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AP tests? Community College courses? When?


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I feel a little fed up over AP courses. When it comes to the state universities, they are not as transferrable here (but do transfer, depending). Plus, I think it is a bit tricky to do. I would rather do dual enrollment this time (did 12 APs with daughter, but she was in public school where they did not really allow dual enrollment).

 

Knowing your child is NOT going for Ivy league...would it be better to try to get a mix of AP and dual enrollment? Or perhaps just stick with dual enrollment? Thing about these two options is...dual enrollment, I just pay a not huge fee to the community college and take them and I know what is involved there. With the AP, I would likely need to pay for a class, online or otherwise, and then have everything ride on the test at the end of the year. So it would cost a lot more. And often times, something that a child spends the entire year on ends up being, at best, credit for one class. It feels like more time is spent, more money is spent, for less.

 

Next child coming up is 13 yrs old now. He plans to major in computer science. I would like him to have basic core credits as well as first year for his major courses. I have seen a fair number of home schoolers go off to college with a lot of credits and then still have to spend 4+ years because of pre-requisites. 

 

I would love to hear how everyone else did everything and/or how they wish they had done everything or their plans. Thanks!

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Aren't you in TX? When we lived there my oldest was able to take 2 free classes a semester at the community college - we paid for his books. He didn't take any AP classes or exams.

 

My current high school students are also taking classes at the cc - no free classes here. They also won't take AP classes or exams.

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I feel a little fed up over AP courses. When it comes to the state universities, they are not as transferrable here (but do transfer, depending). Plus, I think it is a bit tricky to do. I would rather do dual enrollment this time (did 12 APs with daughter, but she was in public school where they did not really allow dual enrollment).

 

Knowing your child is NOT going for Ivy league...would it be better to try to get a mix of AP and dual enrollment? Or perhaps just stick with dual enrollment? Thing about these two options is...dual enrollment, I just pay a not huge fee to the community college and take them and I know what is involved there. With the AP, I would likely need to pay for a class, online or otherwise, and then have everything ride on the test at the end of the year. So it would cost a lot more. And often times, something that a child spends the entire year on ends up being, at best, credit for one class. It feels like more time is spent, more money is spent, for less.

 

Next child coming up is 13 yrs old now. He plans to major in computer science. I would like him to have basic core credits as well as first year for his major courses. I have seen a fair number of home schoolers go off to college with a lot of credits and then still have to spend 4+ years because of pre-requisites. 

 

I would love to hear how everyone else did everything and/or how they wish they had done everything or their plans. Thanks!

 

Part of it depends on the child's personality. I would not opt for AP for a student who stresses about tests and infinitely prefer DE for such students.

This said, I don't see why you would have to pay a lot for an AP class, since students do not need to take a class in order to take the exam. A student could self study with free resources  such as OCW and take the AP test. OK, maybe throw in a cheap older version of a textbook - so, the entire AP course can cost you $10 plus the testing fee.

And I would also opt for DE for a student who thrives in live interaction with instructors and classmates.

 

Part of it depends on the quality of the college you consider for DE. Not all colleges are created equal, and credit transferring is no guarantee that the course was indeed equivalent to the material taught at the later school. This is where research is very important. I know some courses I would prefer my student to take at a local college and not at the local university; other courses I would not consider of sufficient quality and would insist my student take them at the real university, particular any courses in the student's major.

The first year major courses for a comp sci major is something I would most definitely have him take at the terminal college, NOT at the CC. CC is fine for check-the-box courses, like the required history class for a STEM major, or college algebra for an English major, or an intro course that could then lead to placement in the higher level class - but for anything directly pertinent to the major, there would have to be a very good reason for me to have my child take that elsewhere (such as a dysfunctional department, or a notoriously crappy course, at the target school)

 

 

ETA: To add our personal experience, which may not be relevant to the OP:

we opted for DE instead of AP, because DD does not test well AND because she thrives in a classroom situation.

She graduated high school with 30+ college credits. None of which transfer to her final institution (but we knew that). But even so, having taken the 11 credit hours of physics allowed her to place into the honors physics course where she learns a ton more than in the regular class (they covered in 50 minutes the material we teach in 2 weeks at a public uni, and they did it in more depth)- so it was most definitely worth it. Having taken 18 credit hours of French let her become fluent in French :-) She might have benefited form that by placing into an upper level language course, which is required for her major; instead, she opted for upper level German.

