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Bristayl

Pros and cons of future science major doing lower-level science and core classes as dual enrollment?

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My dd just finished 7th grade. She is, at present, thinking of majoring in Biomedical Science at Texas A&M. (I know she is only 13 and could change her mind, but this is what we have to go on so far.) I am planning for her to cover the credits for the university core curriculum and the lower-level sciences while she is still in high school--some of the core courses using CLEP, and the sciences and other core classes through dual enrollment. The sciences would be done at a local four-year university, not a community college. The science courses she would take would be Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Organic Chemistry. Unless we were able to get special permission, this university wouldn't allow her to start until she was a junior.

 

I am planning to cover the same science subjects informally before she reaches her junior year, so that she will be familiar with the concepts. We did biology this year in grade 7, so that would leave me grades 8, 9, and 10 to cover the other three, one year for each. She is currently doing Algebra I and Geometry, and will continue with the math sequence through calculus and probably throw in some statistics. 

 

Regentrude and anyone else--do you have any specific textbook recommendations for giving her a good foundation in these science subjects before she takes the dual enrollment courses?

 

Regentrude, you said that math matters more, so I will take that seriously. She has a good intuition for math, though if you asked her, she would say it was not her favorite subject.

 

I have corresponded with the A&M Biomedical Science department about doing the lower-level sciences ahead of time. I know that some people would recommend doing them at the end-point college so that she would have that particular college's lower-level science courses. At this point, I am still planning to do them as dual enrollment, along with the university core. Having the core completed would leave her room to pursue honors courses of interest to her, rather than having to do required courses that would be a repetition of what she did in high school.  This plan would have her going straight into upper-level science her first year in college, which I realize could be a challenge. 

 

If any of you have input on this plan, and reasons why you think this would or would not be a good idea, I would welcome that.

 

 

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 The sciences would be done at a local four-year university, not a community college. The science courses she would take would be Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Organic Chemistry. Unless we were able to get special permission, this university wouldn't allow her to start until she was a junior.

 

If you only have two years, covering all those sciences will be an extremely ambitious plan! Introductory physics and chemistry courses will consist of two semesters each; regular chemistry will be a prerequisite for organic chemistry. Since these are all lab courses, they will be very time consuming. I am not sure I would advise a high school student to take on two simultaneous university science courses as their first experience with dual enrollment. A 4 hour science course will require the student to spend at least 8-10 hours outside of class each week, and class time may be significantly more than the nominal credit hours if the course involves a lab.

 

 

 

I am planning to cover the same science subjects informally before she reaches her junior year,

 

Regentrude and anyone else--do you have any specific textbook recommendations for giving her a good foundation in these science subjects before she takes the dual enrollment courses?

 

 

It would be nice if you could clarify what you mean by "informal".

I would understand an "informal" study to be one without textbooks, relying on non-fiction books and documentaries. You may mean something different - like covering the subjects on a conceptual level. This would still be a "formal" course.

I can recommend Hewitt's Conceptual Physics and Suchocki's Conceptual Chemistry for this purpose.

 

But again, I would strongly recommend that you discuss with somebody at the university whether your plan is feasible. You may find that it would be better to cover some of the sciences in a rigorous formal course at home in grades 9 or 10 and limit what you do in terms of dual enrollment in 11th and 12th so that you have time to cover the remaining at-home subjects. With two university science classes, your student may be working 30 hours per week on two subjects - this is something to keep in mind when planning the high school coursework. You still need to get the math, English, social sciences and foreign language studies in.

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I agree with regentrude 100% about the ambition of your plan.

 

"I am planning to cover the same science subjects informally before she reaches her junior year, so that she will be familiar with the concepts. We did biology this year in grade 7, so that would leave me grades 8, 9, and 10 to cover the other three, one year for each." -- correct me if I'm wrong, but you're intending to do chemistry/physics/organic chemistry? 

 

Organic is a killer course for many students and I think prior exposure would be great, but I'm not sure that trying to do it in 10th grade at home would be a great idea. I also doubt that trying to work through a college chemistry course while being concurrently enrolled in alg 2 at the highest (going off her taking alg 1 now) and then working through college physics the next year would be a good idea. 

 

I think conceptual physics would be a great next course for her, and Hewitt's has good reviews. 

 

As far as the enrollment, I would recommend a maximum of one science course per semester as a junior. If that goes brilliantly, she could consider taking two as a senior and she could also consider enrolling in a sequence in summer school if they are offered. Many schools offer chem I + II in summer school. But I wouldn't do it unless it goes brilliantly. 

 

As far as an informal exposure to orgo, I really liked this book: http://www.amazon.com/Atkins-Molecules-Peter/dp/0521535360 (it's NOT a textbook, but it's a great book). 

 

 

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I would understand an "informal" study to be one without textbooks, relying on non-fiction books and documentaries. You may mean something different - like covering the subjects on a conceptual level. 

 

I guess I do mean "conceptual" rather than "informal", by that definition. Thank you for the textbook recommendations--I will check into those.

 

I am not sure I would advise a high school student to take on two simultaneous university science courses as their first experience with dual enrollment. 

 

 

I do realize the science courses will be two semesters each, so we were planning on bio/chem junior year and phys/ochem senior year. We are "frontloading" the other subjects so as to have less to do at home by that point. She does not like to take a long summer break so she always starts the next level of classes early (although for her official grade level we keep her according to her age), so that also should reduce the amount of other subjects she has to complete at that point. The science classes would not be the first dual enrollment she would do, since she will have done some core courses (composition, state govt, etc.) either the summer before or during her sophomore year at a college that allows students to start earlier.

 

I really appreciate your input, though, because I too have been wondering if this is too ambitious. I appreciate your specifics on how much time the science courses may take up. I have corresponded with the university by email, but we also plan to visit and talk to them about our plan. I figured we should wait until she was in 9th grade to do that, though, since I'm not sure they would take a middle-schooler seriously.

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Is your college for DE considered equivalent to A&M? All four year schools aren't considered equal, and A&M is a strong STEM school. I would be nervous about planning to do DE for prerequisite courses in a major and transferring them unless I was sure they truly were equivalent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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correct me if I'm wrong, but you're intending to do chemistry/physics/organic chemistry? 

 

Organic is a killer course for many students and I think prior exposure would be great, but I'm not sure that trying to do it in 10th grade at home would be a great idea.

 

As far as an informal exposure to orgo, I really liked this book: http://www.amazon.com/Atkins-Molecules-Peter/dp/0521535360 (it's NOT a textbook, but it's a great book). 

 

Yes, that is the sequence I was thinking. I have heard about how hard organic is and have had serious doubts as to whether doing it as a high schooler would be feasible. Thanks for the book recommendation!

 

 

I think conceptual physics would be a great next course for her, and Hewitt's has good reviews. 

