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Cons to Dual Enrollment?


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I haven't been on the board in a long time and now everything looks so different! Wow! I'm not really sure how to search tags anymore and can't seem to find any previous discussions on dual enrollment.

 

This upcoming year, my ds can enroll in a charter school with a primary focus of paying for college classes in order for students to get both high school and college credits. I'm assuming that is called dual enrollment?

 

He is 16 and college ready academically, however a few years ago I said I would not send him to college "early." Unfortunately I don't remember all the reasons and the pros of free college is really enticing. Please help me out with some input..

 

What are some cons of dual enrollment, or going to college early?

If you graduated your hs'ed child and did dual enrollment, in retrospect - would you go dual enrollment route again?

 

Thanks!

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I am not quite there yet but getting close so very interested in the replies you may get.

 

I'm considering doing the same for my dd15 next year-she will be a sophomore, and she's interested in getting ECE units so she can get a job at a local preschool while completing high school and college.

 

 

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When I attended a meeting/workshop for potential dual enrollment at our local CC, two points the presenter made struck me:

 

1. For a student not experienced in quarter or semester compression of the work load (those who may not have done block scheduling), this can be an bigger adjustment than some realize and to allow some breathing room the first go at it.

 

2. The CC population is made up a very diverse age range, background set and so forth. The lady phrased it this way: "How comfortable will you be with your 15 year old daughter emailing and online chatting with a 30+ year old man for lab work?"

 

I would be curious what others who have BTDT think of those notes. I am not sure where I land on this.

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We haven't done it, but one of my best friends who sent her kids says

the worst part was the smoking and the swearing.

 

Academically, her homeschooled kids knew most of the material

for the entry-level community college classes already, so it was mostly review

for them. This could be a pro or a con. They did get good grades though.

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The only con here is that you have to be careful not to overload your student. The cc classes have to take priority over everything else.

 

Some classes require more of a time commitment than others. My dd found Chem I to be ridiculously easy because it was pretty much the honors course we had done at home, but crammed into one semester. Chem II was extremely time-consuming though. That was mostly new material and it moved very quickly. She spent a minimum of 15 hours/week on that class. She was in class for 3 hours/week, in lab for 2.5-3 hours/week and then spent at least another 10 hours studying and doing homework for the class/lab. When she took Chem I, she spent maybe an hour/week outside of class because the homework was so easy for her. She had the same teacher for both. I had warned her that Chem II was a completely different animal from Chem I, but she hadn't quite believed me.

 

Dual credit has been a fantastic experience for my girls and I've very happy we did it. My youngest will do dual credit classes as well.

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Pros:

 

-Students can take classes and get used to a college-like setting (not residential college, but classes akin to college).

 

-Credits may transfer.

 

-Letters of recommendation from profs.

 

Cons:

 

-In our state these classes cost big $$ ($250 per credit hour or $750 for a 3 hour course + books + fees).

 

-Classes were not as high/rigorous content wise as those at either of my two guys 4 year schools. English wasn't even as high as our homeschooling courses.

 

-Travel time + being on the school's time frame vs homeschooling freedom.

 

-If thinking about pre-med, beware that many med schools do NOT like to see pre-req courses completed at a community college due to the perception of those courses being easier than at their 4 year counterparts (won't disqualify you from applying, but will be a nick on the application) AND ALL grades count toward your med school app GPA even if your undergrad school doesn't accept those credits. Be certain you can get As.

 

Oldest did one DE class and his credits transferred. The same class at his 4 year school would have been tougher, but he's happy he got to miss it.

 

Middle did three DE classes and none of the credits transferred. However, he got some good lab experience in microbio and his Public Speaking class helped him with interviews and speaking in public. The classes were worth it.

 

Youngest has one DE class so far and will take two next year. He's in our ps, so our costs are done considerably (that helps!). He's only looking at lower level colleges, so the community college classes are probably similar enough for his credits to transfer when he goes to college.

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1. For a student not experienced in quarter or semester compression of the work load (those who may not have done block scheduling), this can be an bigger adjustment than some realize and to allow some breathing room the first go at it.

 

 

Absolutely. DD's dual enrollment courses take up most of her school time.

It is very difficult to fit in other subjects when a student takes two four hour classes each of which requires eight hours of outside work. Giving the student room to spend the necessary time and adjust is definitely a must.

 

 

2. The CC population is made up a very diverse age range, background set and so forth. The lady phrased it this way: "How comfortable will you be with your 15 year old daughter emailing and online chatting with a 30+ year old man for lab work?"

 

 

It would not bother me in the slightest.

My DD has been dually enrolled at the university since she was 14; her classmates are not 30, but in their 20s. There have never been inappropriate interactions. Any attempt of flirting was cut off the moment the guy found out he age.

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A possible con I see is the quality of some CC courses at some (not all) CCs.

Credit may not transfer, and even if it does, the course may not have covered what the actual university course would have covered, and to the same depth -which would actually be worse than the credit nor transferring, if it is a course other classes build on.

I teach at a university, and out transfer students all find it a big adjustment in the level of work.

 

That's why we do dual enrollment at the university.

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A possible con I see is the quality of some CC courses at some (not all) CCs.

Credit may not transfer, and even if it does, the course may not have covered what the actual university course would have covered, and to the same depth -which would actually be worse than the credit nor transferring, if it is a course other classes build on.

I teach at a university, and out transfer students all find it a big adjustment in the level of work.

 

That's why we do dual enrollment at the university.

 

 

Dh (BS ChemE) did his freshman year at UMSL before transferring to Purdue. He took a transferrable class at UMSL that used the same textbook as the equivalent class at Purdue. He said he later realized that it was quite different -- the quality of students in the classes, as well as the quality of instructors, made a significant difference. I wouldn't have thought about the impact of one's classmates on the class.

 

I have a friend whose son is doing virtually the same thing -- taking freshman classes locally before transferring to MS&T. I really wonder how that's going to work out.

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Oh, wait, another con: the NCAA will not give us IN WRITING what will happen if a student is full time at the uni and CHSAA (high school athletic assn) will not tell us either. So, we keep it to 11 credits a semester senior year.