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Regentrude I'm confused.  Your daughter is majoring in physics - right?  So she has not only audited (or taken) a lower level physics course, but taken the Physics I and II courses for scientists, mathematicians and engineers (and maybe modern physics as well).  Because of her having taken these courses, she placed into an advanced honors course at her college.  (The college course she's in moves so quickly precisely because most likely the majority of students in it have already had some college level physics.)  Why wouldn't you recommend this same path for others?  To me it would be almost neglectful to prohibit an advanced high school student from taking college classes in the areas of his or her particular interests.  

 

All of that to say that I highly recommend dual enrollment courses on a college campus for the academics and the total experience.  You can opt to do all DE or a combination of DE and AP or all AP or neither.  For me it would depend on what's best for the particular student.  No regrets with our decision not to do AP courses!  DE would be great especially for computer science courses IMO.  Your son can always choose to repeat any that he doesn't feel he mastered in DE. 

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Regentrude I'm confused.  Your daughter is majoring in physics - right?  So she has not only audited (or taken) a lower level physics course, but taken the Physics I and II courses for scientists, mathematicians and engineers (and maybe modern physics as well).  Because of her having taken these courses, she placed into an advanced honors course at her college.  (The college course she's in moves so quickly precisely because most likely the majority of students in it have already had some college level physics.)  Why wouldn't you recommend this same path for others?  To me it would be almost neglectful to prohibit an advanced high school student from taking college classes in the areas of his or her particular interests.  

 

Oh, I did not make myself clear. I was under the impression that the OP was planning to have her student take the first year classes in his major at the CC instead of the courses offered at his terminal university.

Having the student take the standard courses in his major at a CC so that he places into an advanced version of that course at the university is a good thing (provided the final institution does offer a more rigorous course into which to place, which is not always the case.). I was thinking she wanted her student to take the course at the CC so that he did not have to take it at the university.

 

2nd ETA: Also, the OP wrote about classes at CC, not at a 4 year school that offers the major. That also is different, as the course level will most likely be different.

 

ETA: To clarify: DD placed into the honors version of Physics I. She did not skip any course in the sequence for majors; she is simply beginning the sequence with the most rigorous section that is offered. A class that is pretty much identical as the one she has taken before (same textbook) is the default Physics I class for the sequence.

 

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Oh, I did not make myself clear. I was under the impression that the OP was planning to have her student take the first year classes in his major at the CC instead of the courses offered at his terminal university.

Having the student take the standard courses in his major at a CC so that he places into an advanced version of that course at the university is a good thing (provided the final institution does offer a more rigorous course into which to place, which is not always the case.). I was thinking she wanted her student to take the course at the CC so that he did not have to take it at the university.

 

2nd ETA: Also, the OP wrote about classes at CC, not at a 4 year school that offers the major. That also is different, as the course level will most likely be different.

 

ETA: To clarify: DD placed into the honors version of Physics I. She did not skip any course in the sequence for majors; she is simply beginning the sequence with the most rigorous section that is offered. A class that is pretty much identical as the one she has taken before (same textbook) is the default Physics I class for the sequence.

 

Yes I realized afterward that you were likely making the distinction between CC classes and classes taken at a different 4 year school.  Really the quality of CC courses varies so much as do the courses offered at 4-year schools.  I can think of several states where the CC course content is exactly the same as that offered at the state flagship university.  As was mentioned, transfer students transferring from the CC do not need to repeat any of their courses and the courses they took are exactly the same as the high school DE students took.  No different. 

 

I don't see the difference between taking a CC class to be able to place out of the same one at the 4 year versus taking it to place into a more rigorous honors course.  Which way is best for a particular student is usually decided between the student and their advisor.  I know that your situation is different as your daughter's major is your field as well and she has the benefit of your knowledge and experience.  

