Dual Enrollment: Home School and College
Over our 25 years homeschooling we have had 3 children use the Dual Enrollment option so far, we have had children who also chose not to use this option. Here are some of the problems we conquered and successes we enjoyed.
What is Dual Enrollment?
Dual enrollment is a program that allows high school students to enroll in college courses for credit prior to high school graduation. The courses count for both college and high school credit.
As homeschoolers this option overall has been a very fun addition to our schooling.
Dual Enrollment has changed over the years…
When my oldest son took dual enrollment courses in 2005 all he had to do was take the college placement tests and then take one “Intro to College Studies” course and that was it, he was free to take 2 college courses paid for by my tax dollars and by the State Dept of Education.
Honestly, in our state notifying the State Dept of Ed that we are homeschooling is only required until a child is 16yo. so he wasn’t even registered with the state during his Dual Enrollment courses.
That has all changed…
Our challenges with Dual Enrollment:
When my latest graduate (2016) decided to use dual enrollment it was her senior year. She hadn’t been enrolled in home schooling with the state for almost 2 years (as it was only required till she turned 16). We had her take the placement tests and talked with the college about her starting in January and planning on taking both of her free Dual Enrollment courses that spring semester.
All is going well until… there is a glitch, Dual Enrollment is now it’s own agency and has denied her enrollment. Why? No one seemed to know until mid January just when classes are about to start. At this point she has pretty much decided that she wouldn’t be able to take her courses.
We receive a call from the Dual Enrollment office. My daughter is not a registered homeschooler so she is not eligible to use the Dual Enrollment funds.
Man alive, seriously?
We aren’t required to register them after 16yo, but she won’t budge on this point. So I call up the Home Schooling office at the State Dept of Ed and talk with them about our dilemma. They are so quick to work with us. Over the years we have maintained an excellent relationship with that office and she knew who I was by name.
The woman at the Home School office states exactly what my daughter needs to send in and it’s emailed and taken care of in less than 3 days. Her Dual Enrollment goes through and she takes her 2 college courses for high school and college credit last spring.
In the process of all of this I realize that my next daughter (2018 graduate) who will be a junior will want to take Dual Enrollment courses in the Fall. So, quickly I register her again for homeschooling so that she will be a “registered” homeschooler in the Fall since she is over 16 yo when she applies for the Dual Enrollment option.
It has been an interesting process.
What else have we learned through this Dual Enrollment time?
Homeschoolers are perfect candidates for Dual Enrollment
It requires a great deal of self discipline, which thankfully my kids have had, to keep to a schedule that they must make themselves and follow through with the assignments on time
Online courses are so much more convenient for the kids to have lives and still “DO” college, they have had time to make movies and go ice skating when the rest of the family does, etc
It is a great way for them to get a taste of college and what it will be like
It is a lot more work than they thought it was going to be, they sure are used to more flexibility in their schooling times and subjects
The kids are not used to having to deal with the different personalities of the teachers, some really good but a couple, well, not so nice
Doing the courses online there is a lot on online interaction with other classmates which seemed strange at first since they are used to doing all of their coursework alone but they easily adapted and developed an “online school person” that they were while doing the courses, it is a careful balance in learning what the limits are in sharing information online an answering the teachers questions honestly
The course is covered but NOT the cost of the books, so we are more careful now to look at the price of the textbook when we pick a course
These homeschoolers are skilled: They ACED their courses!! Homeschooling has given them the skills they needed to succeed with college courses (and in life which is another topic but way more important)
What courses have they taken with Dual Enrollment?
Intro to College Studies – 1 credit
English Composition 1 – 3 credits
Applied Math / College Math – 3 credits
Anatomy and Physiology – 4 credits
Psychology – 3 credits
Hope this was useful 🙂