Early College Credit through North Carolina Community Colleges, CCP, Dual Enrollment

03 May

Have you heard about dual enrollment?  Dual enrollment allows your high school student to take college classes at one of the community colleges for free and get both high school and college credit for the class.  Many kids can enter college with 1 semester complete or a full year complete, a few can even do more than that.

The program as it stands in Wake County is called the Career and Collge Promise program.  It is mostly designed for juniors and seniors in high school.  Students have to have a certain GPA and permission from their school.  They can split heir time between high school and college.

I have had two children do the program.  My kids earned college credits through a mix of AP exams, CLEP exams, and dual enrollment classes.  My first son took AP Environmental Science and AP computer science classes, he passed those tests earning credit.  He also,self studied for AP English and got credit for that.  Through dual enrollment, he took C++ programming, Java Programming, Economics, Calc 1, Business Calculus, and all these gave him 29 credit hours, allowing him to start as 1 credit short of a freshman and he was just considered a transfer.  He got better housing, earlier registration, etc.

My other son now is in the program although they changed how they do it and limit the classes you can take.  He just started this semester.  He had taken AP Calc AB at school in the Fall but AP exams are not until spring, so to get college credit for what he learned, he took the CLEP Calculus test, he had not even finished the course yet but skimmed the remaining lessons and went for it as he needed a passing score to register for Calc 2 at the community college.  Even though he took it a month before his class ended, he still scored a 68. 20 points above passing on their scale.  So he was allowed to take Calc 2 as a high school junior with all the college students at Wake Tech.  It was a great experience for him.  He made friends with his classmates and teacher and he was accepted by everyone, they all were amazed at how well he did as a 16 year old!  He got an A and is ready to continue in the program.

Navigating your high school and college classes and after school activities can be difficult.  Normally, you would take 2 high school classes and 2 college classes but since this was a 4 credit class rather than a 3 credit class, it met more often and caused conflicts with most other classes.  We decided to use the extra time to self study AP exams.  So my son sel studied Environmental Science and Physics C Mechanics.  He had taken AP physics 1 with Algebra but the leap to Calculus was a lot and he neede Calc based physics for his college classes, not the Algebra ones.  So he self studied to take that AP test as well.  As of this writing, he took his APES exam and next week is his Physics test and then in July the scores come out.

So, we are getting ready to register for his senior year.  We hope he gets a 4 or 5 on the AP Physic c  Mechanics, if so, we can have him take Physics 2, if he doesn’t, he will need to take Physics 1 but at least he will be prepared and should get an A.  Registration is this week and we need to find classes that will also work with his high school schedule again.  The hard part is that we don’t even know his high school schedule, so,we are just guessing at this point.

Our top pick would be Calculus 3, so he can finish all his Calculus at the same college.  But, we don’t know if it will work with his high school schedule and you have to consider teachers.  There may be a time that fits with a poorly rated teacher and it is not worth taking a class with a poorly rated teacher.  Other options would include Physics or English and Chemistry or Linear Algebra.

we are also planning on having him study sociology and Microeconomics this summer and hopefully get CLEP credits for those.  Three full weeks of study should be enough and then take it he test and one less class in college.

His goal is to enter as a sophomore and since it is a very demanding degree, only have to,do 4 classes instead of 5 each semester so he can do well on them.

So, overall, I love the program.  I love that my kids enter college with a year complete and they can graduate in 3 years (first son did), choose a,double major and still only cost me four years of tuition, do a masters for the same cost as an undergraduate degree, or take a lighter load to make sure they do well if they are in a competitive school and major.

i prefer actual college classes to AP exams because it better prepares the for real college, some AP classes are great and other are terrible (we had a terrible one or two), would rather my kids self study for AP,exams unless I know their teacher has students consistently getting 4’s and 5’s.  This is not the case at my son’s school, very few kids even pass the AP tests, so I would rather he take the college class than the high school AP class with the exam.  Our first experience with AP was Chemistry, my son was doing well, understood stuff but teacher was out so,much, they never finished the course, never did practice exams, and free response practice, my son got a 2.  That is when I knew we needed to change things!

Instead of doing an art project like his fellow peers are doing in AP Calc BC (instead of studying for AP exam), my son was in a real college Calc 2 class,with college students, earned an A and doesn’t need to take a single test to determine his grade and his future college will weight a 3 as a C 4 as a B and a 5 as a A, so he would need a 5.  He has that now, the traditional way without having to make comic strips and art projects.


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