 

 
So you think it would be better to do conceptual physics next, and then do chemistry, and then the ochem book you recommend?
 
 

 

As far as the enrollment, I would recommend a maximum of one science course per semester as a junior. If that goes brilliantly, she could consider taking two as a senior and she could also consider enrolling in a sequence in summer school if they are offered. Many schools offer chem I + II in summer school. But I wouldn't do it unless it goes brilliantly. 

 

 

 I appreciate your suggesting this modification of my plan. I had thought about that but was concerned that it would actually be more difficult to do a two-course science sequence as condensed summer courses than to do over a whole school year, even if it were simultaneous with another science course. But if you think that would be a better way to go, I may do that. Or I may take in her standardized test scores and see if the university would give permission for her to start as a sophomore with one science sequence only. 

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Is your college for DE considered equivalent to A&M? All four year schools aren't considered equal, and A&M is a strong STEM school. I would be nervous about planning to do DE for prerequisite courses in a major and transferring them unless I was sure they truly were equivalent.

 

No, quite frankly, it is not, and that is definitely a consideration. I just really want to avoid the repetition of doing the same courses in the first two years of college that she will have done in high school, and also want to save some money by not having to do all four years. If we saved all of the science prerequisites to do at A&M, there would be no way to avoid having to do a full four years, even if we did all the core curriculum as DE. I know some would say it would be worth it to do all four years there; I am not yet convinced of that, but am open to input.

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No, quite frankly, it is not, and that is definitely a consideration. I just really want to avoid the repetition of doing the same courses in the first two years of college that she will have done in high school, and also want to save some money by not having to do all four years. If we saved all of the science prerequisites to do at A&M, there would be no way to avoid having to do a full four years, even if we did all the core curriculum as DE. I know some would say it would be worth it to do all four years there; I am not yet convinced of that, but am open to input.

 

What does she want to do afterwards? That will matter hugely. It will probably be better for her to enter with advanced standing and use the entire four years to take more advanced classes and take advantage of research opportunities than to hurry through in an attempt to save money.

 

Furthermore, remember that if she goes directly into honors upper-division courses, the other students in the honors courses will have had the prerequisites of having taken honors freshmen courses there. Quite frankly, if she's looking at transferring to a very good school, I think she might be better off to avoid taking as many courses in her intended major, especially organic chemistry (because that is a sophomore-level course), and instead try to get more of the gen eds out of the way so that she can focus on acing the honors courses in her major at a better school. 

 

 

 

So you think it would be better to do conceptual physics next, and then do chemistry, and then the ochem book you recommend?

 

This isn't a textbook -- it wouldn't be suitable for a course. But it would be great additional reading during a chemistry course. Am I making sense? I think conceptual physics would be a good next course because by the time she'd finished conceptual physics she should have enough math to handle most introductory chemistry textbooks. 

 

 

 

 I appreciate your suggesting this modification of my plan. I had thought about that but was concerned that it would actually be more difficult to do a two-course science sequence as condensed summer courses than to do over a whole school year, even if it were simultaneous with another science course. But if you think that would be a better way to go, I may do that. Or I may take in her standardized test scores and see if the university would give permission for her to start as a sophomore with one science sequence only. 

 

The reason I suggest this is because it gives the opportunity for you to see how the first one went. I would only recommend it if she really aced the course taken as a junior -- if she struggled at all I wouldn't do it. Sometimes, though, taking just ONE subject in the summer while nothing else is going on can lead to a good result, because all the focus can go into the single subject studied. Again, and I cannot reiterate this enough times, don't set your heart on it until you see how she's doing in the courses during the year. 

 

I would only start as a sophomore if her standardized test scores put her in at least the 75th percentile for college-bound seniors. Basically, you don't want her to hurry up and then end up with a mediocre grade/knowledge, when she would have aced it if she'd waited a few years. 

 

I would try very hard to keep your options open as much as possible over the next couple of years. You don't need to pick a plan and commit to it for anything but 8th grade. 

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Quite frankly, if she's looking at transferring to a very good school, I think she might be better off to avoid taking as many courses in her intended major, especially organic chemistry (because that is a sophomore-level course), and instead try to get more of the gen eds out of the way so that she can focus on acing the honors courses in her major at a better school. 

 

This is a great idea.  Take DE courses as a high schooler that will not have a follow-on course at A&M.  Maybe she could get languages out of the way.  Or a social studies requirement.  Or English.

 

There have been many threads that referred to med schools NOT accepting students who had taken the prerequisite science courses as AP or DE, even if their undergraduate institution accepted those courses.

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What does she want to do afterwards? That will matter hugely. It will probably be better for her to enter with advanced standing and use the entire four years to take more advanced classes and take advantage of research opportunities than to hurry through in an attempt to save money.

 

I have wondered about this. I was hoping she could still advantage of research opportunities even if only doing two years. But we probably need to talk to the university department to see if that is even possible. 

 

As for what she wants to do afterwards, currently she is thinking of biomedical research, probably more focused on animal medicine than human. So it would be important for her to be able to do research as an undergrad.

 

I would only start as a sophomore if her standardized test scores put her in at least the 75th percentile for college-bound seniors. Basically, you don't want her to hurry up and then end up with a mediocre grade/knowledge, when she would have aced it if she'd waited a few years. 

 

I would try very hard to keep your options open as much as possible over the next couple of years. You don't need to pick a plan and commit to it for anything but 8th grade. 

 

This year she took the ACT through Duke TIP and was in the 90th percentile for college-bound seniors. Her math score lowered her composite considerably because she has not had Algebra II nor has she completed Geometry.

 

Yes, I certainly want to keep our options open. As you said, I don't want to shortchange her in the future just because she is advanced now. I appreciate the "reality check" that you and Regentrude have provided. I am not one to set a plan in stone because I actually enjoy revising plans, so will definitely see how she does and adjust as we go.

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This is a great idea.  Take DE courses as a high schooler that will not have a follow-on course at A&M.  Maybe she could get languages out of the way.  Or a social studies requirement.  Or English.

 

There have been many threads that referred to med schools NOT accepting students who had taken the prerequisite science courses as AP or DE, even if their undergraduate institution accepted those courses.

 

Continuing (because I'm still thinking about this) but another GREAT option would be to take biology as a junior, and then take an *elective* biology course as a senior -- one that will only count for an elective in the major, but will add depth and richness to her background knowledge of biology -- instead of focusing on the core courses. 

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This is a great idea.  Take DE courses as a high schooler that will not have a follow-on course at A&M.  Maybe she could get languages out of the way.  Or a social studies requirement.  Or English.

 

There have been many threads that referred to med schools NOT accepting students who had taken the prerequisite science courses as AP or DE, even if their undergraduate institution accepted those courses.