 

 

Thanks for stating this. I didn't even realize this was something that I needed to keep in mind. Somehow, I was under the impression that a student could earn as many credits as he/she liked so long as the student was listed as 'dual-enrolled.' I thought the accepting university could decide what to do with the credits. So now the NCAA may have a say in how many credits a dual-enrolled student can earn? I'm tempted to encourage my younger children to look more closely at sports/activities not regulated by the NCAA. I really dislike the idea of limiting their high school education for the sake of maybe playing a sport in college. Especially since the trend seems to be more requirements/limitations each year. :glare:

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Dh (BS ChemE) did his freshman year at UMSL before transferring to Purdue. He took a transferrable class at UMSL that used the same textbook as the equivalent class at Purdue. He said he later realized that it was quite different -- the quality of students in the classes, as well as the quality of instructors, made a significant difference. I wouldn't have thought about the impact of one's classmates on the class.

 

 

I think the main reason that the elite schools can offer a better education is the student quality: better students are able to learn more. They they usually have a better preparation if they got into one of those schools, they grasp the material more quickly, and they also have more a take-charge attitude than the "please-spoon-feed-me" attitude.

In a mid-level school, classes will have to be tailored so that the majority of the students at that school can pass the course; that leaves a gifted capable student not challenged.

 

I am not entirely sure about instructor quality, though. If a school hires a Nobel prize winner, that is good for the image of the school and the research - but frequently that person will leave the teaching to a graduate TA. I have heard complaints by people at top school that the students really do not get that much interaction with the big name profs.

 

But I entirely agree that the name of the textbook says absolutely nothing about the rigor of a course.

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2. The CC population is made up a very diverse age range, background set and so forth. The lady phrased it this way: "How comfortable will you be with your 15 year old daughter emailing and online chatting with a 30+ year old man for lab work?"

 

I would be curious what others who have BTDT think of those notes. I am not sure where I land on this.

 

My son had an eye opening experience as an 11th grader in a DE Composition class. Subsets of the class did peer reviewing. One of the first essays that my son read was by a woman in her twenties who was overcoming physical abuse by a boyfriend. (She relocated from another part of the state.) This led to some discussions at home.

 

Parents who screen the literature or films read/watched by their teens will not have that option in dual enrollment.

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Okay, one has been mentioned: possible ineligibility or loss of playing years for an athlete.

 

However, for a child who is sure they want to go to graduate school be aware that taking some building block science classes may result in an inability to be admit to med school. We've discussed that issue on other threads. I do not know if this sort of thinking applies to other sorts of graduate admission or not, but you'd be smart to check it out in advance of taking classes.

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A possible con I see is the quality of some CC courses at some (not all) CCs.

Credit may not transfer, and even if it does, the course may not have covered what the actual university course would have covered, and to the same depth -which would actually be worse than the credit nor transferring, if it is a course other classes build on.

I teach at a university, and out transfer students all find it a big adjustment in the level of work.

 

That's why we do dual enrollment at the university.

 

When I taught at an engineering school, I found that CC transfers did not have coverage of certain topics within their Calculus courses or did not cover things at the depth of peers at the university. This is why I am often leery of students who want to earn an associate's degree and then transfer into an engineering school. As freshmen, engineering students often find their study groups, These kids can compensate for weaknesses (there might be a physics geek, one chem guy, another math whiz) and pull each other along. Also, most CCs do not have basic material science courses, etc. that engineering students might see earlier in their programs.

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When I taught at an engineering school, I found that CC transfers did not have coverage of certain topics within their Calculus courses or did not cover things at the depth of peers at the university.

 

 

It is well known among students at our university that the calculus courses at the local CC are significantly easier than the ones at the university, and many of them take calculus at CC because of that. The university accepts the credit (which I don't understand if there is a significant difference, but they do.)

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What are some cons of dual enrollment, or going to college early?

If you graduated your hs'ed child and did dual enrollment, in retrospect - would you go dual enrollment route again?

 

 

 

Here are links to some past threads on dual enrollment that may be helpful in bringing up points to consider (from the "stickied" "mega thread" at the top of the high school board, which links loads of past threads on all kinds of topics):

 

Question about Dual Credit (pros/cons of why not graduate high school early and go to college vs dual enrollment)

If your child completed majority of high school through Dual Enrollment (pros and cons)

Pros and cons of dropping a Dual Credit course?

Dual credits -- can anyone speak to the experience of these? (pros/cons; what to be aware of)

Pros and Cons of Dual Enrollment

Are there any disadvantages to Dual Enrollment?

Talk to me about Dual Enrollment (pros/cons; freshman vs transfer student status and scholarships)

How many college credits during high school (would be considered too many to be a freshman at most colleges)

 

 

But a brief answer to your question -- possible cons to dual enrollment I can think of off the top of my head:

 

- you are now tied to someone else's schedule; so less flexibility in your family life

- transportation to and from the school, plus having to schedule time for homework at home really eats into your homeschooling time

- even if your tuition is free, you will likely have to pay for books (plan on $100-$300 for books PER CLASS -- many classes require an online access for submitting homework, and you have to pay a fee for the "online access key code"; here, a semester of Spanish cost $250; the book and key code cost almost $200!!)

- may exposure your student to adult material and classmates and their lives before the student is mature enough to handle it

- student may not be ready for the quicker pace and more independent learning and have to withdraw (leaving a "W" on the college transcript -- not the end of the world by any means, but also want to avoid it if possible)

- may have a really cruddy teacher and won't accomplish/cover what you hoped/expected

- not all credits transfer to all universities

- if the school has a poor reputation, the credits may not be accepted by a university (FaithManor on this board has this situation where she lives in MI)

- depending on the university the student attends after, there may be a maximum limit (usually about 23-24 units, but sometimes as low as 12 units) on the TOTAL number of dual enrollment classes taken during high school, and if you go beyond that your student would no longer considered a freshman but a transfer student, and would lose the ability to apply for scholarships open only to freshmen (which often can include 4-year/full ride scholarships) -- this is often a policy held by universities and has NOTHING to do with the NCAA regulations and limits

 

 

Possible cons to going to college early (as in, graduates high school early):

 

- MUCH harder for parent to get info from the college/university about the student once they are high school graduates; with dual enrollment YOU are the school principal and have much more ability to know what is going on in the class, and access to your student's records

- student may not be mature enough to handle the social scene that comes with college (if he/she is only 16-17, and a majority of the student population on campus is 20-21)

- student doesn't know what he/she wants to do for a degree/career -- often, people don't start figuring that out until in the early 20s

- may feel isolated if all the student's peers and friends are still in high school for another year or two

 

 

There are lots of pros -- but you only asked about cons. Our experience was extremely positive: each DS, in the senior year of high school, took 2 semesters of foreign language. A great way to "dip a toe" into what a classroom setting would be like, how to work at college pace, got dual credit, had great teachers, and the credits transfer to the university. So, it was all to the good for us.

