WHAT IS DUAL ENROLLMENT?
Do you have a high school student? Do you have some difficult subjects to teach? Is your high school student planning to go to college after graduation? Is your high school student hoping to graduate early and start a job?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then dual enrollment might be right for you. My oldest son did dual enrollment while homeschooling high school and was able to start college with almost a full semester of credits under his belt. His brother is currently following suit, having completed one college class so far with plans to complete four more during his senior year.
Dual enrollment is a wonderful way to get ahead of the game, learn good study habits, save money, and help a mom who might not want to teach certain subjects (algebra anyone?)
So, what is dual enrollment?
- When a student is still in high school and takes a college course at the same time.
- When a student earns both high school credit and college credit at the same time.
- A way to earn college credits while still working to complete your high school diploma.
While there are certain requirements for admission to a dual enrollment program, homeschool students are just as eligible to apply as any other student.
Some requirements for dual enrollment include:
- You must be a high school junior or senior.
- You must be at least 16 years old.
- You must have a B average (3.0 GPA) in order to enroll in the program.
- You will need to send a letter of recommendation/permission letter from your high school guidance counselor (homeschool parent).
- You must submit a Dual Enrollment Application.
- You may be required to attend Dual Enrollment orientation session.
- You will need to submit a current High School Transcript.
- Certain schools will request that you submit test scores (SAT/ACT) if available.
- You may need to take required placement tests for courses like math and foreign language.
- Be prepared to submit other documents, such as Citizenship Verification if requested.
BENEFITS OF DUAL ENROLLMENT
There are numerous benefits to earning dual enrollment credits while still in high school. It is a wonderful way to make the most of the last two years of high school. As a homeschool mom with a math allergy, the biggest benefit to me is not having to ‘teach’ algebra!
Some benefits you might find with a dual enrollment program include:
- Gain an early start to a successful college journey.
- Earn more high school credits. One dual enrollment semester is equivalent to one full-year of high school credit.
- Finish a degree faster, saving time and money.
- Gain exposure to the academic rigor of ‘true’ college classes for smoother transition to postsecondary education.
- Learn from college instructors.
- Develop study skills.
- Gain higher scores on college admissions tests.
- Affordability—lower tuition than full-time college.
- Use university resources: tutoring, writing lab, career services, library, etc.
- Take classes other than those on the traditional high school transferable list (i.e. technical classes).
- Make it possible to become an exemplary college bound leader. (Research shows that these students graduate/complete college ‘on time’, with higher GPA than non-dual enrollment students.)
- Receive 1 Carnegie Unit per 3 credit hour course.
- Raise class ranking and overall GPA for high school.
- Finish a degree faster, thereby saving money and time.
- Join the workforce earlier and become part of the state’s economic engine.
The rigor of dual enrollment brings with it several responsibilities. Students must be motivated and independent. Mom is not going to be sitting through class with them, so note-taking, keeping up with assignments, completing homework, and keeping up with schedules becomes the student’s responsibility.
Some responsibilities of dual enrollment students include:
- Completion of Application Packet.
- Communication with guidance counselors, professors, etc.
- Studying at college level.
- Keeping class schedules.
- Following an academic plan to get your high school requirements covered.
- Make better choices and avoiding taking courses that will not count toward a degree.
- Commitment and time management.
- Keeping up with other responsibilities.
- Satisfactory performance to earn credit and keep state Tuition Assistance.
- Fees, textbooks, and supplies paid before classes begin.
- Don’t overload your schedule!
- Have a stress-free outlet like sports or other activities to get a break from academics.
- Remember to enjoy your high school years!
Dual enrollment is worth looking into for homeschool students. My family has found it to be a vital part of our high school planning process. If you are strategic with your course choices, dual enrollment can save you money, help gain better scores on college admissions tests, and enter college with confidence and a head start.