Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Early Enrollment for Homeschoolers

Question about Early College: How does this process work and how do they get a diploma to get into college, I have 2 boys ages 13 and 16.

Thanks *****

Hi *****,

If you were going through the public school system, your boys would be required to meet a certain GPA to use the duel enrollment option. Here is what my local high school's website says for duel enrollment:

Dual Enrollment
02/25/2010 It is time to register for Dual Enrollment classes for Spring Term. You need to fill out a guidance form to see your counselor. Early College students need to register at this time as well.

Students in grades 10-12 may take some college credit courses at ******* Community College and transfer that credit back to the high school under the following conditions:

1. The student has at least a 2.5 GPA for academic courses and 2.5 or 2.0 GPA for vocational courses.
2. The course is needed to fulfill a high school graduation requirement.
3. The student has the required score on the College Placement Test, ACT, SAT, or TABE test.

Course offerings not offered at the home school may include foreign language, math, English, science, social studies, computer science, performing or visual arts, and others. Courses in physical education will not be available through dual enrollment for high school credit. Students may also select a vocational education program, but this must be part of a high school program they have already started.

Students interested in dual enrollment should contact their counselor at least two months prior to registration for the semester they plan to attend. Any Dual Enrollment courses taken in high school may count towards the freshman year of college Grade Point Average depending upon the policies of the college you are accepted to.

And here is what my local high school has now added about Early College:

Early College
The Early College Option is an acceleration mechanism that allows students on track for graduation to begin earning college credit while still in high school. The credits earned will be counted for both high school credit and an A.A. degree.

Students must have a 3.0 cumulative, unweighted GPA and a recommendation from the high school principal or designee. It is also recommended that the student has met the FCAT requirement for graduation. Students must also meet a predetermined score on either the SAT, ACT, or College Placement Test.

Early College students will have the opportunity to participate in all high school activities. Early College students will begin and end their school day on their high school campus. This will allow students to remain a part of their zoned high school and to easily participate in after school activities.

Now, with all this being said, as we are homeschoolers (unschoolers actually) we chose to go directly through the college without bothering with dealing with the local high school. Also, I'll add the schools are changing their policies every year as two years ago, they were very confused by the two above categories. It's nice to see that they are finally figuring it out.

So as a homeschoooling student (registered with the county, otherwise you need to go through your "private school counselor") you apply directly to the college. For my daughter, they only required the CPT and never mentioned that the SAT or ACT would work. I see that per the high school, those tests now do qualify a student. The college only cares about the test results. Age doesn't matter so much. If you have an exceptional student, like a child who passes the CPT at age ten, then they may require you to get special permission from the teachers as they feel the child may not be mature enough. I know this as my son is one of those, but he has opted to wait till he is taller and would 'fit in' better at least height wise.

Now the public schools would have you believe that it takes years and years to master enough information to graduate high school and be prepared for college but the fact is that it doesn't take so many years. The student should have English skills of course, and should have Algebra, an understanding of Biology and such, but most kids have a solid foundation by 7th or 8th grade and certainly by 10th grade. You can have your student attempt the online sample test which will get you an idea of how close they are to being ready for the actual test. I believe they are only allowed to take the CPT three times but once again, my information is a few years old on that.

Click HERE for Daytona State College's link for the CPT info plus study links to improve your student's readiness.

Most colleges/universities have a link to a practice test so check out the website of the college of your choice for helpful information.

Now for my daughter, she is currently enrolled in college as a high school student so her classes are free but since she is a homeschooler, we are required to buy her books. She is taking American Sign Language to earn her two high school credits in a foreign language so she will qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship. All her classes were chosen to fulfill the requirements of earning her AA degree. Since she will have a High School Diploma issued by me, along with an Associates of Arts Degree from the State College, she will have no trouble transferring into the Bachelor Degree program at which point the scholarships will hopefully start helping to pay the tuition costs. I'm not sure if since the college has switched from a two year to a four year college, if she will even need to change colleges now, but we will soon be learning this too. I'm also not sure just how high a student is allowed to progress through the college system under this Early College/Duel Enrollment option. All I'm currently aware of, is the student may be considered 'high school' till 19yo. If anyone has information on this, I'd love to know, as we have been discussing just how far our son could go if he starts around 14yo.

Laws and rules change all the time, so I'd suggest reading at the college/university of your choice, to see what their current procedures may be.

I hope you find this helpful.
Peace and Laughter,

Vicki ~ mom to dd 19, dd 17, & ds 12

PS ** This information is about enrolling in college BEFORE they earn a high school diploma.

1 comment:

jugglingpaynes said...

How do you get questions like this? No one ever asks me questions. Maybe I don't look like I know what I'm doing. :o)

Peace and Laughter!