 

Only downside: no free dual enrollment where we live, so we had to pay for the classes ourselves -- BUT, they were about 1/3rd the cost of the same classes at the university, so we definitely saved money!

 

Also, at our community college, the classes tend to be smaller (no mass lectures), and are taught by actual experienced teachers rather than led by an inexperienced graduate student/TA. It is widely understood in our city that you should take your Gen. Ed. math (College Alegebra, and a few other freshman/sophomore level math courses) at the local CC rather than at the local university, due to the much higher quality of math teachers at the CC.

 

BEST of luck in making your decision! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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It is well known among students at our university that the calculus courses at the local CC are significantly easier than the ones at the university, and many of them take calculus at CC because of that. The university accepts the credit (which I don't understand if there is a significant difference, but they do.)

 

Articulation agreements.

 

Here in NC, there are students who just cannot afford to attend a four year university for all four years. Distance prevents them from commuting to a uni, but they can attend a CC. I was teaching at one of the CCs when the NC articulation agreement was passed. I knew what was in our math courses beforehand and what the pieces of paper said should be in our math courses afterward. You know how it is though. You can casually introduce a theorem, you can prove a theorem, you can apply a theorem, you can offer several corollaries to a theorem, you can connect the dots between the theorem and several others. One never knows what people are really doing in their classrooms. I think this is why some schools have common exams for introductory courses.

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I find it fascinating that our cc did more in the Calc 1 class than our university.

I haven't checked the comparison recently, but about 15 years ago I went from teaching a Calc 1 course at the university to teaching the same transfer level course at the cc. The cc course covered a bit more material than the university. I think an average student would do better at the cc as well since we have instructors who have a language requirement (really wild... it's actually in the college information that instructors have to be able to speak English clearly) and you're less likely to get a grad student teaching the course.

 

I don't know how accurate that is now, although I know the cc description hasn't changed. I haven't taught it in a long time.

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For those that are getting free de classes, can you explain this? Does it depend on your school district? Are you enrolled in a charter that pays for it?

 

Tx

Beck

NC formerly had free dual enrollment for high school students at CCs. When my son was in high school, the legislature changed the rules so that high school students would be given free tuition at CCs for science, math or tech courses. I am not sure where things stand now in NC.

 

We had to pay a nominal student activity and technology fee and buy text books.

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I find it fascinating that our cc did more in the Calc 1 class than our university.

I haven't checked the comparison recently, but about 15 years ago I went from teaching a Calc 1 course at the university to teaching the same transfer level course at the cc. The cc course covered a bit more material than the university. I think an average student would do better at the cc as well since we have instructors who have a language requirement (really wild... it's actually in the college information that instructors have to be able to speak English clearly) and you're less likely to get a grad student teaching the course.

 

I don't know how accurate that is now, although I know the cc description hasn't changed. I haven't taught it in a long time.

 

This happens at our CC as well. But when my son headed to the state university, the calculus didn't transfer - it was precisely because it covered more and did so at the loss of depth. So the CC uses the same text and covers more, but the university engineering department says they need to spend more time going deeper and covering less per semester.

 

FWIW, ds's calculus at the CC level transferred as an elective and did not meet criteria for engineering calculus. He took Calc 1 again at the university and found it much, much more difficult than at the CC level. I'm glad he had the intro at the CC level, though, because I think it was a bit easier because he had some exposure previously.

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-If thinking about pre-med, beware that many med schools do NOT like to see pre-req courses completed at a community college due to the perception of those courses being easier than at their 4 year counterparts (won't disqualify you from applying, but will be a nick on the application) AND ALL grades count toward your med school app GPA even if your undergrad school doesn't accept those credits. Be certain you can get As.

 

This is a big question of mine, because ds is very science and math oriented and I want to be sure we get this right. I have read this before, that some science programs won't accept CC classes as transfers. But, does this actually mean that if you do take a science class at a CC that it will look bad, or that it just won't transfer? Would it be considered a replacement for the HS class? Like if you took chemistry at the CC instead of doing high school chemistry?

 

Would it be better to do this at the local university if you can, not the CC? (If you are talking about taking something like chem as a replacement for HS chem?)

 

I was thinking that taking classes at the CC would be good because it gives you an idea about the classroom experience and schedule, and that you can take science classes with labs that you might NOT be able to do at home. But could this potentially count against you?

 

 

We haven't had any cons to DE save for two: cost (we're on our own here) and trying to get "mom" stuff done on top of it. DE defintely take precedence because they move so quickly. We've found that we almost always end up working into the summer. We've not had any trouble with things transferring (well, except that the academies transfer nothing) but then, ours is a 4 year uni not a CC. We pick our first classes very carefully--several of the kids have done Lifeguarding first, with one of my closest friends, coming into the class as really strong swimmers. And several have done Music Theory first--haven't hit anything they didn't already know until right before the final. However, learning "classroom" was invaluable. My youngest will be doing that Music Fundamentals this fall--ack! I'll have NO one that isn't in college! Oldest dd did three years of theory and transferred a pile of science credits. Hillsdale sat down with her and figured out BEFORE she was a senior what they would accept. Oh, wait, another con: the NCAA will not give us IN WRITING what will happen if a student is full time at the uni and CHSAA (high school athletic assn) will not tell us either. So, we keep it to 11 credits a semester senior year.

 

Does your child play on a public high school team as a homeschooler?

 

 

Okay, one has been mentioned: possible ineligibility or loss of playing years for an athlete.

 

However, for a child who is sure they want to go to graduate school be aware that taking some building block science classes may result in an inability to be admit to med school. We've discussed that issue on other threads. I do not know if this sort of thinking applies to other sorts of graduate admission or not, but you'd be smart to check it out in advance of taking classes.

 

So, I guess what I am asking is that, if you take chemistry, for example, at the CC instead of doing a homeschool course on your own, does that also count against you?