 

Yes, we are definitely planning to do the gen eds by dual enrollment and credit-by-exam. It was the science courses that I was questioning doing that way. At this point she is not planning to go to medical school, but I suppose we would probably want to do what we can to leave that option available if she should decide to go that route. At one point she was considering vet school (which is what led us to A&M to begin with), but now doesn't think she wants to do that. You never know, though.

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I have wondered about this. I was hoping she could still advantage of research opportunities even if only doing two years. But we probably need to talk to the university department to see if that is even possible. 

 

As for what she wants to do afterwards, currently she is thinking of biomedical research, probably more focused on animal medicine than human. So it would be important for her to be able to do research as an undergrad.

 

 

4 years of research is better than 3 which is better than 2. It's unlikely that someone who's just entering would be able to get a professor to sponsor them for research in their first semester, although it's possible, but it takes time to build those relationships and get those letters of recommendation that will be crucial for going to graduate school, which is going to be a requirement if she wants to do research as a career. It's going to be very important to her career to get into the best graduate school that she possibly can, with as much funding as she can possibly get, and really, trying to take everything so that she can graduate in only 2 years would result in her being rather average as a graduate school applicant.

 

The more I read about this the more I think that you really should give up on the idea of her graduating in 2 years. I really think that this would be shortchanging her. 

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4 years of research is better than 3 which is better than 2. It's unlikely that someone who's just entering would be able to get a professor to sponsor them for research in their first semester, although it's possible, but it takes time to build those relationships and get those letters of recommendation that will be crucial for going to graduate school, which is going to be a requirement if she wants to do research as a career. It's going to be very important to her career to get into the best graduate school that she possibly can, with as much funding as she can possibly get, and really, trying to take everything so that she can graduate in only 2 years would result in her being rather average as a graduate school applicant.

 

The more I read about this the more I think that you really should give up on the idea of her graduating in 2 years. I really think that this would be shortchanging her. 

 

This is the kind of input I was looking for. She actually wouldn't have the same professors for the lower-level science courses than she would for upper-level, and I wasn't expecting her to be able to start research the first semester. But it sounds like the more time she has to do research and to network, the better. This has given me a lot to think about ; I appreciate that. So maybe we will just try to knock out the core curriculum by dual enrollment/CBE, but expect her to still take the full four years to maximize her opportunities for advanced courses and research.

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Continuing (because I'm still thinking about this) but another GREAT option would be to take biology as a junior, and then take an *elective* biology course as a senior -- one that will only count for an elective in the major, but will add depth and richness to her background knowledge of biology -- instead of focusing on the core courses. 

 

I hadn't thought of this. Another option to consider!

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No, quite frankly, it is not, and that is definitely a consideration. I just really want to avoid the repetition of doing the same courses in the first two years of college that she will have done in high school, and also want to save some money by not having to do all four years. If we saved all of the science prerequisites to do at A&M, there would be no way to avoid having to do a full four years, even if we did all the core curriculum as DE. I know some would say it would be worth it to do all four years there; I am not yet convinced of that, but am open to input.

 

Just a quick note on this, since I have to run:

for science majors, the four year sequence is designed to be completed in...well.. four years.

That means that the way the courses are offered is aligned with the way the prerequisite courses are taken by the average student. Some courses may be offered only once a year or even less frequently; students who are "off sequence" may have wait semesters when there are no required classes they can take.

Please check the course sequence carefully at the institution where your DD wants to study.

In general, I do not consider it advisable to plan to rush through the degree program in 3 years. If she transfers in credits, she might want to use the extra time to do research, or take extra classes in a concentration area, or get a double major. Or to simply finish within four years, which is not at all a given with a STEM degree.

 

ETA:  about the suggestion to take the general ed requirements:

This comes up at student advising regularly, and I have written about it here:

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/464600-if-your-stem-college-student-transfers-in-a-lot-of-de-classes/

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Please check the course sequence carefully at the institution where your DD wants to study.

In general, I do not consider it advisable to plan to rush through the degree program in 3 years. If she transfers in credits, she might want to use the extra time to do research, or take extra classes in a concentration area, or get a double major. Or to simply finish within four years, which is not at all a given with a STEM degree.

 

 

Thank you for this advice. I have looked at the course sequence and prerequisites, as well as the actual course schedules, and it looks like it would technically be possible to finish in two years. But it sounds like that may disadvantage her as far as research and networking with professors is concerned, so I am re-thinking this.

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Ok, so if I decided NOT to do the science courses as dual enrollment, but instead to do rigorous high-school level courses at home, what textbooks would you recommend for chemistry and physics? I am not sure she and I would be enthusiastic about repeating biology since she just finished it, but what we did was not rigorous enough if she is not following up with dual enrollment. So in that case, what books would you recommend for biology?

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On research, especially on the animal side, have you looked into local science projects? Even just local citizen science stuff can lead into making connections with people in the field doing more involved research, and that can be valuable, and a good showing at JSHS or ISEF, or publishing in a peer-reviewed journal before entering high school is likely to be worth more in getting undergrad research opportunities than having Sophomore or Junior class standing, especially in a large school with a big graduate student population.

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I only sort of skimmed the other responses, but here are my thoughts. My ds started his high school science sequence in 8th grade with conceptual physics. In 9th grade he took chemistry and astronomy (which is a branch of physics). In 10th he took AP chem and another astronomy. In 11th he dual enrolled in cal based physics 1and 2 and completed a self-designed course on dark matter at home. This yr as a 12th grader he dual enrolled in mechanics 1 and 2 and modern (all upper level physics courses) and did bio at home. That is a total of 12 science credits.

 

We met with or he emailed the deans of multiple schools in order to determine if his chosen courses would be an issue. Since he took them at a 4 yr university, they were not a problem for schools that actually allow students to bring in significant amts of credit.

 

Bc of the path he has opted to take (he also has credit for 5 math classes cal 1+) he is planning on triple majoring. So it is possible for them to complete a portion of their degree and get ahead allowing for greater flexibility.

 

I personally would not go about it the way you have listed. I would consider having her take chem 1 and 2 in 11th grade and perhaps o-chem in 12 (fwiw, most of the unis we are familiar with have chem as a 2 semester sequence and organic as another 2 semester sequence.). Depending on what her major requirements are, she might be able to get a branch sequence completed vs a bunch of different sciences covered via only a single semester. If she thrives via DE (which our ds definitely has), you could consider doubling up in sciences her sr yr. But beware that lab sciences are very time consuming. My ds's modern lab has actually consumed more time than the actual class.

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Well-- college level courses are NOT high school level courses.  In fact with courses like College Chem 1 and Biology 1 the instructor will assume that the student has completed a high school level course!  So make sure your dd has had a full high school level course before enrolling her in the college level one!

