Posts Tagged ‘dual enrollment’

Freshman year for free… pay for only 3 years of college

11 Jul

College is expensive.  It can be a lot of work too and for many, they get stuck taking classes that just don’t interest them to meet their general education requirements.  IS there a way that you could either

  1.  only need 3 years of those high college bills
  2. go four years but with 20% less work each semester so you have time for a job, college theater, sports, or other interests.
  3. avoid many of those gen ed classes you are not interested in

The answer is yes!  Just follow this easy plan.  Depending on the type of student and opportunities available, you may need to pick and choose which options work best for you.

My first recommendation is that you, as a student, know what school you want and what major your looking to do.  This helps target the plan and makes it more successful.

Secondly, look at the school or schools on your list and see what credit is given for:

CLEP test, AP tests, and any other advanced credit options

Next, look at what courses are required at your school and see if the classes you plan to work on will be able to receive credit and at what score.  If you are considering dual enrollment, look to see if the classes you are taking will transfer.

Once you have all that information (mostly found on admissions page), you can look at your program of study and see how you can replace required classes with test or dual enrollment.

Lets do an example:  In  the Colleges of Engineering at NCSU, they  have a common first year for all COE majors. R. Wants computer science which is in the college of engineering.  He will need all those courses plus general education classes, some of which are specifically for his major, like Economics has to be taken as your social science.

To get a head start, he takes the Calculus CLEP test.  Passing this gives him 4 credits and allows him to sign up for dual enrollment and take Calc 2 at the community college.  He could have taken Calc AB and BC and then took the exam but he felt dividing it up into 2 different test situations was better, rather remember 2 full classes for one test.  He also needed As to get into the computer science major.  Additionally, he took AP computer science (not offered at his school but found it online) the year before and scored 4.  This will allow him to skip the first CSC class at NCSU.

Next, he notices NCSU required Calc based Physics 1, 2, Chemistry 1, and another science course beyond that.  So, although he chose to just take Honors Earth Science, he knew enough to take the AP Environmental Science test, scored a 4 and gets his “extra science ” class out of the way.  The AP Physics class offered in his school was not Calculus based, so he took it as an overview and then self-studied the Calc based Mechanics class, scoring a 4.  This gives him credit for Calc Physics  1 and its Lab.    He tried to do the AP Chem test but his score was not high enough, he needs an A (5) in order to meet requirements of the computer science major.

Now R. hates non – STEM classes, so it is in his best interest to get those done quickly and painlessly.  Therefore, he chose to get some things of his social science done with CLEP testing.  First he chose sociology.  This just requires you to memorize vocabulary and then be able to relate those words to an example.  It was a quick study of two weeks and his test was passed.

The other social science class required by engineering is Microeconomics.  R. Has been self studying for that test, although it has s harder since it isn’t just memorizing, you have to have a sense of the relationships between different parts of the supply and demand concepts.  Hopefully, the plan for s that R. will CLEP out of microeconomics as well.  You don’t get a grade, it is just pass /fail.  And a C is passing.  He gets to avoid all the homework and only has one test to focus on and if he doesn’t pass, he can also retake it again in two months or he will be well prepared for the actual class.

Finally, R. Has time in his high school schedule to take some additional classes.  If they were 3 credit class, it would be easier to schedule and he might make two but with 4 credit classes, it doesn’t leave you much else, so he usually take one 4 credit class plus two high school classes and if time, self studies other things.  For the coming year R. Will take Calc 3 and Physics 2.

Assuming he passes all, this is how it will look when he applies to and attends NCSU.

NCSU first year coursess

  1.  Calc 1. MET
  2. English 1
  3. Enginnering / computers 1
  4. Gen ed class – Sociology- MET
  5. Chemistry 1
  6. calc 2 – MET
  7. Physic 1 with lab – MET
  8.  Csc 116 – first computer class –  MET
  9. Microeconomics –  MET
  10. Basic Sxience elective  – MET

plus he will have Physics 2 and Calc 3 which are softmore classes met.

