obligated to accept the CC hours and there are only a few CLEP or AP credits that fit his degree plan (Engineering).

 

What we found helpful was chemistry, physics, and calculus at our local CC. A few AP elective credits were helpful, but those core math/science courses at our local CC were accepted for credit at my ds's college -- and allowed him a tremendous amount of flexibility in his engineering schedule. Our local CC prepared my ds well. I know that all CCs are not created equal, so this may not be a good option for everyone -- but it may be one reason you are hearing about higher numbers of transfer credits.

 

Best of luck!

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Even nine credits is better than nothing, eh? :)

 

Remember that we're all from different states, and all the states do something different.

 

Our c.c. experience was in California, where c.c. transfer students are guaranteed to be admitted to CalState and UC, where c.c. doesn't require SAT/ACT scores or high school transcripts, and where tuition is crazy inexpensive. No one knew back in the late 80s/early 90s about how hsers could do AP or CLEP, at least no one *I* knew, and so for many of us, c.c. was the way to go. Also, my dds did c.c. instead of high school, since c.c. credits transferred and I didn't see the point of doing high school twice (most of the lower division courses are a repeat of high school).

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DS also had tons of dual credit at the end of high school. Some of that was earned when he was at home with me me, and some from a gifted residential high school he attended that was on the campus of Ball STate University. Since all the credits were earned at state universities that had worked out which courses transfer as what, so to speak, there was no real problem with acceptance by ds's eventual college. He is a computer engineer and is finishing up his degree next fall - 3.5 years. That despite entering with about 2 years worth of credit, some of which they chose not to apply ( he had simply tons of great books credits which just didn't fit into their system). But, like others, the value was not in the amount of transference but on the great financial deal he got out of the college - mainly because of all the credit he had. We were paying about $10k a year for his college which ordinarily would have cost between $30-40K. Having him graduate any sooner would not have been a great idea in his case, since I feel he needed extra time to 'grow up' and prepare for the real world.

 

Now my second son hasn't taken any dual credit and probably won't until 12th grade - perhaps just a course or two. I am hoping and wishing that he will still find some tuition deals despite this. He has been taking the rigorous course approach recommended by WTM - so lots of very challenging literature etc and solid sciences and math. He is probably going to be a bio major or something similar. But I do worry that compared to his brother he doesn't have that wow factor that will give us tuition breaks. He also has a sister one year behind him, but she has set her heart on being a starving artist, if at all possible, so college for her is going to look extremely different and many years off - possibly!:blink:

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I entered a relatively selective university as a sophomore on the basis of my AP scores, but ALL the credits were counted as electives. I still had to take all the core required classes, since they wanted everyone coming in to take them there. I was able to graduate in three years, but I mostly had to stick to required classes (core classes, major classes, and minor classes) in order to get it all done in those three years. On one hand, the way I did it was a lot cheaper, since I only paid for three years of university. On the other hand, if money were no object, it would have been a lot more fun and more interesting to be able to take college-level courses for another year rather than all the AP classes I took senior year of high school (my high school allowed early graduation for certain students).

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I'm not seeing the same thing that you are...Texas A&M awards credit from dual credit hours taken at numerous colleges, all the student has to do is send the transcript from the college where the dual credit classes were taken to A&M (and there is no limit to the number of credit hours they will accept). Here is the page for incoming freshman with dual credit hours; the link on the page to the equivalency website will let you search by institution for transfer course equivalency. For example, if I want to know which courses transfer from my local community college, I select that institution and then select any of the course prefixes (ENGL for English, for example) and it shows me the transfer equivalency for every single English class that is taught for credit at my community college.

 

If you can find anything different, please let me know! My oldest is still young, but dual credit hours at the community college is in her future, so if the universities here in Texas are not going to take dual credit hours, I would like to know now; if she needs to graduate early in order to take higher math and whatnot at the community college, I need to start planning ahead of time!