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This is a big question of mine, because ds is very science and math oriented and I want to be sure we get this right. I have read this before, that some science programs won't accept CC classes as transfers. But, does this actually mean that if you do take a science class at a CC that it will look bad, or that it just won't transfer? Would it be considered a replacement for the HS class? Like if you took chemistry at the CC instead of doing high school chemistry?

 

Would it be better to do this at the local university if you can, not the CC? (If you are talking about taking something like chem as a replacement for HS chem?)

 

I was thinking that taking classes at the CC would be good because it gives you an idea about the classroom experience and schedule, and that you can take science classes with labs that you might be able to do at home. But could this potentially count against you

 

So, I guess what I am asking is that, if you take chemistry, for example, at the CC instead of doing a homeschool course on your own, does that also count against you?

 

 

I think a lot depends on the university and the CC. Our state universities have transfer equivalency pages that can be accessed to determine if a CC class will transfer to the university. We spend a lot of time on those pages determining which courses should be DE. However, we have found that credit is given for ALL the classes but the classes at the CC may not meet the criteria for equivalency. Calculus at the CC doesn't transfer as equivalent to engineering calculus at the university here, but it transfers as an elective math. However, the biology and chemistry courses are equivalent. Statistics at the CC level is not the same as statistics in the engineering department at the state universities.

 

A friend did her first 2 years at the CC in pre-med and transferred to the state university and completed the remaining 2 years for a bachelor of science. She went on to the state medical school without any problems. All her CC science classes were credited and counted as equivalent.

 

The only way a CC class could count against you (vs. doing it at home) would be to get a poor grade in the CC class. Also, the student may have to re-take the class at the university level if the course is not deemed equivalent (but I don't see that as counting against anything).

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My son took 2 college courses last semester and is in 2 this semester. Fortunately for us, it truly is free in Minnesota, even the books and fees. I think colleges do this to fill vacant seats, and to draw advanced students to attend their college later on.

 

Pros:

- My son gets a slow intro to college, with more support from home.

- He gets real grades, to confirm his mommy grades, and to balance his test scores (he usually does very well in math testing but not always in reading long passages and answering detailed questions).

- He feels like homeschool is giving him some advantages and experiences now, so he's more accepting of homeschool.

- Of course the cost is a pro here, since it's cheaper than purchasing books for a homeschool course.

- He gets an advanced teacher.

- College credit might be a pro, but that's not why we're doing it. Our experience is through Christian colleges, not community colleges, so not sure but it might transfer just fine. Oldest went to a community college for calculus and did say it was easier than his college, but he didn't care about it being transferred, either.

 

Cons:

- Time, time, time. Some of the homeschoolers here count each college semester as a year of high school, so they do virtually nothing at home. I have certain courses I want to teach or at least guide my homeschooler through before I lose the chance, but time is very, very limited by homework, midterms, finals, class, etc.

- The risk of all the pros being thrown out the wind by a poor grade.

- Absolutely no flexibility in schedule, so my son can't visit his brother for midwinter snowboarding as he used to, or help his aunt move during the week, or even take a day off if he is very ill. One course even had assignments due on Sunday at times (timestamped computer submission), and of course my son never got his done early.

- Transportation, both the cost and the major time factor, and of course more time in the car is more risk of car accidents.

- Losing all the homeschooling opportunities - the chance to choose content, the chance to teach to understanding, the chance to guide your student according to your view of the world, the chance to even know what's going on at all (I got a final transcript, but all other communication was not allowed to be mommy communication).

- Exposure to adult topics, both from classmates and from teachers using titillating examples, and I've heard horror stories (or heard teens tell about things that seemed horrible to me). (Although this year we have avoided that because some colleges here actually do PSEO at a homeschool site, so the entire class is high schoolers, but that will probably not work for us next year since precalculus is as far as that goes in math.)

- Exposure to poor work habits and poor study skills, and students who do little or want to know little, which can be a poor example and extend that "freshman" attitude for even more years.

- Possible pressure to perform above his maturity level (at double the speed of high school), and thus do more memorizing to the test and other poor excuses for learning compared to my hopes for him.

 

Julie

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My son took 2 college courses last semester and is in 2 this semester. Fortunately for us, it truly is free in Minnesota, even the books and fees. I think colleges do this to fill vacant seats, and to draw advanced students to attend their college later on.

 

Pros:

- My son gets a slow intro to college, with more support from home.

- He gets real grades, to confirm his mommy grades, and to balance his test scores (he usually does very well in math testing but not always in reading long passages and answering detailed questions).

- He feels like homeschool is giving him some advantages and experiences now, so he's more accepting of homeschool.

- Of course the cost is a pro here, since it's cheaper than purchasing books for a homeschool course.

- He gets an advanced teacher.

- College credit might be a pro, but that's not why we're doing it. Our experience is through Christian colleges, not community colleges, so not sure but it might transfer just fine. Oldest went to a community college for calculus and did say it was easier than his college, but he didn't care about it being transferred, either.

 

Cons:

- Time, time, time. Some of the homeschoolers here count each college semester as a year of high school, so they do virtually nothing at home. I have certain courses I want to teach or at least guide my homeschooler through before I lose the chance, but time is very, very limited by homework, midterms, finals, class, etc.

- The risk of all the pros being thrown out the wind by a poor grade.

- Absolutely no flexibility in schedule, so my son can't visit his brother for midwinter snowboarding as he used to, or help his aunt move during the week, or even take a day off if he is very ill. One course even had assignments due on Sunday at times (timestamped computer submission), and of course my son never got his done early.

- Transportation, both the cost and the major time factor, and of course more time in the car is more risk of car accidents.

- Losing all the homeschooling opportunities - the chance to choose content, the chance to teach to understanding, the chance to guide your student according to your view of the world, the chance to even know what's going on at all (I got a final transcript, but all other communication was not allowed to be mommy communication).

- Exposure to adult topics, both from classmates and from teachers using titillating examples, and I've heard horror stories (or heard teens tell about things that seemed horrible to me). (Although this year we have avoided that because some colleges here actually do PSEO at a homeschool site, so the entire class is high schoolers, but that will probably not work for us next year since precalculus is as far as that goes in math.)

- Exposure to poor work habits and poor study skills, and students who do little or want to know little, which can be a poor example and extend that "freshman" attitude for even more years.

- Possible pressure to perform above his maturity level (at double the speed of high school), and thus do more memorizing to the test and other poor excuses for learning compared to my hopes for him.