 

In the situation of a computer science major, I can see no reason for them not to take the CC classes as long as they are up to the academics and able to work independently.  How those courses will affect their course selection when they arrive at college will likely be discussed with their advisor.  None of the knowldge and skills gained will be lost regardless if they retake the class, place out of it, or get credit for it.

 

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I don't see the difference between taking a CC class to be able to place out of the same one at the 4 year versus taking it to place into a more rigorous honors course.  Which way is best for a particular student is usually decided between the student and their advisor.  I know that your situation is different as your daughter's major is your field as well and she has the benefit of your knowledge and experience.  

 

In the situation of a computer science major, I can see no reason for them not to take the CC classes as long as they are up to the academics and able to work independently.  How those courses will affect their course selection when they arrive at college will likely be discussed with their advisor.  None of the knowldge and skills gained will be lost regardless if they retake the class, place out of it, or get credit for it.

 

 

But placing out of a class may mean missing out on the knowledge the student would have gained in that class, if material was covered that was not covered in the other course. If the class is a foundational course in a major, this may be very important for the success in subsequent courses.

 

You overestimate the quality of advising. Most advisors will not spend the time, and also often do not have the insight into a particular subject, to thoroughly evaluate a student's prior coursework, beyond looking at the name of the course. In most cases, the advisor will be lacking the expertise to discern whether a CC course that would give credit covered the same material at the same depth as the course at his institution. Thus, the advice to the student will be generic and not tailored to the specific situation - this would require talking to a professor in the department where the course is taught, not to the advisor in the student's major department.

 

 

 

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Computer science is a field in which there are so many areas to explore.   Many students arrive at college with a strong background just having learned things on their own without the benefit of any courses.  College is only four years.  You can only fit in so many courses into those four years.  If placing out of a course allows you to take other more advanced courses, then I can't see the downside.  With computer science, from what I've read, as the knowledge base changes so incredibly quickly it's not just about what you know, but how quickly you can learn new material to keep up with the ever changing technology.  I really doubt that any small amount of content missed in intro courses is going to severely impact a CS major. 

 

Dd's advisor is a professor in her major.  I have gratefully relinquished my role of advising!  

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Computer science is a field in which there are so many areas to explore. 

 

 

Computer Science is such a young field that the course of study isn't terribly standardized.  Unlike, say, Physics, where the first year course of study is pretty well standardized (and even there are differences from one school to another), an entry-level computer science class at one institution may use a different operating system, a different programming language, a whole different style of teaching than another.

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Yes that's true.  But having learned C++ say or JAVA instead of Python isn't going to in any way hamper a CS student. The languages are different, but the logic and problem solving when programing are the same.  Worst case scenario is that the student finds that they need to re-take a course because it is in a different language.  IMO that's still not a reason not to take CS courses at a CC.  Why would anyone hold back a student who is ready willing and able?  There are of course some for whom DE classes would not be the best choice, but I'm not speaking of those situations.

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Yes that's true.  But having learned C++ say or JAVA instead of Python isn't going to in any way hamper a CS student. The languages are different, but the logic and problem solving when programing are the same.  Worst case scenario is that the student finds that they need to re-take a course because it is in a different language.  IMO that's still not a reason not to take CS courses at a CC.  Why would anyone hold back a student who is ready willing and able?  There are of course some for whom DE classes would not be the best choice, but I'm not speaking of those situations.

 

Totally agree, but consider the context of the OP, whose goal is trying to minimize classes taken at the terminal school.

 

Personally, I feel that DE and AP each have their place as methods to enhance the high school experience, and to improve chances for admissions.   Relying on them to finish college in three years or less is a fool's errand.

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Oh I missed that.  Yes I agree that it likely won't shorten the time unless the student is transferring to an in-state public which has an arrangement with the CC regarding  accepting the credits. And even then the student has to be diligent about making sure that pre-reqs are fulfilled in math and other areas as well.   I also think that the four year plan offers so many more opportunities with regards to research and internships that I don't see the reason to shorten the time unless it's an absolute necessity financially.

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Oh I missed that.  Yes I agree that it likely won't shorten the time unless the student is transferring to an in-state public which has an arrangement with the CC regarding  accepting the credits. And even then the student has to be diligent about making sure that pre-reqs are fulfilled in math and other areas as well.   I also think that the four year plan offers so many more opportunities with regards to research and internships that I don't see the reason to shorten the time unless it's an absolute necessity financially.