 

Yes, A&M takes some dual credit, and I should have clarified this, but I am not interested in dual credit at a CC; rather, I would like for the high school classes he is taking to translate into AP or CLEP credits. I have the list of CLEP credits accepted by A&M, for instance; but I only see THREE tests, for 9 credit hours, that fit the Mechanical Engineering degree plan - American Gov't, and the two US History. We plan to take those 2 CLEP exams this summer. I see a total of 18 'University Core' credits over his four years' of ME. The rest are ENGR or MATH courses that you wouldn't want to take elsewhere. So, perhaps it is our degree program that is most limiting.

 

Also, our local CC is not in the TAP program with A&M (who knows why, they are a mess) so even if we wanted to do that, I don't know what A&M will accept. Austin CC must be considered a strong CC! That's great.

 

My whole purpose in pursuing this is to do what someone mentioned in this thread - off-load some of the Humanities, or electives, so he can focus on the challenging math and science courses. I am not trying to eliminate THOSE; they are the ones he really needs at the 4-yr college! But I know they are difficult. I am assuming the freshman Engineering course is designed to separate the men from the boys, so to speak. I would love to lighten his freshman load from 17-18 credit hours to 14-15 so he has more time to work on ENGR 111 and MATH 151 and PHYS 151.

 

We hope to spend two years on both Calc and Physics, in high school, so he is really ready for the college-level Calc. Probably take the regular courses then the AP versions. As someone mentioned, I have heard that there is NO way you can encounter Calc for the first time in college and be ready for it. :)

 

Angie, we are looking at UTD as well, and will visit it next week. My impression of it is that it's for brainiacs and we won't quite make the cut. :) My ds is smart, a 90-percenter, but I think of UTD as being for the 96-percenters. heh.

 

Thank you all . . . I have learned some, and, had some of my 'suspicions' about engineering confirmed. :)

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Out of AP, dual enrollment and CLEP, CLEP is generally the least likely to earn college credit at the more selective universities - or at least the ones I have checked. That's probably why they will only accept three of them for the engineering students. If they would accept dual enrollment credits for some of the general education courses, then that's what I would do if I was looking to lighten the load in university. I'm also not of the mindset that the heavy math and science courses should be reserved for university as I think it's great to take them dual enrolled - whether the credit will transfer or not, the knowledge surely will. :) As was mentioned by several posters earlier in this thread, there are many benefits to taking the cc classes; possible credit is just one of them.

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My whole purpose in pursuing this is to do what someone mentioned in this thread - off-load some of the Humanities, or electives, so he can focus on the challenging math and science courses. I am not trying to eliminate THOSE; they are the ones he really needs at the 4-yr college! But I know they are difficult. I am assuming the freshman Engineering course is designed to separate the men from the boys, so to speak. I would love to lighten his freshman load from 17-18 credit hours to 14-15 so he has more time to work on ENGR 111 and MATH 151 and PHYS 151.

 

 

 

 

You might want to rethink this approach. Taking 4 heavy math/science courses per semester might not be the easiest thing to do. It might be better to take 2-3 per semester and fill in the other 1-2 courses with something easier, like the history or English that you're thinking of testing out of. But if he's already tested out, he won't have those to fill in with.

 

And if he fills in with other easier courses, all this will accomplish is allowing him to take more elective courses. Not that that would necessarily be a bad thing, but it depends on his goals.

 

Getting the intro calc, chemistry, and physics out of the way can be a useful thing to do, but it's not likely that you'll be able to accomplish this with CLEP tests when going into an engineering program. AP might be possible, but my experience has been that it's only the really TOP students that can pull this off. Many students do well on the AP tests and may get into higher classes, but then find they really don't have the background they were supposed to have. Some of this is due to the AP tests being somewhat easier than taking a college class (it seems to be easier to game the test than the class), and some due to the fact that intro classes at a college tend to have some idea what to focus on for the later classes. AP tests tend to test what an average college would want, not a specific college.

 

A really brilliant student won't be hampered by the previous classes not being up to snuff. They'll just learn what they need as they go. But a student who already is having to work hard to keep up with the material might find that missing a few bits and pieces here and there will just sink them.

 

If you were to go the AP route, the one math/science test I would recommend would be the Calc test. That seems to lead into the higher math easier than the science tests lead into the science classes. (But my daughter took AP Calc and still found she had a lot of gaps that she needed to make up when she got into Calc 3. It was a bit of a scramble. It wasn't her fault. The AP test just didn't cover what the college expected.)