 

Julie

 

Julie's con list looks like ours. I would also add burning out at academics by working extra hard at academics except that this is a problem with any intensive college prep schedule. I fear that because my son considers himself an experienced college student, he will be more blase (no idea how to spell that - blazé?) about his 4-year college classes when he goes and not work as hard as he should at the beginning or underestimate how long it will take to do assignments or how much help he is going to need, also.

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This happens at our CC as well. But when my son headed to the state university, the calculus didn't transfer - it was precisely because it covered more and did so at the loss of depth. So the CC uses the same text and covers more, but the university engineering department says they need to spend more time going deeper and covering less per semester.

 

FWIW, ds's calculus at the CC level transferred as an elective and did not meet criteria for engineering calculus. He took Calc 1 again at the university and found it much, much more difficult than at the CC level. I'm glad he had the intro at the CC level, though, because I think it was a bit easier because he had some exposure previously.

 

We've got articulation agreements, so the courses transfer exactly the same.

Having TA'ed at the university, I saw similar depth to the courses.... but then I was teaching the class at the cc :)

I'd also put a friend's calc I class up against those at the local university. This is also another of those places where it really helps to know individual faculty!

 

It's also why it may be a better idea to take the courses in a series at the same location. I know some students have had difficulties transferring and being expected to know material from calc I that they hadn't covered in their calc 1 class... despite the articulation agreement!

 

I intend to have my son take some courses at the cc or uni in high school....but I'll be using them only for verification of my grades and to give him some exposure to group classes and college classes. I don't expect them to count for college credit other than possibly getting into more interesting courses faster in college.

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We've got articulation agreements, so the courses transfer exactly the same.

Having TA'ed at the university, I saw similar depth to the courses.... but then I was teaching the class at the cc :)

I'd also put a friend's calc I class up against those at the local university. This is also another of those places where it really helps to know individual faculty!

 

It's also why it may be a better idea to take the courses in a series at the same location. I know some students have had difficulties transferring and being expected to know material from calc I that they hadn't covered in their calc 1 class... despite the articulation agreement!

 

I intend to have my son take some courses at the cc or uni in high school....but I'll be using them only for verification of my grades and to give him some exposure to group classes and college classes. I don't expect them to count for college credit other than possibly getting into more interesting courses faster in college.

 

The CC here covers the text in 3 semesters and the university takes 4 semesters for the same text. And, I think the CC calculus would probably transfer as calculus outside of the engineering department. There are a lot of courses at the cc that don't work for the engineering department at the state university. It's interesting how it all works and definitely goes to show you that you need to find out those things before being disappointed. Our goals for CC were not necessarily to finish college early or gain credits, but rather to show more rigorous high school work. We also utilized the local regional 4 year university which seems to have more classes that are considered equivalent.

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Would it be better to do this at the local university if you can, not the CC? (If you are talking about taking something like chem as a replacement for HS chem?)

 

 

 

Not always an available option. But check into what is offered locally by the CC and the university. Definitely look at what credits the university accepts from the CC. Transfer of credits may not be a problem at all. See posts by Regentrude, as her DD is taking dual enrollment science classes at the university.

 

Also, see if you can talk to local homeschoolers who have already walked this road before you. I found it to be absolutely invaluable, as they could tell me how acceptable the CC credits were when their students then transferred to universities, which types of courses to take or avoid, even specific teachers to take or avoid.

 

 

does this actually mean that if you do take a science class at a CC that it will look bad, or that it just won't transfer? Would it be considered a replacement for the HS class? Like if you took chemistry at the CC instead of doing high school chemistry? ...

 

So, I guess what I am asking is that, if you take chemistry, for example, at the CC instead of doing a homeschool course on your own, does that also count against you?

 

 

 

From what I'm hearing, it's only if they are classes that are pre-med or nursing -- universities with the medical programs do not want to see the pre-requisite sciences coming from community colleges, but rather from their own university. I have NOT heard of this bias in more general STEM degree programs. So, again, ONLY from my limited exposure through posts on the high school board, do I see that if headed into pre-med or nursing for *some* universities could certain science courses from *some* CC count down for you.

 

So, while most likely taking Chemistry at your CC will not count against you -- in, fact may look good, as being more rigorous than a high school level course -- I would definitely check first with the university your DC might be attending upon high school graduation. Sometimes they much prefer to see an AP Chemistry class and test score, which you would be doing via homeschooling (or you may be able to do it as a single course at the local high school).

 

Taking AP science coursework and scoring well on the test can also count as college credit with some universities, or at least open the door to taking advanced-level science classes as a freshman in college. So you may want to weigh the pros and cons of an AP high school science class vs dual enrollment with the university you think DS will attend and see what might bring the better benefit.

 

More reading for you (LOL), on AP vs. Dual Enrollment:

 

AP courses or Dual Enrollment? (which is better)

AP or Dual Enrollment -- which one?

AP or Dual Enrollment (one post includes a checklist of questions to think through)

AP vs. Dual Enrollment... help me think it through

Dual Credit & AP classes

Earning all those Dual Credits... (Dual vs. AP vs. CLEP questions)

Question re: Dual Enrollment, CLEP transferability & AP (which works best for college credit)

"AP Classes are a Scam" (spirited debate on which is better, when, and why)

 

 

 

I was thinking that taking classes at the CC would be good because it gives you an idea about the classroom experience and schedule, and that you can take science classes with labs that you might be able to do at home.

 

 

 

For the most part, YES. What you outline above tends to be what the majority experience. Of the posts I've read of the people on this board who have done lab-science courses via dual enrollment -- they have said yes, it was worthwhile, and gave the student excellent preparatory skills for then taking college science classes.

 

 

Does your child play on a public high school team as a homeschooler?

 

 

Yes. Both were part of the high school tennis team. No problems getting on the team, or getting to advance to State competition. But then, neither was going on into NCAA sports at the collegiate level, so no problems for us. See threads tagged with NCAA, and posts by Sue in St. Pete whose DS is homeschooling, doing online coursework, and dual enrollment at the CC, and heading towards NCAA sports upon graduation.

 

 

BEST of luck as you do your research! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Others have outlined the academic issues very well. You have to know what you're getting and what it means in terms of your student's future plans.

