Regarding homeschoolers and dual enrollment, almost everyone would agree that one of the key advantages of homeschooling is flexibility. We homeschoolers like that we can choose what to study, when to study it, how to study it, and even where to study it. And for homeschooled high schoolers, the where can sometimes even involve your local community college!
Dual enrollment, sometimes called “dual credit” or “concurrent enrollment,” involves the ability of a high school student to take one or more courses at a participating college, and being able to count those courses for dual – – both high school and college – – credit.
Dual enrollment is a wonderful opportunity for any high schooler, but for a homeschooler, it offers some unique advantages. Homeschoolers are able to take advantage of lab-based classes which offer equipment and resources they might not have at home. They are able to “test out” the classroom experience involved in a college setting, which is particularly beneficial to long-time homeschoolers who are less familiar with a classroom setting. And they are able to sign up for unique courses that they might not be able to experience with a traditional homeschool curriculum. In some states, where dual enrollment is offered for free, a particular advantage is the ability to gain both high school and college credit at no cost to the homeschool family.
While there are definite perks to dual enrollment, it is not always right for every homeschooler. There may be guidelines in a particular state that make it an unsuitable option. Some states, for instance, only allow credits that are earned via dual enrollment to be accepted at state universities. Meaning, that if a student is planning on attending a private college, those credits would not be transferable. Another reason a homeschooler might not be able to participate is if their local dual enrollment institution does not accept homeschoolers. While dual enrollment is usually open to homeschoolers, participating institutions have the option to choose which students to accept into their program.
If the opportunity to get a head-start on a college degree while still in high school sounds appealing, then it’s time to gather more information on whether this option is right for you. LetsHomeschoolHighschool.com has two resources that we hope will be helpful in your research:
a list of dual enrollment information by state
a directory of homeschool-friendly colleges, which include information on whether each college offers a dual enrollment option or not