 

 

This reminds me of a post I have written before, when the issue came up as I was advising undergraduates:

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/464600-if-your-stem-college-student-transfers-in-a-lot-of-de-classes/?hl=%2Badvising

 

 

 

I wanted to share this issue with the board which came up during Advising Week with some students.

 

Many high school students take dual enrollment courses at CC, often with the idea of getting general requirements out of the way. No problem with that! But if your student is going into a STEM field, please do not assume that this means he will get done with college in a shorter amount of time. The sequence of math and science courses is designed to be spread out over four years - not because there must be room for the general requirements, but because the classes are difficult, time consuming, and because the concepts need time to sink in. Compressing them together to get done in a shorter time is not ideal and creates very stressful schedules for the students - and may simply not be possible because of the way the classes are scheduled. Typically, universities program their schedules so that recommended courses for a particular major in a given semester do not overlap, so that student can stay on the recommended sequence - but getting off sequence can mean not having prerequisites, or not being able to take all desired classes because not every course is offered every semester,

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13 yr old has Aspergers. He will attend state university. And the community colleges have programs for taking a core complete. The only problem with the computer science major is which undergrad courses are taken. Oldest is at a school where Java is what is taught in first year and daughter is going to one where C++ is taught first year with Java second. At 13, my son has already been programming in Java and C++. He may have studied Python, as I know daughter has studied Python. But, my husband has a degree in computer science and is a software engineer for a very large, well known, software company, so he is the one who has directed their studies in the area of computer science topics.

 

My goal for him is to have him finish all possible before he moves out to college and reduce the time at state university. 

 

I am fed up with the AP classes because in the public school, all it was was test prep. They literally skipped over anything they did not think was on the AP exam. I would never use AP credit for something where you need to use higher level courses. But, in our state, or at least our area, they are trying to get students to go to community college first because the state schools are so overcrowded.

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As several PPs have mentioned, it may be unrealistic to expect that DE courses will reduce the *time* needed to complete a degree in a STEM field. However, if your ds can complete a bunch of non-major courses - English, History, that kind of thing - then he may be able to reduce the *number* of courses he needs to take each semester to complete the degree in four years. If he takes eight DE courses, he may be able to take one less course each semester of uni, which gives him some breathing room to accommodate any disabilities stemming from his Aspbergers.

 

Experience with DE courses will also help him gradually learn to navigate the social and logistical aspects of in-person college courses, rather than being thrown in the deep end with a full load his first semester of college.

 

And his DE work will show colleges that he is an experienced, capable student, which will be advantageous for admissions and possibly merit scholarships.

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My daughter is only doing DE -- we met with an admissions rep from UNC-Chapel Hill and were told that they consider them to be comparable with AP.  It's all college-level work and they don't differentiate much beyond that.

 

I did find out that she can start taking classes this summer at the local state university as a visiting student. Seniors with at least a 25 ACT (or whatever is comparable on the SAT) can enroll.

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Totally agree, but consider the context of the OP, whose goal is trying to minimize classes taken at the terminal school.

 

Personally, I feel that DE and AP each have their place as methods to enhance the high school experience, and to improve chances for admissions. Relying on them to finish college in three years or less is a fool's errand.

Don't mean to pick out just your post, but am too lazy to go back and multi quote all of them. My oldest ds and my youngest both did DE at universities. youngest ds took far more credits than oldest. My oldest graduated with his chemE degree in 4 yrs, but that included12 months of cooping. Our youngest could graduate in 2 yrs if he wanted to. Since he is attending full-ride and wants to make the most of the undergrad research program he is in, he is not planning on graduating early. But, he could if he wanted to.

 

Fwiw, he did not apply to any Ivies bc they did not appeal to him. But schools like GA Tech were willing to accept all of his DE credit. (He did do his DE at universities (we are not huge CC fans), and he sent in course syllabuses to dept deans for review. I know with a couple of schools that the fact the courses were taken at universities and not CCs did make a difference. )

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In Texas there are a LOT of state mandated core classes that you can complete as DE in your local CC that are guaranteed to transfer (your CC will have a Core Program handout with acceptable course numbers for each state school). Cranking out the US and TX Govt, US History, Rhetoric, Calculus and social and natural science requirements makes perfect sense. They're all classes you would normally take in high school and most aren't fundational to your major.