 

It is nice to dream about completing most of the first 2 years of college while in high school-- in reality this rarely happens.  Be prepared to be flexible.  Many high schoolers do not have the mental maturity to study independently (as a college level class will require).  Most high school level classes will have daily assignments that the student must complete-- in college it is possible to have a Chem class with only 3 test grades-- and zero homework grades!  That is a huge responsiblity for a 15 or 16 yr old. 

 

Do not rush through high school level courses just to get to something that awards college credit-- your dd will need to be well prepared for those college classes as the gpa she earns will stay with her.

 

Also note that Texas A&M (TAMU) will have a limit to the number of dual enrollment hours they will accept without the student being a transfer.  This may not matter unless your dd was applying for scholarships-- the majority of scholarships are for incomming freshmen... one class over the limit and she would be a transfer student...

 

My middle dd had 28 dual enrollemnt hours taken at a local CC (with transfer agreement with TAMU).  She went in as a first time freshman and after her first semester they awarded her the CC credits.  Same would go if she transfered from another university to TAMU.

 

It is VERY important that the class codes at the university she will be dual enrolled at uses the identical codes to TAMU-- or the credits will only transfer as electives!!

 

 

 

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I *assume* you live in Texas.  If cost is a factor - have you considered TAMS?  (Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UNT) I know the funding has changed since I went, but I started research in the neuro lab my first year (so, Jr high school, freshman college).  Graduated high school with 77 semester hours.  Many, many, many of my classmates went to A&M for their final two years, most in what would now be considered STEM.  And transitioned onto grad school.

 

And I don't know what your local college would be like compared to A&M....so, this may not compare.  But one of our friends son had taken AP Chem at local elite private school, received a 5 on the exam.  He decided not to take the credit at Wash U, and instead go ahead and take Chem 1, thinking it would be an "easy" transition class.  Nope.  It covered WAY WAY WAY more than AP did.  Even those who had taken dual enrollment science classes elsewhere and went into advanced classes were struggling because the material was far more in depth than at their local uni.  Unfortunately, their grades suffered as a result, yet they were competing for med / grad school with their colleagues who had not placed out.

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We met with or he emailed the deans of multiple schools in order to determine if his chosen courses would be an issue. Since he took them at a 4 yr university, they were not a problem for schools that actually allow students to bring in significant amts of credit.

 

Bc of the path he has opted to take (he also has credit for 5 math classes cal 1+) he is planning on triple majoring. So it is possible for them to complete a portion of their degree and get ahead allowing for greater flexibility.

 

Thank you for this feedback. I am mulling over the fact that the 4-year university available to us for DE is of a much lower selectivity level than the end-point college (3 levels lower on the Barron's scale), and that, much as I hate to admit it, that might make it worth taking all the science at the end-point college.

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While mulling this over, another question occurred to me:

how can you be so sure that THIS is the school your DD will actually attend? I mean, she is now in 7th grade... she may want to attend a different school, or she may not be able to get into this one (I thought it was rather hard to be admitted to A&M as a homeschooler because they reserve so many spots for the guaranteed admission for the top-10% students?)

 

So, I would be cautions about counting on credits transferring in case she ends at a different school... unless you are willing to limit her choices to only schools  that will accept those credits.

FWIW, my DD will graduate from high school with 11 college credits in calculus based physics, 17 credits of French, and 6 credits of English... none of which will be accepted by her end-point university.

 

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Do not rush through high school level courses just to get to something that awards college credit-- your dd will need to be well prepared for those college classes as the gpa she earns will stay with her.

 

Thank you for this advice, Jann. I was planning to do the high school level courses before the dual enrollment courses, but not necessarily in the most rigorous way possible. It sounds like you would recommend still doing the high school science courses in a rigorous way even if we do dual enrollment.

 

 

Also note that Texas A&M (TAMU) will have a limit to the number of dual enrollment hours they will accept without the student being a transfer.  This may not matter unless your dd was applying for scholarships-- the majority of scholarships are for incomming freshmen... one class over the limit and she would be a transfer student...

 

My middle dd had 28 dual enrollemnt hours taken at a local CC (with transfer agreement with TAMU).  She went in as a first time freshman and after her first semester they awarded her the CC credits.  Same would go if she transfered from another university to TAMU.

 

It is VERY important that the class codes at the university she will be dual enrolled at uses the identical codes to TAMU-- or the credits will only transfer as electives!!

 

I do always consult TAMU's own transfer course equivalency system as well as the TCCNS site when looking at possible dual enrollment courses. In my correspondence with TAMU, I have been told that as long as the dual enrollment hours are earned before high school graduation, even with as many as 72 hours, she would still be considered an incoming freshman (yes, we want those scholarships!). 

 

What you said about not being awarded the credits until after the first semester is a concern. It sounds like that would mean that even if she has taken courses that would meet prerequisites, she would not be considered to have actually met the prerequisites until the second semester and therefore would not be able to take the courses with prerequisites the first semester. Is that correct?

 

It sounds like we really need to go there and talk to the department.

 

 

 

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While mulling this over, another question occurred to me:

how can you be so sure that THIS is the school your DD will actually attend? I mean, she is now in 7th grade... she may want to attend a different school, or she may not be able to get into this one (I thought it was rather hard to be admitted to A&M as a homeschooler because they reserve so many spots for the guaranteed admission for the top-10% students?)

 

So, I would be cautions about counting on credits transferring in case she ends at a different school... unless you are willing to limit her choices to only schools  that will accept those credits.

FWIW, my DD will graduate from high school with 11 college credits in calculus based physics, 17 credits of French, and 6 credits of English... none of which will be accepted by her end-point university.

 

Yes, most certainly I cannot be sure where she will end up. I have compared some other potential schools and if she stays in TX, most of the courses I was planning on would still transfer to a number of other colleges (because of the state common course equivalency system in which many colleges participate). But you are right, I need to be mentally prepared to have no credits count if that is how it ends up. I don't think that means we shouldn't try to do any college-level work at all, however, since I also want her to have challenging coursework. So I guess I should focus on doing college-level work for that reason, rather than trying hard to maximize credits.

 

As for admissions, besides the top 10% auto admission, TAMU has an "academic admission" category which requires certain test scores and a top 25% class rank. They has a very generous policy of automatically assigning homeschoolers a top 25% class rank, so if the student meets the required test scores, he/she can qualify as an academic admit. This policy cannot be found anywhere on their website, but I have confirmed it with multiple admissions counselors.

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I *assume* you live in Texas.  If cost is a factor - have you considered TAMS?  (Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UNT) I know the funding has changed since I went, but I started research in the neuro lab my first year (so, Jr high school, freshman college).  Graduated high school with 77 semester hours.  Many, many, many of my classmates went to A&M for their final two years, most in what would now be considered STEM.  And transitioned onto grad school.

 

I was not aware of this--I'll have to take a look. We live in the DFW area, so I'll definitely check it out. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

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It sounds like we really need to go there and talk to the department.

