Fall 2011 Edition

The O cial Homeschooler's Guide to Dual Credit
How combining high school and college can set your student on the path to success

A new eBook by

CollegePlus!

3 What Is Dual Credit?
Dual Credit: simple and easy

4 How Homeschool Students Benefit From Earning Dual Credit
Use the high school curriculum you already have, with a minimal cost

5 3 Ways Your Homeschooler Can Earn Dual Credit
Methods for earning Dual Credit

7 How Dual Credit Impacts Your Student’s High School Transcript
How to document Dual Credit

8 Dual Credit—It’s Just The Beginning

The mentoring and life purpose discovery aspects of CollegePrep!

About the Author Kelly Negvesky lives in Central Florida with her husband of 16 years and their 3 children. In

2007 she received her bachelor’s degree through distance learning by completing 72 semester hours in only 12 months. She is a wife, homeschooling mom, award winning writer and plays several roles within the CollegePlus! & CollegePrep! community. Kelly is passionate about learning and specifically helping others learn through outside the box methods. She enjoys sharing her life experiences on her blog www.AuthenticatingKelly.blogspot.com.

What Is Dual Credit?
Dual Credit is so simple that we struggle wrapping our minds around the concept. It just feels wrong for an educational process not to be complex. But, dual credit is simple when a student earns high school and College credit for the same course, thus killing two birds with one stone.

Earn high school and college credit for the same course

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How Homeschool Students Benefit From Earning Dual Credit
The benefits of this “two birds, one stone” method are many. When a homeschooler pursues a subject area where he’s strong, or one in which he has mastery, the student can often achieve dual credit with a minimal amount of study time. In sometimes as little as two weeks, the homeschool high school student achieves college credit utilizing the high school curriculum they already have or one of their choosing. This allows the family to maintain a learning style familiar to the student, continuing their proven educational success. A second benefit of dual credit is, students earn college credit at a minimal cost to parents. The 2010–11 national average per student for textbooks was $1,137, the smallest amount in a long list of expenses that includes tuition, transportation, and room and board. When a student completes college credit alongside their high school studies they lessen their time in college, and spending less time in college means spending less money. Even college admissions officers admit that a large portion of the first two years of college are a review of the high school years. Homeschoolers are uniquely equipped to sidestep that review by utilizing the dual credit method. These students pursue college level studies under the tutelage of their parents who play an important role helping them respond to the differing worldviews they encounter. Students who doubt their ability to succeed in higher education can experience success at their personal pace and are more likely to further pursue a degree with success.

Homeschoolers are uniquely equipped to sidestep college review

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3 Ways Your Homeschooler Can Earn Dual Credit
So the decision’s been made and you’re going after dual credit. Now you get to decide how to achieve them. A student can get dual credits by using one of the following three methods, or a combination of all them: • Advanced Placement Courses. • Dual enrollment at the local community college. • Credit -by-exam by completing a CLEP or DSST. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are high school courses taught at the college level. Currently there are 37 AP courses across 22 subject areas. A high school student pursuing Advanced Placement studies usually spends a school year in rigorous study of the chosen discipline. After registering through their local public or private school, they will take the AP examination alongside all other AP students, usually in late spring. If the student achieves a high enough score on the AP test they can receive college credit. This credit is at the discretion of each college. Every institution is free to determine the minimum score they require to grant college credit. This information is often posted on their website. A homeschool parent needs to know that “Advanced Placement” is a trademark owned by the College Board and to use an AP label on a transcript requires a syllabus pre-approved by the College Board AP Central. Sending a high school student to the local community college is a popular and probably the most comfortable method for today’s parents. A student enrolls into the community college and attends class on campus. Again, this is a known and familiar way to achieve higher learning, but by no means is it an inexpensive one due to costs such as transportation, textbooks and tuition fees. The community college route requires thought for adolescent learners. College campuses tend to be R-rated environments making them less desirable for the young homeschool student.

A student can get dual credits by using one of three methods

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Students study at home using their choice of curriculums and resources

Credit-by-exam uses examinations called CLEP’s and DSST’s. Students study at home using their choice of curriculums and resources. After they build a firm foundation in the subject matter they ideally spend 2 weeks intensely preparing for the chosen exam. When the student is ready they contact a local testing center, take the computer-based test and instantly receive their score. A student can earn anywhere from 3 to 12 credits at a cost of as little as $80 per test. There are plusses and minuses to each method, but credit-by-exam is a clear stand out. Many of the exams offered directly parallel subjects that students take in high school; Biology, Algebra, and World History are just a few. With a little study through a curriculum of your choice, partnered with a few concentrated weeks of study toward the CLEP or DSST, a student achieves their high school credit and college as well. Credit-by-exam offers the best deal when comparing cost per credit hour. By leveraging technology you eliminate the “hidden costs” of community college dual credit such as travel, parking, and textbook fees. This makes the cost per credit hour $17 versus $45.

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How Dual Credit Impacts Your Student’s High School Transcript
The College Board maintains an official transcript for each student who completes a CLEP or DSST. But to best leverage the dual credit aspect of credit-by-examination you must know how to couple these to the high school transcript. Each CLEP or DSST is a college level test. So, when the student passes the exam the parent can be certain they would pass the high school equivalent. Every college level course a high school student successfully completes should go on their transcript whether the student is 12 or 20. Because the College Board maintains documentation upon the student’s completion of the credit-by-examination they become a strong third party should the high school transcript come under scrutiny. Plugging college by exam credit onto a high school transcript is a simple 6 to 1 ratio. For every 6 semester hour CLEP or DSST test passed counts as 1 credit towards high school. The CLEP or DSST test title is the name of the course. The student receives an A grade for every test passed. These tests represent a college base of knowledge so it is wise to designate these courses as “Honors.” The best way to highlight dual enrollment college level classes on a high school transcript is to maintain the transcript by subject instead of year. For good examples of a transcript by year or subject check out: www.thehomescholar.com/record-keeping-samples.php. A high school transcript with a strong presence of “Honors” courses through CLEP and DSST appeals to admission officers. They find a student with initiative and a proven track record, who is willing to challenge themselves. They know this student is capable of a college level work load.

When a student passes the CLEP or DSST exam the parent can be certain they would pass the high school equivalent

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Dual Credit—It’s Just The Beginning
Leveraging the process of dual credit helps a student make the most of their time in higher learning. These students complete their degrees in a more timely way with the opportunity to focus on activities and subjects they are passionate about sooner rather than later. When choosing a dual credit program, a parent needs to make certain it will transition their student for college and prepare them for life beyond. The ideal program does not end at dual credit. It prepares a student for life outside the walls of academia by mentoring them through the life purpose discovery processes and teaching them how to think critically. High IQs or impressive SAT scores are not recipes for college success. And employers no longer hire based on stunning GPAs or degrees from name-brand colleges. Students who succeed in college and life understand their purpose, they think critically and solve problems, and emerge from college without debt. CollegePrep! is designed to personally mentor your high school student through the college and life preparation process with the skills and competencies needed to succeed in ultimately reaching their unique life calling. To thrive in the emerging knowledge-based economy, the ability to think critically and solve problems is imperative. CollegePrep! students can earn up to 24 accredited college credits while learning the skills and competencies required by colleges and demanded by employers. It is an ideal program focused on success and enhancing the quality of your student’s high school experience while preparing them for life after college.

The ideal program… prepares a student for life outside the walls of academia

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