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Don't mean to pick out just your post, but am too lazy to go back and multi quote all of them. My oldest ds and my youngest both did DE at universities. youngest ds took far more credits than oldest. My oldest graduated with his chemE degree in 4 yrs, but that included12 months of cooping. Our youngest could graduate in 2 yrs if he wanted to. Since he is attending full-ride and wants to make the most of the undergrad research program he is in, he is not planning on graduating early. But, he could if he wanted to.

 

I think this just underscores the point.  Here, even in the best possible case, with the student having taken many University DE classes, attending a competitive, but non-Ivy school, and having a world famous homeschooling mom, they didn't want to finish early, even though they could.  They see the benefits of graduating in four years, and all that entails.

 

The goal of a high school curriculum should be to have the best possible high school experience.  If you are setting up your high school goal to have the quickest possible college experience, I think you are selling your kids short.

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I think this just underscores the point. Here, even in the best possible case, with the student having taken many University DE classes, attending a competitive, but non-Ivy school, and having a world famous homeschooling mom, they didn't want to finish early, even though they could. They see the benefits of graduating in four years, and all that entails.

 

The goal of a high school curriculum should be to have the best possible high school experience. If you are setting up your high school goal to have the quickest possible college experience, I think you are selling your kids short.

He probably wouldn't see the value if he was having to pay for it. ;)

 

I seem to remember Gwen posting recently that her dd has decided to graduate in 2 yrs in order to go ahead and pursue grad school. I don't see her dd as depriving herself of anything. Ds would probably do something similar except he believes his grad school opportunities will be greater if he does not.

 

I don't think DE should be pursued as a means to shorten time in college but as the option to choose when kids are working beyond high school level and other options are poorer choices.

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I just wanted to add that the reason it wont shorten it is because computer science is a STEM field. Now my middle one, on the other hand, is doing liberal arts. He probably will shorten his education by 2 years. In fact, I'm looking at the possibility of both of them graduating from Baylor at the same time... ( Now he may stay there and go to seminary or do grad work in political science. Only time will tell.)

That is a generalization. Kids can graduate early with STEM degrees. My ds is majoring in physics and could easily graduate in 2 yrs. His plan for extending it to 4 is to triple major in math, physics, and electrical engineering.
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13 yr old has Aspergers. He will attend state university. And the community colleges have programs for taking a core complete. The only problem with the computer science major is which undergrad courses are taken. Oldest is at a school where Java is what is taught in first year and daughter is going to one where C++ is taught first year with Java second. At 13, my son has already been programming in Java and C++. He may have studied Python, as I know daughter has studied Python. But, my husband has a degree in computer science and is a software engineer for a very large, well known, software company, so he is the one who has directed their studies in the area of computer science topics.

 

My goal for him is to have him finish all possible before he moves out to college and reduce the time at state university. 

 

Make sure your DH introduces him to a Functional Programming language like Haskell or F#.  With home support your son should be able to take CC classes and knock off some of the 4 year state U classes such as Math, Science,  and English.  You should wait until HS senior year before deciding to place out of "CS 101".

 

Be sure you understand what the expected major will be at the state U because CS requirements change more than other traditional majors.

 

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I don't think DE should be pursued as a means to shorten time in college but as the option to choose when kids are working beyond high school level and other options are poorer choices.

 

And here I am in complete agreement with you.

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I think it depends on the student and the course and what is available at the time.  We did a combination of AP and dual enrollment for my older two.  We are fortunate to have a small liberal arts college in our town that has a huge tuition break for talented high school students taking college courses.  It made the cost about the same as the community college, but the courses were higher quality.  Our cc is pretty good, but my boys liked the smaller campus feel.  The cc is a much further drive and is large and impersonal.  They took lab science (all intro level for science majors) at the LAC and some English courses there as well as the freshman calculus series.  .  They benefited from live instruction.  They took their history AP classes online.  While self study is good for some kinds of students, I signed my kids up because they needed an outside instructor and deadlines.  They would never have worked as hard self-studying.  We didn't do this so that they would get college credit.  We did this so that they would have access to challenging course material from people who were passionate about their area.  However, the college credit they did receive was very nice.  Many of the gen eds done.  My oldest had room in his schedule to double major - he added a classics major mostly because he found it fascinating.  My 2nd child got out of some of the early entry level classes in his major, but not all.  However, he does have most of his gen eds done. 