It is definitely the route I would recommend. However, I would not bother until she is older and has actually completed all high school equivalencies. You could also consider AP classes. Personally we have found dual enrollment classes a better option, but many prefer AP.

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What you said about not being awarded the credits until after the first semester is a concern. It sounds like that would mean that even if she has taken courses that would meet prerequisites, she would not be considered to have actually met the prerequisites until the second semester and therefore would not be able to take the courses with prerequisites the first semester. Is that correct?

 

 

She would be OK for prerequisites--but would not be able to enroll until the first time freshmen do-- ususally only a week or so before classes begin! (My middle dd started at TAMU then transfered to Texas State where she is currently a Sr set to graduate next spring).

 

What this means is that there is a good chance that the upper level classes will fill up or you will be left with an undesirable professor/grad student by the time it is your dd's turn to enroll.  After the first semester at TAMU she will be able to enroll at a higher priority slot.  I'm pretty sure the same rule applies to regular transfer students as well.

 

I do think that it is best to go for rigorous high school level courses (foundation)-- as long as she is making good solid grades (A's would be preferred!).  By her Jr year she may change her thoughts on a major-- but she would have the background/foundation to easily change her plans.

 

 

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I'm just afterschooling; my younger dd goes to an excellent public high school, but I have been thinking much like you.  DD is thinking about epidemiology as a career, and is a sophomore, currently in AP Biology, (did regular biology in 8th grade with an Advanced on the Arkansas EOC exam), and she got a 50 on the CLEP chemistry test last year after taking preAP Chemistry in 9th grade and a high school level conceptual chemistry course during the summer between 8th and 9th grade.  She is currently in Precalculus, so I expect her to take the College Algebra CLEP this summer.  She also did AP Human Geography last year, and is in AP World History this year. I want her well prepared but I expect her to repeat the stuff in her major, and to get out of the core curriculum while still in high school.  I expect her to take four years, including a semester of immersion spanish.

 

AP exams are more widely accepted by colleges than are CLEPs, but this doesn't apply to Texas schools, which accepts both unusually well due to state mandate.  CLEPS are a LOT easier than AP exams; because the folks who take them are mostly military and have powerful organizations to defend their interests. The score needed to pass on a CLEP (usually 50-60) is relatively easier to attain than a passing score (usually 4s and 5s) needed on an AP.)  However the material learned for a CLEP examination will not prepare you at all for upper level college courses.  This is why it is best to CLEP out of useless courses which are not going to be in your major, rather than to CLEP out of courses in your presumptive major.

 

In addition, when I look at colleges for her, among the criteria I use are (1) cost - I want her to graduate with no debt (2) graduation rate and (3) ACT score 25th and 75th percentiles.  TAMU's 4 year graduation rate is only 49%, but its 6 year graduation rate is 80% which is very good for a STEM school. TAMU's 25th and 75th percentiles on the ACT for entering freshmen are ACT Composite: 24 / 30 respectively, ACT English: 23 / 30, ACT Math: 24 / 30.  From my perspective, that means that while my dd (currently ACT score of 24 composite but still only a sophomore) would "fit" into the range of students at TAMU, if she went there, she would NOT shine, would not be chosen by research professors to be their pet golden girl cum lab monkey, and most likely would not have an exemplary transcript, because she would only be on the bottom 25th percentile for accepted students, and her professors would be chatting up the folks on 90th percentile and above.  Those unpaid, but useful positions would go to the equally hardworking and personable folks in the top 10% of admitted students not to my dd.  She would do even worse at UT Dallas, whose 4 year graduation rate is 45%, 6 year graduation rate 64%, and  ACT Composite: 26 / 31; ACT English: 24 / 31; and ACT Math: 26 / 32.  In that school, she would definitely be amoung the folk who failed to graduate. in four years and might be among those who failed to graduate in six years.

 

I recommend you stop in at Barnes and Nobles and peruse a copy of Malcolm Gladwell's "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants"  It discusses what can happen to the 90% of promising students who can't be in the top ten percent of students in their Ivy League colleges.   \http://www.amazon.com/David-Goliath-Underdogs-Misfits-Battling/dp/0316204366

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In addition, when I look at colleges for her, among the criteria I use are (1) cost - I want her to graduate with no debt (2) graduation rate and (3) ACT score 25th and 75th percentiles. TAMU's 4 year graduation rate is only 49%, but its 6 year graduation rate is 80% which is very good for a STEM school. TAMU's 25th and 75th percentiles on the ACT for entering freshmen are ACT Composite: 24 / 30 respectively, ACT English: 23 / 30, ACT Math: 24 / 30. From my perspective, that means that while my dd (currently ACT score of 24 composite but still only a sophomore) would "fit" into the range of students at TAMU, if she went there, she would NOT shine, would not be chosen by research professors to be their pet golden girl cum lab monkey, and most likely would not have an exemplary transcript, because she would only be on the bottom 25th percentile for accepted students, and her professors would be chatting up the folks on 90th percentile and above. Those unpaid, but useful positions would go to the equally hardworking and personable folks in the top 10% of admitted students not to my dd. She would do even worse at UT Dallas, whose 4 year graduation rate is 45%, 6 year graduation rate 64%, and ACT Composite: 26 / 31; ACT English: 24 / 31; and ACT Math: 26 / 32. In that school, she would definitely be amoung the folk who failed to graduate. in four years and might be among those who failed to graduate in six years.

 

I just wanted to share that test scores are only a single data pt. Young adults are far more complex and their successes and failures are not summed up in test scores. Your quoted description makes me sad bc it is a prevalent POV, but not a holistic vision of what our children are capable or not capable of achieving.

 

This is a very true story which reflects why I find the entire test score discussion too narrow of a view.

 

A friend's oldest ds was attending our state's technical university. He had made a 36 on the ACT and had started there as a chemE major. 3 yrs later our oldest ds made the decision to apply to that school. His ACT score was simply high AVG and nothing worth noting. He told friend that he was planning on attending the school an majoring in chemE.

 

She looked at him and told he better plan on a different major bc her 36 scoring ds had failed out of the chemE program, costing him his scholarship bc his GPA was now a 2.5. He changed his major to psychology.

 

Ds went to that school and majored in chemE, graduated in 4 yrs (including the 12 months he spent co-oping) cum laude with a 3.65 (or something thereabouts), and had 4 great job offers to choose from.

 

Determination, willingness to work hard, grit......whatever you want to call it is far more important in long term success than 3 1/2 hrs of filling in bubbles. The tests have some value, but definitely not the weight of determining who will definitely not graduate in 4 yrs or possibly amg those failing out in 6. If that were the case, my story would have had the individuals in reverse roles.

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Thank you for all the feedback, everyone. I appreciate your taking the time to share your experiences. I think I will stay the course for now and see how it goes, adjusting as necessary. I will not put the expectation on my dd to finish in 2 years, but rather to take advantage of her opportunities as best as possible.