 

For credit, AP might possibly be a better bet than CC, if only because the colleges know what they're getting with AP. CC might work just fine if the college knows what courses from the CC are like. There are some issues with transferring credits between colleges because sometimes the sequences are different. A course at one college might just cover different material and not be exactly equivalent to one at a different college.

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In the more competitive schools most all students being admitted will have credits via college classes or APs. You need some just to get in. Fewer schools are actually graduating students easily in 4 years so any credits they accept could be a help to get finished. Don't push ahead in Engineering programs unless you are really ready. Dd was in an engineering school last year and watched many excellent students sweat their first year calc and physics classes.

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My older DD (always home schooled) went to a local community college here. I had done all I could with her, she was board. To challenge her we signed her up for FULL time comunity college - TNCC, and her Jr and Sr year 18 to 20 credit hours per semester. These counted as dual enrollment. So high school credit (waaaay more than we needed) and all classes/credits able to transfer to her college of choice - Virginia Tech.

Va Tech has a policy with TNCC. So DD actually had a list of classes to take at TNCC that were SURE to transfer to Va Tech.

So>>>ALL her TNCC work transfers. She will graduate (next month) with an Associates degree in Science (emphases on chemistry)

She will start Va Tech this Aug with Chemical Engineering as her major, she takes one more class "elective" at Va Tech her Sr year and she has a dual degree.

The engineering counselor at Va Tech stepped DD and my husband thru this process for the past 2 years, emailing and talking. They actually met face to face when they went to Va Tech recently.

This has saved us time and money.

LIke the other mom mentioned, helped to "establish" that DD "can" function in a college type setting.

This also alowed her to go on and take the college "weed out" courses such as Organic Chemistry with a much lighter semester load than she would have had at VaTech. That way she can focus on her very hard classes, and they are not throw all together (like are scheduled at a semester).

HTH!

Amy :001_smile:

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When my dd visited Texas A&M last year, one of the tour leaders recommended not taking more than 27 hours through dual enrollment because that would cause the student to have to declare a major almost immediately. The implication is that they not only accept dual credits, but that there is no limit to the number they will accept.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Cathy

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My whole purpose in pursuing this is to do what someone mentioned in this thread - off-load some of the Humanities, or electives, so he can focus on the challenging math and science courses. I am not trying to eliminate THOSE; they are the ones he really needs at the 4-yr college! But I know they are difficult. I am assuming the freshman Engineering course is designed to separate the men from the boys, so to speak. I would love to lighten his freshman load from 17-18 credit hours to 14-15 so he has more time to work on ENGR 111 and MATH 151 and PHYS 151.

 

 

 

This sounds good, but it might be nice for him to have some of the lighter classes interspersed in his heavier classes. I did some 18 credit semesters (and worked part-time), but spread out my non-engineering/math classes around, so I'd have at least one "easy" class per semester. (I didn't have the option of credits transferring because I went back to college 4 years after high school.)

 

I did end up taking a couple summer classes to lighten a semester up, but was able to finish in 4 years.

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You might want to rethink this approach. Taking 4 heavy math/science courses per semester might not be the easiest thing to do. It might be better to take 2-3 per semester and fill in the other 1-2 courses with something easier, like the history or English that you're thinking of testing out of. But if he's already tested out, he won't have those to fill in with.]

 

Here's a link to Mechanical Engineering sequence at A&M:

 

http://www.mengr.tamu.edu/Academics/UndergraduateProgram/documents/curriculumworksheetcat134.pdf

 

i may be missing something, but as best as I can tell, he has no choice but to take the 'heavy math/science courses per semester.' I realize this plan may be tweaked a bit by the time he arrives, but . . . I don't see much room for tweaking! ha.

 

But I thought there might be room for off-loading a few of the electives . . . 3 cr in each of the first three semesters.

 

My current plan is to take two years of Calc; one can be in the university-model school he attends, and the other can be at the local CC. We are also considering two years of Physics, in some manner - perhaps Physics followed by AP Physics or a specialized project. Not so that he can test out of those critical courses, but so that he is PREPARED for the college-level work, and, if possible, off-load some of the electives so he has time to work on the Math/Engr/Phys courses.