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I think it depends on the student and the course and what is available at the time.  We did a combination of AP and dual enrollment for my older two.  We are fortunate to have a small liberal arts college in our town that has a huge tuition break for talented high school students taking college courses.  It made the cost about the same as the community college, but the courses were higher quality. 

 

Did anyone of your children end up attending the LAC?  They may not state it publicly but believe me that is why the offer this option to attract top students.

 

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I guess I will be the dissenting voice, as usual. :)

 

It isn't a fool's errand to DE in order to shorten your time in college if that is exactly what is going to happen.

 

Not all students feel their parents are selling them short by sending them to college early. They are getting the college experience - just earlier.

 

Sorry, but some people really do just want to get the degree and move on. These students can enjoy their time in college, at whatever age it may be, and then move on without needing to wallow in the experiences of college life. They aren't selling themselves short getting the exact degree they would have gotten two or three years later if they had waited. And yes, students can develop a lifelong network of useful contacts and solid references even beginning at age 15 or 16.

 

I'm not trying to say there weren't valid points being made above. But, I think it also needs to be said that those points aren't valid for all (or even most) students.

 

 

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Great responses.  My family hasn't done a lot of AP classes because of the cost , lack of flexibility, ect.

However I will strongly look at one that is in the students' main area of interest. I think it helps to solidify if this is an area that the student wants to further study , even if the credit isn't desired.  An option if you like the class and it is in an area of interest is to not take the test at the end. My son took the AP test, ( did well:) but it was hard to schedule and pretty costly as I had to pay an extra hefty proctor fee. Then , I advised him not to take the credit a few years later as it is in his major.   Of course, it really wouldn't even need to be an AP class for these purposes.  We would have been better off not studying for the AP test and a little more more in our pocket too!

He took an economics class that was focused on learning the terms and concepts through games( AP macro - PA homeschoolers). It was so much more engaging and enjoyable with a different teaching approach than say a dual credit ECON 101 macro through our CC or econ at a four year Universtiy typically. Sometimes you can strike gold there too, it just needs to be engaging and interesting.  If you have a "let's get these classes done" kind of kiddo, then perhaps an engaging class (AP or not), and then a CLEP. There is waiting period to retake CLEPs, but they can be retaken and administered throughout the year.  Both of the big TX flagships accept them.

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Did anyone of your children end up attending the LAC?  They may not state it publicly but believe me that is why the offer this option to attract top students.

 

 

No.  We kept it as a backup plan because the scholarships they offer to their Lederman Scholars is very good and they could have lived at home.  Plus, everything they took would have counted for graduation.   But, both of my boys needed to leave home to build lives for themselves.  If they had stayed and gone to this school, they would have gone to class and come home.  They would not have found their "peeps."  They would not have become involved on campus.  Going away has been a very positive thing for both of my boys.  Also, it wasn't the best academic fit. 

 

And yes, they were very open about their motives and that one of them was to encourage these students to come to school there. 

 

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I was recently on a scholarship committee at my university.  One of the applicants entered college with 60 hours of dual credit with a high GPA.  Part of the application process was for the student to write an essay about their educational and career goals.  Out of a 1 1/2 page type essay, I could find ONE complete sentence in her essay.  "Sentences" read something like this: Being that I am a junior, coming in to college with 60 hours of dual credit.  I want to help people and traveling to foreign countries.  She had lots of  big words, imagery, etc. but did not have basic writing skills.  

 

During the oral interview, I realized this was a bright young woman.  At an average high school she would probably be in the top 25% in intelligence, and given her personality would probably be in the top 5%-10% for grades.  However, she lacked basic high school skills.  Once these skills are leapfrogged, it is hard to go back and get them.  Students like this may get a satisfactory grade in a DE course (yes, she had A's in her English courses), but the rush to get college credits may leave them lacking in basic high school skills.  This may take a while to surface, but it can hurt them later down the road.