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Well I agree that there are always exceptions to every rule, and I certainly hope that my DD's ACT scores improve considerably by the tme she is a senior, but other things being equal, I think kids are better off being in the upper fourth or higher of their cohorts.  For example, here in Arkansas, the flagship campus is University of Arkansas Fayetteville which has a 4 year graduation rate of 35% and a 6 year graduation rate of 60%.  (Yes, ouch.  I am thinking of sending her to Baylor in Texas; as a private school Baylor is definitely "pay for grades" and the average GPA is nearly a point higher than at TAMU, which MATTERS for grad school.)  U of A Fayetteville's  25%/75% percentiles for ACT scores are ACT Composite: 23 / 28, ACT English: 22 / 29, ACT Math: 22 / 28.  How well do they do for grad school? Well, if they are going to be business majors, very well indeed because the Sam Walton School of Business is in town and is top tier, but for STEM subjects, let us just say that most people who go on to med school in Arkansas come from Arkansas State University Little Rock. ASU Little Rock is a large urban university and a true failure factory with a 4 year graduation rate of 7%, a 6 year graduation rate of 19%, and  25%/75%.  ACT scores of ACT Composite: 19 / 25, ACT English: 19 / 27, ACT Math: 18 / 25.  Why is this, I hear you cry?  Because Arkansas State University is a LOT cheaper and so a kid who could get into U of A Fayetteville and be in the top 25% but who chooses to go to ASU Little Rock instead because of the price, shines like a diamond among pebbles.  Since professors pick their favorites from the students who are actually available to them rather than some abstract best and brightest pool of students, the top students at ASU get buffed to a shine. 

 

 

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Well I agree that there are always exceptions to every rule, and I certainly hope that my DD's ACT scores improve considerably by the tme she is a senior, but other things being equal, I think kids are better off being in the upper fourth or higher of their cohorts. For example, here in Arkansas, the flagship campus is University of Arkansas Fayetteville which has a 4 year graduation rate of 35% and a 6 year graduation rate of 60%. (Yes, ouch. I am thinking of sending her to Baylor in Texas; as a private school Baylor is definitely "pay for grades" and the average GPA is nearly a point higher than at TAMU, which MATTERS for grad school.) U of A Fayetteville's 25%/75% percentiles for ACT scores are ACT Composite: 23 / 28, ACT English: 22 / 29, ACT Math: 22 / 28. How well do they do for grad school? Well, if they are going to be business majors, very well indeed because the Sam Walton School of Business is in town and is top tier, but for STEM subjects, let us just say that most people who go on to med school in Arkansas come from Arkansas State University Little Rock. ASU Little Rock is a large urban university and a true failure factory with a 4 year graduation rate of 7%, a 6 year graduation rate of 19%, and 25%/75%. ACT scores of ACT Composite: 19 / 25, ACT English: 19 / 27, ACT Math: 18 / 25. Why is this, I hear you cry? Because Arkansas State University is a LOT cheaper and so a kid who could get into U of A Fayetteville and be in the top 25% but who chooses to go to ASU Little Rock instead because of the price, shines like a diamond among pebbles. Since professors pick their favorites from the students who are actually available to them rather than some abstract best and brightest pool of students, the top students at ASU get buffed to a shine.

Those schools' stats are appalling. I looked and ASU LR has a 99.5% acceptance rate. That is more on par with a CC than a 4 yr university. I would suspect the stats say more about the school and its educational management and the academic background which supposedly prepared students for college than reflecting any direct correlation between test scores and student success in general.

 

Fwiw, I don't think the story I shared is an exception to the rule. I have no idea what the stats are, but every yr there are high stat students receiving merit scholarships who lose their scholarships to the GPA requirements. If their test score stats were all that mattered, there would be a direct correlation from a specific number to specific academic outcomes and admissions processes would be different, college graduation outcomes would be more predictable, etc.

 

GPA, rigor of class work, course load, letters of recommendation discussing work ethic and desire to learn, etc........those combined with test score ranges have a far more accurate picture of a student than a single data pt. (Ranges are far more likely to have real value when combined with the former bc the scores do have value, but not a single # value predictor in isolation. Your dd's 24 is not an indication that someone with a 28 is automatically going to have better academic success.) Research indicates that the tests themselves are not accurate as single scores. For example, the science reasoning and reading sections on the ACT have been shown to not have predictive value in college success.

There are schools like MIT and GA Tech that do not use the ACT composite score bc of research like the above, etc.

 

Testing results have value, but the value is bounded and students should never be viewed just as a numerical statistic from a standardized test. Even college admissions don't do that.

 

Eta: I do agree that students need to consider their over all abilities compared to peers in a given academic environment. I only disagree that test score # alone gives that answer.

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My dd is doing something similar.  We live near a private liberal arts college.  This college allows high school juniors and seniors to take one class each semester for credit at a greatly reduced rate.  We couldn't afford to take classes here for credit earlier than her junior year, so she has been auditing science class since 8th grade.  It has worked out great for her.  She has had an early exposure to quality science professors, so hopefully, when she takes the classes for credit in college, they will be much easier.  We haven't found any cons so far. 

 

Karen

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 This college allows high school juniors and seniors to take one class each semester for credit at a greatly reduced rate.  We couldn't afford to take classes here for credit earlier than her junior year, so she has been auditing science class since 8th grade.  It has worked out great for her.  She has had an early exposure to quality science professors, so hopefully, when she takes the classes for credit in college, they will be much easier.  We haven't found any cons so far. 

 

Just to give a heads-up: many colleges charge the same tuition rate for a student auditing a course as for a student enrolled for credit, so check with your college before you plan on doing this. And at most colleges a professor will not be allowed to just "let her sit in", for liability reasons.

 

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 I would be interested in hearing more information about this. Is auditing common? I don't hear it mentioned as often as other options.

 

Not very common, since many colleges charge full tuition for auditing a course. So, if you have to pay full fare, you might as well wait until the student can actually take the course for credit.

Now, if you can audit fro free, that would be fabulous - IF the student understands that the only way to get anything out of the course is to do all the work of enrolled students and to complete all assignments, even though he won't be turning them in. Auditing and just listening but not doing any work is pretty much a waste of time, at least in science and math.

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Just to give a heads-up: many colleges charge the same tuition rate for a student auditing a course as for a student enrolled for credit, so check with your college before you plan on doing this. And at most colleges a professor will not be allowed to just "let her sit in", for liability reasons.

 

Oh wow, I guess we have really been lucky then.