 

I'll add that you also need to weigh how your student will do with the environment. It is indeed an adult-oriented environment. The content of the classes won't be scrubbed. The English and history classes will be bluntly frank in how they present viewpoints and events, and the biology and physiology classes will not skip any part of the human body and disease. A friend of mine had hers take a mythology class, and was shocked that they myths involved so much s*xual content. Another was mortified that the history book covered some of the excesses of the Roman Empire in full color. So think about that sort of thing and your kid. Are you touching on these issues in high school?

 

Also keep in mind that community colleges are open doors. Sadly, at the one I work for, only 20-24% graduate after five years. So there is a culture of dropping out that I sometimes see homeschooled kids get caught in. And there are adults who are themselves troubled. Some have been in trouble with the law and are on probation.

 

It isn't a nice, clean environment for naive homeschooled kids. It is a good stepping stone to the "real" world, but I always tell parents to be thoughtful about it.

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For those that are getting free de classes, can you explain this? Does it depend on your school district? Are you enrolled in a charter that pays for it?

 

Our cc district allows all students who live in the taxing district to take up to 2 classes/semester (to a total of 12 classes altogether) at no charge once they have completed 10th grade. It doesn't matter if the student is in public school, private school, or homeschool.

 

Every district gets to set their own rules though, so I know it isn't like this everywhere in Texas.

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This is a big question of mine, because ds is very science and math oriented and I want to be sure we get this right. I have read this before, that some science programs won't accept CC classes as transfers. But, does this actually mean that if you do take a science class at a CC that it will look bad, or that it just won't transfer? Would it be considered a replacement for the HS class? Like if you took chemistry at the CC instead of doing high school chemistry?

 

Would it be better to do this at the local university if you can, not the CC? (If you are talking about taking something like chem as a replacement for HS chem?)

 

I was thinking that taking classes at the CC would be good because it gives you an idea about the classroom experience and schedule, and that you can take science classes with labs that you might be able to do at home. But could this potentially count against you?

 

So, I guess what I am asking is that, if you take chemistry, for example, at the CC instead of doing a homeschool course on your own, does that also count against you?

 

I have never run into a 4 year college counting cc classes against an applicant. I have run into many who won't give credit or will give elective credit instead of subject credit for these classes.

 

My warning was to those considering med school later on... Many MED SCHOOLS don't like to see cc credit in pre-req classes. Since middle son was/is considering med school and I knew nothing about it, we sat in on a few med school presentations aimed at high schoolers looking to go pre-med. A couple of these were top 15 schools and another was a state school. ALL mentioned they didn't want to see high school (or college) students taking their pre-med courses at a cc because those courses are considered easier than their 4 year counterparts and it looks like the student is trying to take "the easy way" into med school in their effort to get a high GPA. That's not a trait they are looking to see.

 

They also all mentioned that having cc courses does not exclude anyone from applying (and if the person decides later to go for med school they are far more forgiving), but given equal applicants, they will always choose the student who did their pre-reqs at the 4 year school.

 

They also cautioned that any cc class taken whether as a student or as DE COUNTS on your med school app toward your GPA and/or Science GPA, so if you take these classes, take them as seriously as your 4 year classes.

 

I was a bit concerned as middle son was already taking Microbio at a cc as a DE student, so I specifically asked about it. No problem they said. It's not a pre-req class (and it was good that he got an A). We immediately dropped plans to take Chem there. His chosen 4 year school will not give middle son any credit for his cc classes (I'm ok with that). However, his med school apps will show 10 credits of classes and a 4.0 GPA + 4.0 Science GPA worked in (along with his 4 year U).

 

If any student is considering med school, I strongly recommend going to a 4 year school with a med school on special days they have for students heading toward pre-med. They often have med school admissions folks there and they are a wealth of info for things they like to see (extra curriculars, languages, GPA, MCat, pre-reqs, etc) from students heading there from the get go (again, it's different for those who decide later).

 

AP is always ok and doesn't count toward med school admissions, but some med schools don't want to see AP credit replace pre-req courses. Most undergrads won't let you use credits for those anyway if they know you are going pre-med (ok otherwise).

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To the previous PP--yes, my children use the ps for high school sports. In fact, a new season begins tomorrow. We'd been warned by a coach from a Div II school (Hillsdale) to NOT go into fulltime for college credits or it might mess up dd's eligibility. She's the only one who actually did NCAA sports as the next one was in no way fast enough to swim at Navy! Drum & Bugle didn't care about eligibility. However, I've had three go through the process because we were still hoping Army girl would shoot at West Point. When she decided to go with ROTC, that's her sport now: Ranger Challenge. It's not under NCAA rules. I could see ds shooting (no way will he be fast enough to swim anywhere) somewhere, so I want to leave the option open. I'm really careful about eligibility because in CO, if they play an ineligible player, the entire teams forfeits the entire season, including all their swim times. I don't want to do that to a team. I spent an hour today getting the paperwork done for eligibility for CHSAA. Now we have to see if we have 4 boys to have a team!

 

ETA: I didn't realize 'til just now that ds will be up to 28 credits at the end of the year and if he does the courses currently planned for his senior year, he'll have 50 credits! No wonder he's feeling overworked! :laugh: Good thing Mines doesn't care how much they transfer--in fact, the admission officer warned us to not graduate our hsed kids as then they would be transfers, but to just keep racking up the credits.

 

Is your DS thinking of going to Colorado School of Mines?

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My warning was to those considering med school later on... Many MED SCHOOLS don't like to see cc credit in pre-req classes. Since middle son was/is considering med school and I knew nothing about it, we sat in on a few med school presentations aimed at high schoolers looking to go pre-med. A couple of these were top 15 schools and another was a state school. ALL mentioned they didn't want to see high school (or college) students taking their pre-med courses at a cc because those courses are considered easier than their 4 year counterparts and it looks like the student is trying to take "the easy way" into med school in their effort to get a high GPA. That's not a trait they are looking to see.

 

So, if for example, you take Chem at the CC as a replacement for your high school chemistry course, and then you don't have it transfer and you take chem again at your 4-year school once you are enrolled full-time, then that's okay? (I understand the grade still counts, but okay as in not looked down upon?)

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I guess I am confused on whether taking classes at the CC or even a local university, IF you are NOT doing it for the transfer credit, but to get a good, rigorous, challenging class on the subject, if they just count as part of your high school transcript. If you take bio, chem, and physics with labs at the CC, do you put those on the High School transcript as fulfilling the high school science requirements?