 

Seeing this type of situation play out over and over, I caution parents that just because a student can make a good grade in a DE course (or pass an AP exam) it does not mean that they are gaining the skills that they really need to be successful long term.

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I was recently on a scholarship committee at my university.  One of the applicants entered college with 60 hours of dual credit with a high GPA.  Part of the application process was for the student to write an essay about their educational and career goals.  Out of a 1 1/2 page type essay, I could find ONE complete sentence in her essay.  "Sentences" read something like this: Being that I am a junior, coming in to college with 60 hours of dual credit.  I want to help people and traveling to foreign countries.  She had lots of  big words, imagery, etc. but did not have basic writing skills.  

 

During the oral interview, I realized this was a bright young woman.  At an average high school she would probably be in the top 25% in intelligence, and given her personality would probably be in the top 5%-10% for grades.  However, she lacked basic high school skills.  Once these skills are leapfrogged, it is hard to go back and get them.  Students like this may get a satisfactory grade in a DE course (yes, she had A's in her English courses), but the rush to get college credits may leave them lacking in basic high school skills.  This may take a while to surface, but it can hurt them later down the road.

 

Seeing this type of situation play out over and over, I caution parents that just because a student can make a good grade in a DE course (or pass an AP exam) it does not mean that they are gaining the skills that they really need to be successful long term.

 

I think all this tells us is that the college classes she took were crap.  I find it very hard to believe she could get an A in a college English class with those writing skills.  The basic grammar skills you are talking about are not skills she leap-frogged over in high school.  They are elementary and junior high writing skills.  My son got a C on an otherwise excellent college English paper because of some minor mechanics errors (he knew better, but was careless and didn't bother to proofread it.)    His professor was right to give him that grade because there is no excuse for those kinds of errors on a college paper.  They weren't OK in high school.  They weren't OK in AP essays.  They shouldn't be OK in college.  Heck, this same kid (who did not learn his lesson) made a similar careless mistake on a biology lab report and was downgraded for it.  He so far has not made that mistake again. 

 

I guess a bigger lesson is to choose classes wisely and make sure that the student is indeed prepared for the classes. 

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I think all this tells us is that the college classes she took were crap.  I find it very hard to believe she could get an A in a college English class with those writing skills.  The basic grammar skills you are talking about are not skills she leap-frogged over in high school.  They are elementary and junior high writing skills.  My son got a C on an otherwise excellent college English paper because of some minor mechanics errors (he knew better, but was careless and didn't bother to proofread it.)    His professor was right to give him that grade because there is no excuse for those kinds of errors on a college paper.  They weren't OK in high school.  They weren't OK in AP essays.  They shouldn't be OK in college.  Heck, this same kid (who did not learn his lesson) made a similar careless mistake on a biology lab report and was downgraded for it.  He so far has not made that mistake again. 

 

I guess a bigger lesson is to choose classes wisely and make sure that the student is indeed prepared for the classes. 

I teach at a state university in Texas.  There has been a big push to have students do DE or AP to increase graduation rates and decrease the amount of time in college.  There has been a proliferation of these DE community college courses and we must accept them for transfer credit.  We are left with a problem of getting students who are unprepared for junior-level college work.  The problem is exacerbated by the fact that these students are used to hearing that they are "advanced" and are clueless about how lacking their skills are.  I have seen students who are coming into college with a sold high school background  (but lacking in lots of college credits) being more successful than students who come in with lots of DE credit.  

 

My caution is that is the DE model is being pushed more and more from the state level, I think the quality of the average DE course is being lowered.  As a parent, I would suggest thorough investigation of any such courses and not simply rely on the fact that it will transfer to a state four-year college.  

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I teach at a state university in Texas. There has been a big push to have students do DE or AP to increase graduation rates and decrease the amount of time in college. There has been a proliferation of these DE community college courses and we must accept them for transfer credit. We are left with a problem of getting students who are unprepared for junior-level college work. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that these students are used to hearing that they are "advanced" and are clueless about how lacking their skills are. I have seen students who are coming into college with a sold high school background (but lacking in lots of college credits) being more successful than students who come in with lots of DE credit.