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<<Fwiw, I don't think the story I shared is an exception to the rule. I have no idea what the stats are, but every yr there are high stat students receiving merit scholarships who lose their scholarships to the GPA requirements. If their test score stats were all that mattered, there would be a direct correlation from a specific number to specific academic outcomes and admissions processes would be different, college graduation outcomes would be more predictable, etc.>>

 

As far as I can tell, merit scholarships at many public and private colleges including the Arkansas university system should be considered a mere discount off the first year's tuition.  I think U.S. colleges current financial strategies include running low paying, in-state students through a bunch of killer courses taught in auditorium settings containing a couple of hundred students apiece; dropping their GPAs into the toilet and losing them their scholarships causing them to leave the STEM majors for criminal justice, recreation studies, and other easy, low cost majors; and then filling the smaller, expensive to teach, upper level courses with high paying transfer students from foreign countries who AP'd & CLEP'd out of all their core curriculum , quite possibly by hiring stand-ins for the tests while they are still in China. (I mean I've met some of the transfers.  No WAY someone who cannot speak or write competent English could get a 5 on the AP English literature exam, let alone those amazing scores on the SATs.)  Of course that is part of the reason why I want my kiddo to take rigorous courses, and to arrive with her core curriculum out of the way: so she is able to have a reasonable college load, and to be able to compete on a more equal footing with these transfer students.  She is taking the AP courses in science and math mostly in order to be prepared to take those in college, since she will meet them in her major, but she is taking AP, dual credit and CLEPS  in everything else just to get them out of the way. 
 

<<the PSAT - GPA, rigor of class work, course load, letters of recommendation discussing work ethic and desire to learn, etc........those combined with test score ranges have a far more accurate picture of a student than a single data pt. (Ranges are far more likely to have real value when combined with the former bc the scores do have value, but not a single # value predictor in isolation.>>

 

I am wholly unimpressed with GPA as a measure of quality.  My nephew has an A+ average at the residential military high school he currently adorns.  He is very smart  - scores really well on all standardized tests - but he is there because his work ethic through 6-9th grade was completely lacking.  He just coasted on his undoubted brains, refused to do any work, and ended up failing 9th grade despite acing the tests BECAUSE HE NEVER DID HIS HOMEWORK.  He repeated 9th grade in military school in order to resurrect his high school transcript, (which currently makes him look like Einstein and Eisenhower rolled into one.)  We hope that by the time he hits college he will have internalized decent study habits and so will be able to keep it up, but right now he is benefiting by being the smartest person in what is probably a subnormal population.   Nevertheless, his GPA combined with his marvelous aptitude for standardized tests, and the fact that no one from his school or its surrounding miles of sparsely populated agricultural land has ever even applied to Harvard, may well get him an acceptance there in the fullness of time.  I hope so.  And it might work out that way, because the hardest thing about Harvard has always been getting in. Of note, I turned down Harvard for Johns Hopkins because the latter gave me a much better financial deal, so this is not sour grapes.

 

I am also unimpressed by letters of recommendation, I mean, if a student can't find someone to write them a letter of recommendation, or at least sign a letter of recommendation that the student has carefully written for them, then, surely he or she can persuade a parent to forge one?  It's not like anybody checks those things for entry into undergraduate college.  "It is estimated that 90% of recommendation letters from Chinese [foreign] students are fake, 70% of college application essays are not written by the students, and half of all high school transcripts are falsified."

 

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/fraud-fears-rocket-as-chinese-seek-a-place-at-any-price/2004704.article

 

http://world.time.com/2012/07/26/forged-transcripts-and-fake-essays-how-unscrupulous-agents-get-chinese-students-into-u-s-schools/

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/thailand/120103/US-college-application-fraud-asia-elite-economy-china

 

 <<Your dd's 24 is not an indication that someone with a 28 is automatically going to have better academic success.) Research indicates that the tests themselves are not accurate as single scores. For example, the science reasoning and reading sections on the ACT have been shown to not have predictive value in college success.>>

 

Actually I agree.  However, I am not concerned about my DD's ability to handle college on a level academic playing field, but rather, I am concerned about her ability to handle college on the playing field as it currently exists. That playing field includes my dd being required to do well on courses graded on a presumed normal distribution, when the true distribution is skewed because some members of the class will have outsourced their homework to unemployed PhD's and have access to custom study guides containing the answers to the tests.

 

Hey, I'm Asian (first generation born in the US) myself, although my kids are Hispanic (adopted).  Let me just say I know my culture.

 

Attila the Mom

 

 

 

Quote

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Hey, I'm Asian (first generation born in the US) myself, although my kids are Hispanic (adopted).  Let me just say I know my culture.

 

Attila the Mom

 

 

 

Quote

 

Let me just say that I am finding your posts inappropriate.   "diamonds among pebbles" is not an analogy that should be used when you are referring to children.  Then you refer to a school's population as "subnormal" and finish your post by insulting the Asian culture. 

 

Please stop.

 

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Let's just say that your view of people in general and of the university experiences does not mirror my own.     You seem to dwell in the land of stereotypes which completely fits with your first 2 posts' focus on test scores vs. individuals.

 

The cynicism of this part

 

As far as I can tell, merit scholarships at many public and private colleges including the Arkansas university system should be considered a mere discount off the first year's tuition.  I think U.S. colleges current financial strategies include running low paying, in-state students through a bunch of killer courses taught in auditorium settings containing a couple of hundred students apiece; dropping their GPAs into the toilet and losing them their scholarships causing them to leave the STEM majors for criminal justice, recreation studies, and other easy, low cost majors; and then filling the smaller, expensive to teach, upper level courses with high paying transfer students from foreign countries who AP'd & CLEP'd out of all their core curriculum , quite possibly by hiring stand-ins for the tests while they are still in China

 

simply leaves me suggesting that since you are new here that you need to spend time reading the "culture" on this forum and the accomplishments of our students.   I think that you would find that you assertions are simply your POV and certainly not valid as representative of the posters' kids on this forum.

 

I know for myself, that my sr has full-ride merit scholarships and is very unlikely to lose them.   He has already demonstrated his ability to handle college level work.   I don't think the university offered him the scholarships with the intention of him ultimately losing them turning him into a non-STEM major to be replaced by a full pay international STEM student.   (though our ds is not going to top university that international students would apply to anyway, but due to costs at the other schools which we can't afford.)   But it would be a foolish premise for the schools that he turned down to have offered him the over half COA scholarships that they did b/c he has a 4.0 in 300 level college classes.  It is doubtful that all of a sudden an 18 yr old who basically already has a minor in math and a minor in physics is suddenly going to become a flunky.  

 

But.......his test scores don't reflect the student that he is.  He is dyslexic and he reads slowly and his scores definitely reflect that.   However, his grades, course load, and LOR most definitely do represent who he is.   (And, no,  I don't think just anyone can receive LOR like he has received from his professors.  ;) )   His success will come from his "grit"  and real abilities vs. any test score data point. :001_rolleyes:

 

I wish your dd well.   I hope she is able to thrive in whatever environment in which she lands.