 

I honestly am not at all worried about getting transfer credits. I just want DS to have some exposure, an additional challenge, and beginning experience in the college environment.

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I guess I am confused on whether taking classes at the CC or even a local university

 

 

Sorry if we are all giving you conflicting info -- we don't mean to do so. :) It's just that every school is different, so what you are hearing in all these responses are the many and varied experiences from those who have done dual enrollment, and what the pros and cons are for each of our specific areas. ;)

 

Perhaps you could let us know which state or area you are in, and you might strike gold here -- perhaps another WTMer in your area would be able to specifically address what the situation is in your area... :)

 

 

 

... IF you are NOT doing it for the transfer credit, but to get a good, rigorous, challenging class on the subject, if they just count as part of your high school transcript. If you take bio, chem, and physics with labs at the CC, do you put those on the High School transcript as fulfilling the high school science requirements?

 

I may be misunderstanding, BUT... I *think* the answer to your question here is:

 

1. YES, taking science at a cc or university CAN give you a high quality high school science class experience (of course, depending on the quality of the curriculum and teacher). The best thing to do is to talk to a local homeschooler who has had high school students do dual enrollment at the local cc and/or university to know specifically about the courses and teachers available to YOU through the cc/university.

 

2. YES, it will fulfill your high school science credits....

 

BUT, it WILL still ALSO show up as part of the cc's or university's records and your student's permanent record, even if YOU only count it on the high school transcript. So you DO need to also forward copies of the cc/university transcript to whatever other school your student goes to, as it IS part of their college coursework.

 

Does that help? Warmest regards, Lori D.

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So, if for example, you take Chem at the CC as a replacement for your high school chemistry course, and then you don't have it transfer and you take chem again at your 4-year school once you are enrolled full-time, then that's okay? (I understand the grade still counts, but okay as in not looked down upon?)

 

 

I suspect this is ok, but I haven't tried it nor asked about it. We just opted to do AP level Chem at home (though never had it approved to call it AP Chem, so it was just AP level that we just called Advanced Chem).

 

Also note... many community (and other) colleges offer remedial classes. Often these have course numbers starting with 0 instead of 1 or 2. Those are not college classes and don't provide credit even to colleges that otherwise accept credit. I have no idea if those stay on a college transcript for med school or not as taking those classes are not an option here (students under age 18 can only take college level classes if they test into them). I never asked about those.

 

Since I knew my middle son was a potential pre-med, once I heard the info from the med school acceptance folks, we just chose classes that wouldn't raise any flags at all (Microbio, Public Speaking, English). We only did three because at $750+ per course they were incredibly expensive. Chances are your area is less expensive than ours. I've yet to see anywhere as expensive (for cc classes) as ours. I have no regrets. The classes did a decent job of substantiating mommy grades and standardized test scores. They also provided great letters of recommendation. That was our goal.

 

My youngest (not even remotely pre-med) took the cc Bio class and confirmed that it is super easy compared to middle son's 4 year intro class (he sat in on it once and talks with middle son about what they've learned often). Med school admission folks do know what they are talking about when they say it would be the "easy way" to get a good grade at least comparing our cc to the top 30 school middle son attends. Yet the cc course credit is accepted at our state schools and many other colleges. When we visited one state-related school their pre-med adviser said they would accept credits if the student wanted, but to beware that many med schools might frown upon it (ditto for AP Bio credit). Upper level private schools won't accept credit for it for pre-med students. They might for other majors. Middle son's school will accept AP credit for some courses outside ones major, but not cc DE credits.

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I should add... if you end up going to a 4 year school where the AP class duplicates the intro class (Bio, Chem, etc), and they offer AP credit (even for majors in that subject), then you do not have to retake the intro course. You just need to be certain you take an additional year of higher level Bio, Chem, etc (with lab) to satisfy med school requirements. In either situation, you can't (usually) use AP to satisfy pre-med requirements. It just may dictate which course you take at the 4 year school. To know, check with the 4 year school... as already stated, where middle son goes, the classes are not the same. At other schools they are.

 

At my guy's school the intro Psych class is the same as the AP course (not a pre-med issue), so he got credit for his AP class there even as a Brain & Cognitive Science major. Repeating that class makes no sense. Skipping the intro Bio class (not possible even if he had wanted to with his major) would have been foolish as the intro class did not duplicate AP. (The Prof even told the class that he considered the AP class to be a typical high school class.)

 

With cc it gets trickier as AP courses are not considered college classes by med schools. Cc classes are (if they are college level). I agree it's weird as many AP classes are tougher than their cc counterparts, but... we don't get to make the rules.

 

I know when I had questions pertaining to it all, I opted to check with those in admissions (med school and undergrad). Since schools can be so variable (and some states have easier med school entrance due to having med schools mostly dedicated to in state students), I strongly suggest checking viable paths at places your student might be interested in applying to. Look for actual data (these students did this and got accepted there with these stats) or actual med school admissions folks (we're looking for...) for the most reliable info.

 

As of the latest stats, less than half of those who apply to med school make it in anywhere, and pretty much all who apply have decent college stats and extra curriculars. Those who don't pass the "decent stat" bar tend to get weeded out in undergrad.

 

I've posted this before, but here's a quick look at the Class of 2015 for U Rochester's med school:

 

http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/publications/rochester-medicine/summer-2011/online-specials/class-of-2015.cfm

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When I attended a meeting/workshop for potential dual enrollment at our local CC, two points the presenter made struck me:

 

1. For a student not experienced in quarter or semester compression of the work load (those who may not have done block scheduling), this can be an bigger adjustment than some realize and to allow some breathing room the first go at it.

 

2. The CC population is made up a very diverse age range, background set and so forth. The lady phrased it this way: "How comfortable will you be with your 15 year old daughter emailing and online chatting with a 30+ year old man for lab work?"

 

I would be curious what others who have BTDT think of those notes. I am not sure where I land on this.

 

 

My daughter is in her second semester of dual enrollment classes, and I think those notes are very accurate. For dd's first semester she took a math class, and this particular class was a shortened semester class, meaning it started a month later than most of the cc classes and still finished at the same time. It was not a difficult class and dd did well, but it was a tremendous amount of work. Dd also has other classes that we outsource via a tutoring program, so she had to balance getting ALL of her work done.