 

My caution is that is the DE model is being pushed more and more from the state level, I think the quality of the average DE course is being lowered. As a parent, I would suggest thorough investigation of any such courses and not simply rely on the fact that it will transfer to a state four-year college.

I agree with this, but I also agree with Ellen. What it boils down to is investigating courses and knowing the quality of instruction your student will be receiving. Otherwise it is nothing more than generalizations.

 

I have seen some pretty awful CC courses, definitely English comp (in 2 different states). Down right pathetic pretty much sums up one of them.However, some people swear there CCs are strong academically. (Definitely not our experience, though.)

 

DE is also not limited to CCs. My kids have taken far more DE classes at regional universities than at CCs. (We have limited CC courses to unnecessary classes.) My kids have never found that their DE classes have left them unprepared. Ds jumped into sequential classes at a state flagship and is still maintaining very high As.

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Knowing your child is NOT going for Ivy league...would it be better to try to get a mix of AP and dual enrollment? Or perhaps just stick with dual enrollment? 

Oldest dd opted for Running Start via CC -- taking upper level classes instead of fresh/soph level.  So far, so awesome.  She is an old soul so it's a perfect fit.

 

Some of the colleges she likes prefer AP.  Some don't care.  

 

I'm secretly hoping she stays in Washington.  She'll have junior standing.  Access to advanced courses.  Upperclassmen as peers.  Closer to home.

 

HTH!

 

(edited for clarification)

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I agree with Teachin's point. You wouldn't believe how many parents write their kids' college admission essays.  At one of our state universities, if the essay quality doesn't match the SAT/ACT writing score, they ask the student to write another essay.

 

Hmmmm, I find that rather ridiculous.   My kids are fabulous writers, but they are not very good SAT "spew a 5 paragraph essay on dumb topics in 25 mins or less" writers.   

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The SAT/ACT writing test seems to be a good indicator of college-level writing ability, especially for writing-intensive schools.  There simply isn't the time to rewrite and edit at length. 

 

I disagree.  Many top schools totally disregard the writing section precisely b/c it is not a valid indicator.  I think there is one study out there there that says it is.  MIT has a study out that states otherwise. 

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The SAT/ACT writing test seems to be a good indicator of college-level writing ability, especially for writing-intensive schools.  There simply isn't the time to rewrite and edit at length. 

 

FWIW, this doesn't make sense to me.  Rewriting and editing at length are at the heart of good writing and speed should be irrelevant.

 

It'll be interesting to see what the new SAT in 2016 will be like; IIRC the writing is 50 minutes.  I am hoping it'll be on computer as I understood it is supposed to be, though that's a can of worms to be sure.  I hope it is not a fill-up-the-even-longer-page race.

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FWIW, this doesn't make sense to me. Rewriting and editing at length are at the heart of good writing and speed should be irrelevant.

 

It'll be interesting to see what the new SAT in 2016 will be like; IIRC the writing is 50 minutes. I am hoping it'll be on computer as I understood it is supposed to be, though that's a can of worms to be sure. I hope it is not a fill-up-the-even-longer-page race.

Yes, it is going to be 50 mins. It is also going to be optional.

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FWIW, this doesn't make sense to me.  Rewriting and editing at length are at the heart of good writing and speed should be irrelevant.

 

It'll be interesting to see what the new SAT in 2016 will be like; IIRC the writing is 50 minutes.  I am hoping it'll be on computer as I understood it is supposed to be, though that's a can of worms to be sure.  I hope it is not a fill-up-the-even-longer-page race.

That's good news! T has always typed longer assignments. She took an Intro to Word/Typing class in coop when she was 9 and types pretty well using correct finger placement. Unfortunately, that means she doesn't have much stamina with her handwriting. It degrades to chicken scratch after about 15 minutes of continuous writing. I've been wondering if I should require her to hand write shorter essays first and then type them but I haven't done it because I would have hated that if I was the student. I'm sure this is a very common issue now since almost no one composes an essay on paper.

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