 

Hope that makes sense. As I said initially, I just don't see how he could have lots of dual credit . . . where would credits in Psychology or Shakespeare apply, when his degree plan starts with Freshman Engineering, Physics: Mechanics, Physics: Electricity and Optics, . . . etc. etc.

 

That's my best guess: that some students can arrive at college with buckets of credits via AP or CLEP or community college, because those credits fit their degree plan; others have less opportunity to lighten their load in that same way. I do plan to ask an academic advisor at A&M and UTD to help me see the possibilities. But their requirements for the electives are very specific. I think we will be doing good to shed 9-12 college hours. But even that will help.

 

Thanks for all the discussion . . .my wheels are turning!

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You might want to rethink this approach. Taking 4 heavy math/science courses per semester might not be the easiest thing to do. It might be better to take 2-3 per semester and fill in the other 1-2 courses with something easier, like the history or English that you're thinking of testing out of. But if he's already tested out, he won't have those to fill in with.

 

:rofl: Engineering majors usually have to take 3-4 math/science/engineering courses per semester to make it through in four years. If you take less, that means you take longer to get through college (usually). There are just a LOT of pre-reqs before you can get into the upper level eng classes -- and then, you are taking 2-3 of THOSE and THEY are buggers!

 

I don't have any near this age yet, so I'm following with interest. However, I'm a Mech. Eng. (dh is an Electrical Eng.), so I have some (rather dated) street cred.

 

I took Calc III & Diff. Eq. my senior year of high school at the local university. Those credits (7? or 9?) transferred. Because I had all that math out of the way & with a little summer school (mostly Physics, due to when I had to have the pre-reqs for my Eng. classes), I graduated in 3 1/2 yrs.

 

That said, I did like having a fluff (humanities) class each semester. Provided some good relaxation time -- art history, theater, & early mornings writing papers for non-eng. classes ...

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Sometimes they have a different policy depending on where the credits were taken. My daughter's school had a similar limit, but they took all the community college course credits because the others were pre-enrollment classes at the college she finally went to. In other words, they didn't count the classes she took before she enrolled as transfers, although if you read their literature it sure sounded like they would. So, sometimes things work out better than you think they will. I would talk to someone at the school and ask.

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Root Ann,

 

You are an anomaly! At least, today. :) When my son attended engineering camp at UT-Arlington, I asked the Engineering Dept. recruiter if an engineering degree was REALLY a 4-year degree . . . and he said no. I asked if most of the students took 6 years and he said yes. Biomedical Engineering IS a 6-year degree, so I can only imagine what an egghead one would have to be to accomplish it in its expected time frame! heh.

 

My son accelerated his pace and took Pre-Calc as a 10th grader. He struggled with a few concepts, but in talking to his math teacher, we think he can solidify those weak spots this summer so he can take Calc as a junior. After that, maybe AP Calc or Calc at the CC? Open to any recommendations :)

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My son accelerated his pace and took Pre-Calc as a 10th grader. He struggled with a few concepts, but in talking to his math teacher, we think he can solidify those weak spots this summer so he can take Calc as a junior. After that, maybe AP Calc or Calc at the CC? Open to any recommendations :)

 

My only suggestion with this scenario is to keep tabs on how he's doing in his first Calc course. If he's doing well, it's possible he'll be able to do an AP test the first year through Calc. It would likely be the AB test.

 

BC Calc moves through the math much faster, so it's not so likely he'd do that in the coming year. It is true that one can just take the BC test and that will also count for the AB portion (assuming a decent score), but given how things change over time for most students, it might be worth doing the AB test if there's an opportunity and having it DONE. Then if he doesn't go on with the calculus until he actually gets to college, he'll at least have the one semester done.

 

But this only applies if he's doing well this coming year. I wouldn't advise pushing an AP test onto a student who isn't ready.

 

BTW -- the engineering schools we've looked at tend to do only 2-3 math heavy courses each semester in the first couple years. The rest is filled in with general ed courses that tend to be easier (and with less lab time). For the first year, a college student might really want to have that buffer of less math/science each semester. For one thing, it will likely be a boost to their GPA. Courses being transferred in won't count into the GPA at most schools. And if a student has a scholarship that is GPA dependent, this might be a consideration.