 

The second point is also valid. Dd is taking a Spanish class this semester, and it happens that this class is also an evening class. She reports that the population of this class is much older, like as in some of her classmates are MY age older (gasp!). Since she had taken one class already (the math class was a morning class and pretty much all kids in their late teens and 20's), I was okay with this, especially knowing my dd.

 

In a nutshell, like with anything else having to do with parenting, it totally depends on the kid. There are some kids for whom the cc environment would not be a good fit, and there are definitely things to be on the lookout for (another poster mentioned the content of an English class for example--that would be a big no for us as well). But for mine this has been a really great transition not just from high school to college, but from homeschooling to college. She has mentioned to me the difference in environment from the other activities that she is involved in--church, homeschool tutoring program, co-op, etc. The language in particular is something she's mentioned. But she's 16 and will be encountering these things in a year and a half when she is out on her own at college, so dipping our toes in this way has been positive. She has also had to do things like re-arrange testing schedules with the professor, and that has helped her gain confidence she will need when she is at college.

 

Dual enrollment has been an overall positive experience for us, but it is not something to go into without much thought and investigation.

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NC formerly had free dual enrollment for high school students at CCs. When my son was in high school, the legislature changed the rules so that high school students would be given free tuition at CCs for science, math or tech courses. I am not sure where things stand now in NC.

 

We had to pay a nominal student activity and technology fee and buy text books.

 

It's complicated, but here's the document that shows the hoops and the various "pathways"

http://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/programs/docs/ccp_num_memo1_cc11-026.pdf

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Also note... many community (and other) colleges offer remedial classes. Often these have course numbers starting with 0 instead of 1 or 2. Those are not college classes and don't provide credit even to colleges that otherwise accept credit. I have no idea if those stay on a college transcript for med school or not as taking those classes are not an option here (students under age 18 can only take college level classes if they test into them). I never asked about those.

 

This is also a place where you really want to be looking at articulation agreements if you're going to a university in state. Also keep course descriptions from the cc.

 

I needed to use course descriptions when I petitioned for my foreign language requirement to be satisfied by a cc course I took when in high school for high school credit.

 

At our cc's, MAT 101 is beginning algebra and won't transfer for college credit at any university. MAT 102 won't transfer either. However, ENG 101 and ENG 102 do transfer as college credit. I think it's ridiculously stupid course numbering and very unclear, but that's how it is.

 

Many courses that will count for an AA or AS degree (just AA/AS... not any majors) will be courses that are likely to transfer to universities. Double check with articulation agreements though if you want all classes to transfer.

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In a nutshell, like with anything else having to do with parenting, it totally depends on the kid.

 

 

I think this pt is key. Our family's experience with our 4 oldest kids all having dual enrollment experience has been that my kids have found the community college classes incredibly easy and minimal in time commitment. They have not had any adjustment to semester courses and with the exception of an art history class, all of them have stated that the courses have required far less of them than I have at home. (The English comp classes in particular have been incredibly subpar and have often involved discussions and topics that are rather, umm, inappropriate. English comp is one course I would hesitate enrolling a young student in if someone is starting dual enrollment with a 14 or 15 yo.)

 

2 of my kids have dual-enrolled at universities for higher maths and science (a math and a lab science each per semester) Driving to and from campus has been a major time factor that we have had to learn to structure our days around, but the coursework has not dominated their days any more than with the coursework they had been completing at home prior to dual-enrollment, so the university courses have not taken away from subjects at home. (the only exception is that during mid-terms and finals they do spend more time on those classes.)

 

The main con has been not having flexibility of schedule. Our life became extremely complicated at the beginning of this semester b/c of major family upheaval yet having to be inflexible about ds's access to a university for classes. Another con is cost. We have spent thousands of $$ on dual enrollment courses for the kids. But the costs have been outweighed by the pros. Our oldest was able to graduate in 7 semesters (3 yrs plus a summer semester) with his chemE which allowed him to co-op for 12 months and still graduate in 4 yrs. Graduating in 4 yrs means he started earning full salary wages earlier and the co-op yr provided him a solid income and full benefits until graduation.

 

We are concerned about how universities will perceive too many higher level courses from dual enrollment at different universities. Our 11th grade ds will be ready for 300 level maths and sciences next yr. We have made the decision to meet with the deans of his desired major at his top choice schools for guidance on how to proceed with his coursework next yr. When he emailed them with an explanation of what he has completed and his desire for their input, their reception has been incredibly positive---responding very quickly with possible appt times. So, if in doubt, I would suggest contacting the departments at various institutions directly.

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Biggest con here is little to no interest in, or time for, high school courses or test prep after experiencing college courses.

 

Everything else has been a positive and I'm not sure the above is such a con either. Even some of the cons mentioned here aren't so negative in my opinion as our students will be at university soon anyway, and will have to deal with less than desirable course content and challenging classes/professors. What they learn and experience is invaluable and not able to be duplicated any other way in my opinion. We're fortunate in that, aside from basket weaving 101 type courses (and I'm not referring to art classes but to the classes/instructors which some seek out which are known for an easy A), the grading is not inflated and the courses require a lot of time and effort in order to get a good grade. The professors are accessible and very willing to help their students who make the effort.

 

If forgot a couple of cons - loss of scheduling freedom, transportation time and money, and textbook costs. Again, all way outweighed by the positives.

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I guess I am confused on whether taking classes at the CC or even a local university, IF you are NOT doing it for the transfer credit, but to get a good, rigorous, challenging class on the subject, if they just count as part of your high school transcript. If you take bio, chem, and physics with labs at the CC, do you put those on the High School transcript as fulfilling the high school science requirements?

 

For us, yes--high school transcript. Ds1 attends a university-model school where he takes 3 classes. He is also dual-enrolled at the local U where he takes calculus and physics. His high school doesn't offer physics and since he wants to study computer science he thought it would be better for him to take physics. His options were online or DE. He qualified for DE. Since his physics class is only trig-based he knows it will only count for high school. He fully expects to have to retake calculus as a freshman at whichever U he goes to. He actually wants to take it again anyway.

 

Ds has had a good experience here with DE. For us the state pays tuition, we pay lab fees and books. Actually the U is covering some of the fees which has helped a bit. The DE students are part of the Honors Program so they are mainly in classes with younger students, many of which are other DE students. And there is a separate DE staff available to oversee and guide students. It really is a good program here. Ds drives himself to school so that helps with day-to-day driving.

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