Four years ago I didn’t know just how dear dual credit opportunities could be to a homeschooling mom. Since that time, I’ve found that dual credit is an awesome way to plan high school courses and make college a bit more affordable.
You see, dual credit courses are courses that your child can take either online or at a local college that count not only for their high school requirements, but also for college credit. This not only helps alleviate some college tuition costs, but it also expedites the time they will spend on their college degree. In our state, the dual enrollment program for the state university system is fairly easy to enter and is tuition free. In most cases, you’ll need a few things to get started.
Your student needs to have a good academic record, and have transcripts or documentation to show what they have done thus far in homeschooling. However, each college will have its own specific requirements about what they require to become a dual enrollment student.
1) Finalize or create high quality documents that accurately depict what your child has accomplished over the years. LetsHomeschoolHighschool has some great information to help you create a strong transcript.
2) Check with the college that your child wishes to attend upon graduation. Find out if they accept transfer credit. They may have specific guidelines for this. Remember, your child’s dual enrollment if not taken with the university they plan on attending for their degree, will eventually need to be transferred. If possible, print the required course list for the degree they are interested in and use that as a check sheet for the courses you want to take from the dual enrollment college you attend.
3) Check for online opportunities for dual credit. This is an option that is expanding daily! The convenience and affordability make it a plus for everyone. Your student will be able to take these courses online! In our state, the state university system has created something called “ecore” (online courses covering your core classes). You can transfer these courses easily between any state college or university.
4) If online education isn’t for you, check with your local colleges. There are several community colleges in our area that offer the basic core classes as dual enrollment courses. Depending on the state you live in, dual credit courses can even be tuition-free as well, creating a great incentive to get some of them accomplished during high school!