 

It really bugs me, by the way, that math/science students are often held to the same GPA requirements to maintain their scholarships as other majors are.

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Hi Leslie,

I took just a five minute look and I think he has good AP options at TexasA&M that would fit in with an engineering plan.

 

Here's what I looked at.

http://mars.tamu.edu/testingsite/PDFfiles/AP.PDF

http://www.mengr.tamu.edu/academics/undergraduateprogram/documents/UniversityCoreCurriculumElectivesCatalog129.pdf

As well as the engineering worksheet you posted.

 

Here are a few suggestions:

1. There are 30 hours of university core curriculum requirements. In the engineering plan these are taken about 3 hours a semester as electives. These would be courses like social sciences, art, etc. Quite a few of these line up really neatly with AP courses. Just to give a couple of examples. AP art history with a score of 4 earns three credits for both art history 149 and 150 for six credits total. AP Macro and Micro econ both earn three credits and is each worth a 3 credit hour course.

 

2. Having a good foundation in calculus in high school will definitely save him time. BC Calc with a score of 4 or 5 earns credit for Math 151, 152 for 8 credit hours.

 

Engineering is a really tough major with very full semesters. The goal shouldn't be to graduate in less than four semester but to be able to graduate in four semesters with good grades. Some students like having the electives to provide some break from math and science. On the other hand, knocking some off in high school would allow him more time devote to his major courses and make sure he keeps his GPA up.

 

You will want to check on the maximum limit of credit from credit by examination. I found one place that said 45 but I didn't spend enough time searching to take that as a firm answer.

Edited by Barbara H
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Root Ann,

 

You are an anomaly! At least, today. :) When my son attended engineering camp at UT-Arlington, I asked the Engineering Dept. recruiter if an engineering degree was REALLY a 4-year degree . . . and he said no. I asked if most of the students took 6 years and he said yes. Biomedical Engineering IS a 6-year degree, so I can only imagine what an egghead one would have to be to accomplish it in its expected time frame! heh.

 

Interesting. I know two recent biomedical engineering graduates who did it in 4 years. I had never heard of it being a 6 year degree except for people who co-oped every other semester.

 

 

My son accelerated his pace and took Pre-Calc as a 10th grader. He struggled with a few concepts, but in talking to his math teacher, we think he can solidify those weak spots this summer so he can take Calc as a junior. After that, maybe AP Calc or Calc at the CC? Open to any recommendations :)

 

Why not just have him take AP calc or CC next year? He can wait to take the AP exam if he is not ready. If there is a credit transfer problem with the CC, he could still take the AP exam and get credit for it. I just don't see a point in doing calc over 2 years if he is getting it the first time.

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Interesting. I know two recent biomedical engineering graduates who did it in 4 years. I had never heard of it being a 6 year degree except for people who co-oped every other semester.

 

My niece has a biomed engineering degree and she completed it in a traditional 4 year timeframe. I'm not sure what AP credits she received but I don't think it was more than 3 or 4 courses worth.

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BME is still a 4 year degree around here. I'm wondering if the 6 year deal is due to being a state college and not getting classes on time or with some study abroad/co-op experience. Of course, if one fails a class, that can set them back a year if the class failed is a sequential one offered fall or spring only.

 

But, for a good student who can handle the course load - which many successful BME majors can - it's still a 4 year degree. Some majors which tend to be 5 year degrees (like Architecture at many places) are that way due to so many courses needed and many of those are sequential.

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  • 2 months later...

I read this entire thread tonight. Incredibly interesting! My thanks to the OP and to everyone who posted! My DD is starting 6th grade, and this thread opened my eyes, to many different things about Dual Credit courses in High School, and the implications after that, in University.

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That's my best guess: that some students can arrive at college with buckets of credits via AP or CLEP or community college, because those credits fit their degree plan; others have less opportunity to lighten their load in that same way.

 

I think this is very true. My son applied as a freshman (for scholarship consideration), but had 50 credits transfer in from LAC classes, AP, and a foreign language CLEP. This immediately gave him sophomore standing, but due to the intensive requirements of his proposed major (also a STEM field) and the intensive honors college requirements (and virtually no overlap), he will be lucky to graduate in four years and will have little room for electives.