 

 

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 I think U.S. colleges current financial strategies include running low paying, in-state students through a bunch of killer courses taught in auditorium settings containing a couple of hundred students apiece; dropping their GPAs into the toilet and losing them their scholarships causing them to leave the STEM majors for criminal justice, recreation studies, and other easy, low cost majors; and then filling the smaller, expensive to teach, upper level courses with high paying transfer students from foreign countries who AP'd & CLEP'd out of all their core curriculum , quite possibly by hiring stand-ins for the tests while they are still in China.

 

I can not comment on irregularities in testing of international students since I have no first hand knowledge about this.

I can, however, comment on the first part of your post, since I have been a physics instructor at a public university for the last twelve years. Nothing I have observed is remotely like you describe.

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At the college where I teach, the largest enrollment you will see in a freshman STEM class is under 30. Even where I did graduate school, the calculus classes were capped at 30 and attempting to improve pass rates in these classes while not lowering standards was a regular topic of discussion, with many pilot projects tried. 

 

Students still frequently left STEM majors for other majors, but this was more due to a) a woeful lack of preparation in high school and b) not knowing what other majors were OUT there -- a lot of times people declare as a math/engineering major because the salary looks good and they don't know what else to declare -- rather than any sort of attempted weed-out. 

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At the college where I teach, the largest enrollment you will see in a freshman STEM class is under 30. Even where I did graduate school, the calculus classes were capped at 30 and attempting to improve pass rates in these classes while not lowering standards was a regular topic of discussion, with many pilot projects tried. 

 

Students still frequently left STEM majors for other majors, but this was more due to a) a woeful lack of preparation in high school and B) not knowing what other majors were OUT there -- a lot of times people declare as a math/engineering major because the salary looks good and they don't know what else to declare -- rather than any sort of attempted weed-out. 

 

At our institution, we do have large lecture classes of 150 that students attend twice a week, but the students also attend recitation with 35 students twice a week. In addition, we offer 20 hours of free learning assistance for each of our introductory courses. Students can receive plenty of individual attention if they wish. (In my class of 100, I know everybody's name by the 3rd week of class.)

The overall goal of the university is to increase retention rates - not fail students.

 

If students fail our intro courses, it is almost always caused by them not having a realistic expectation of the time commitment required. When analyzing my data, I have found that I have never had a student fail my course who attended every class and submitted every homework assignment - and conversely, that every single student who failed had multiple absences, in many cases excessive numbers. An insufficient preparation from high school exacerbates the problem, but even a student with poor math background can pass intro science courses if he chooses to spend the necessary time.

 

Our administration makes retention a top priority. We have to go to great lengths to offer academic assistance, follow up with troubled students, give early warnings (to the point that it is ridiculous; I do not believe that students need a written notice that they flunked an exam or missed 5 classes - they would certainly be aware)

The idea that it would be beneficial for a college to flunk in state students so we can fill our classes with well paying foreigners is so far fetched that it is ridiculous. The university wants to be highly ranked in lists of ROI and have good stats with respect to graduation and retention rates - because that is what brings the enrollment increase.

 

And yes, some students will leave a STEM discipline because they realize that they do not possess the necessary aptitude or desire, and that is OK.

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Now, if you can audit fro free, that would be fabulous - IF the student understands that the only way to get anything out of the course is to do all the work of enrolled students and to complete all assignments, even though he won't be turning them in. Auditing and just listening but not doing any work is pretty much a waste of time, at least in science and math.

 

 

This is what iTunesU and OpenCourseware is for.

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If students fail our intro courses, it is almost always caused by them not having a realistic expectation of the time commitment required. When analyzing my data, I have found that I have never had a student fail my course who attended every class and submitted every homework assignment - and conversely, that every single student who failed had multiple absences, in many cases excessive numbers. An insufficient preparation from high school exacerbates the problem, but even a student with poor math background can pass intro science courses if he chooses to spend the necessary time.

 

I have had exactly one student fail (well, get a D in) the class after attending every class and doing every problem on every homework assignment. I suspect an undiagnosed learning disability, but at the end of the semester (in developmental algebra) this student was still adding x and x and coming up with x^2. This is the *only* time I have ever seen it happen. 

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<<Let me just say that I am finding your posts inappropriate. "diamonds among pebbles" is not an analogy that should be usedwhen you are referring to children. Then you refer to a school's population as "subnormal" and finish your post by insulting the Asian culture. Please stop.>>

 

1. The diamonds among pebbles analogy referred to a college population; that of ASU. These people are adults. 

 

2. As to my nephew's school, surely you realize that boys sent to residential military schools in the middle of nowhere go there either because a relative attended (best case), or for significant academic and/or behavioral deficiencies (usual case including with respect to my nephew.)  Residential military high schools do not have typical high school populations. 

 

3. I am an Asian American. I understand my culture; it rates education higher than almost any other good.  I also understand that because of this ingrained cultural attitude, although it is true that we Asians attend college and graduate school in disproportionatly greater proportions compared to those in every other US Census Racial Designation, it is also true that we face discrimination at every level of higher education in the U.S.1 It is not surprising therefore, that some Asians (both in and out of the US) take steps to even the odds.  (US born student Asian students compete against foreign Asian student for the limited unofficial Asian quota in their target colleges, just as US born Black students compete against Black students from the excellent English speaking private schools in Nigeria and Kenya when applying to US colleges.)  

 

5. I also understand that it is not an advantage to engage in heavyweight boxing when you are a lightweight, i.e. the tilted playing field is not necessarily a boon to those who appear to benefit from it.  I suggest you look at  Saunder's and Taylor's  Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.)  http://www.amazon.com/Mismatch-Affirmative-Students-Intended-Universities/dp/0465029965  That is part of why I want my kiddo to go to a college where she is well up to the standard of work, (at present more than 2 years away), even though as a "first generation Hispanic" she would have an excellent chance to attend a more prestigious university than she might otherwise be qualified for, based on her knowledge, skills and abilities as demonstrated by her coursework, ACT scores and GPA.

 

6. Finally, another common Asian cultural belief is that we think it is valuable to let our children know how they perform relative to others.  We think performance can always be improved, but NOT if you don't know that you face any need to do so.  We reward perseverance not "ability"; ability is something that can change.

 

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1. Abigail Fisher's Supreme Court case against the University of Texas' minority preferences that denied her admission was supported by 2009 data that showed the average SAT score of black freshmen admitted outside Texas' 'top 10%' law was 390 points (out of 2400) below the average white score and 467 points below the average Asian score. Similarly, the average Hispanic score was 120 points below the average white score. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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6. Finally, another common Asian cultural belief is that we think it is valuable to let our children know how they perform relative to others. We think performance can always be improved, but NOT if you don't know that you face any need to do so. We reward perseverance not "ability"; ability is something that can change.

 

And that pt absolutely contradicts your posts about test scores.

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