 

The best benefit of his sophomore standing will be getting to register earlier than most of the other incoming freshman. But in the end, we did the LAC classes and AP classes/tests to give him a rigorous high school education and prepare him for college. And it probably also helped him get some great scholarships. :001_smile:

Edited by Frances
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My dds graduated with 47 and 65 college credits respectively. It involved a bit of homework, knowing which of their target universities accepted which credits from the CC, which AP exams and which CLEP exams. It was all worth it.

 

My older dd completed her master's degree after 4 years and my younger dd will complete her bachelor's degree this December after 5 semesters at the university. (She'll then continue on for her master's.)

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My 2 oldest graduated with 35 and 30 each. We didn't do it so much to just rack up credits as we did it for the validation of their transcripts as well as the experience and getting some of the basics out of the way (government, history, composition, etc.)

 

Both boys are engineering majors (oldest graduated this spring). In order to graduate in 4 years the students must follow a track that puts them in calculus their freshman fall semester...in other words, they have to start with a heavy math/science load. Where the dual credits came in handy, IMO, was in lessening their work load each semester. The school schedules the liberal arts courses and those were the ones my boys didn't have to take. So where their classmates had to take 16 hours, my sons only had to take 13. However, be aware that many of the scholarships are based on taking a certain number of hours per year/semester. My boys often added in a PE class to bump them to the appropriate number of credits needed.

 

DS#2 is looking to transfer to Texas A & M next fall. We've met with the student adviser and discussed the transfer of classes. DS's statistic course will not transfer to meet their statistics course, but it looks like everything else will. But he hasn't applied yet so it's possible we will learn otherwise.

 

So, for us, dual credit wasn't all about getting through early or cutting the cost, because that doesn't work in engineering anyway. But it was more about getting the credit for high school that would validate the mommy transcript and show the colleges that these boys could do the college level work.

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For our purposes, college classes and AP tests were about providing rigorous academics to help make them good candidates for college. These provided outside verification of their academic abilities as well as experience with higher level teaching and grading. I considered any college credit that transferred to be gravy.

 

:iagree: I still haven't figured out how to do the quote with the author attached, but Dirty Ethel Rackham summed up my thinking perfectly!

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So, for us, dual credit wasn't all about getting through early or cutting the cost, because that doesn't work in engineering anyway. But it was more about getting the credit for high school that would validate the mommy transcript and show the colleges that these boys could do the college level work.

 

:iagree:

This is the approach we take with dual enrollment.

Plus, it provides the academic challenge DD needs, and for one subject (French) it is the only way for us to get instruction at the necessary level.

It would be nice of some credits transferred, but that is not really our motivation.

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So, for us, dual credit wasn't all about getting through early or cutting the cost, because that doesn't work in engineering anyway. But it was more about getting the credit for high school that would validate the mommy transcript and show the colleges that these boys could do the college level work.

 

Same here (except none of mine are engineering) - with no regrets.

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Well, we're basically doing it for all those menial reasons listed: to cut corners, save money, and get done early. :D Going for a liberal arts degree (even double major) dd can earn nearly her entire BA before graduating high school and we make no apologies for doing it this way. ;)

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Leslie, I don't have a lot of experience with ME (we have EE going here), but your student can take maths dual enrolled at TCC. I would go in and talk to the math department and say, "Dd is heading to A & M for ME", and then ask which profs for a younger student. (That's an appropriate question, while "which are your good profs" might not be, and the dept chair will have your ds' end goal in mind.

 

I don't know which Chem and Physics classes those are (I'm too busy to go look them up) but he could take those and transfer them in as well, just be sure that he gets the right ones, physics for engineering or chem for engineering. If you can find the common core equivalency list, it will tell you. In one case, we found that it took two TTC courses to equal one UT course, and that was in the fine print, so *read the fine print.*

 

I would be careful not to take all of your ds' humanities courses out of play early, because those can be easier classes which can help him to boost a GPA, if he has a scholarship which is dependent on maintaining a certain GPA.

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