Total Credits:

Calc 1,2,3 — 12 credits

Physics 1, 2 — 8 credits

APES – basic science- 4

APCS – first csc class- 3

sociology – 3

Microeconomics – 3


Total: 33 credits

This will allow him either to graduate in three years or take 12 credits instead of 15-16 per semester.

A second example, C. had AP credit for English Composition, he didn’t want to do all the extra work required to take an AP class, so he self studied and got a 4.  He also took AP Computer Science and got a 3. He took APES and got a 4.  But he only has 3 AP tests.  He did take a lot of dual enrollment classes, he was going for a degree in simlation and game design and took two iintroductory classes in this but they did not transfer.  He did take both Calc 1 and Business Calculus.  He took Macroeconomics and two programming classes one in C ++ and the other in Java.  He had 29 credits to transfer.  He went in as a freshman but took 16 credits his first semester and tha numbers him to a second semester sophomore.  He was able to graduate in 3 year and save his family an entire tear of tuition, room, and board.  If C. Had known about CLEP tests, he would have tried coming in with more of his gen ed courses met.

Stdents can manage even more than one year but I think one year is good, it gives them options, doesn’t put them too far ahead of their peers, is doable during the four years that f high school without overloading the child to try and do a year of high school and college at the same time unless they are in an early college program that has them all in college classes full time by senior year.

Remember, if you don’t get a merit scholarship, taking a semester or a year from payments can offer similar financial advantages.




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.


Getting your high school student ahead, free college credits

30 Apr

is your child ready to head off to high school ?  Exciting isn’t it ?  Just three short years ago, my son was heading into his freshman year and now after what seems like a blink of an eye, he is going to be a senior in a couple weeks.  My daughter will be a he new entering Freshman now.

These aren’t my first two kids to do high school.  I already had two other high school graduates.  Their years flew by too.  I have learned some things though.  First, is a question for you, how do you feel about college?   We pass a lot of how we feel onto our kids, sometimes that’s a good thing, other times it is not.  College has become a debated issue lately, it is expensive, s it necessary?  Well, that depends on a few things:

  1.  You feel strongly your child should go to college.
  2. your child feels strongly that he or she should go to college
  3. your child’s career goals match one where a college degree is expected
  4. you or your college want college for maturity and growth and the college experience

Now, if your child wants to do a job that doesn’t really require a college degree, like work a restaurant, be a fed ex driver, be in sales, etc. college isn’t worth it except for the growth, maturity, and experience.  You can also get training from vocational programs that don’t require college like hvac repair, beauty school, ekg tech.

Lets say that college student son the plans, your child wants to be an engineer or computer programmer.  Most jobs want a four year degree.  So, what does that have to do with freshman year of high school?

Remember how fast I said these years would fly by, well, freshman year is not a huge deal but even then it can be setting you up…. Sttin you up for what?  For future classes, the big plan… th enigma plan actually starts to come together Freshman year when you select classes.  Students need to start thinking long term, start thinking about college and goals.

Here are some examples:  Case wants to be a computer programmer and wants to get in a competitive college.  He needs to be taking the right classes now,that lead him to the best classes latter:

Freshman year, he takes Hon Eng, Hon World His, Hon Math 3, Hon Bio, PE, intro programming 1, Spanish 1, intro Engineering

**These set him up for future classes

Sophomore year:  Hon Eng 2, Hon US Hist, Hon Pre Calc, Hon Chem, AP Chem, Spanish 2, programming 2, Engineering 2

*** Notice he took his first AP class and arranged it to follow Honors Chem

Junior Year:  AP Eng, Hon US Hist 2, AP Calc AB, College Calc 2, AP Physics c AP Computer Science, AP Environmental Science,

** notice now we have, AP English, APES, AP Calc AB, AP Physics C, AP CS tests…. that is up to 16 credit hours plus 4 college transfer hours

Right now, his transcripts show 2 full semesters of Calculus with college credit, one aken at a college, 1 Calculus based Physics class, a Computer Science class, another regular science, a Chemistry credit, and Engineering she credit (if allowed).  This all looks great to a prospective college.

Additionally, over the summer between Junior and Senior year, I would suggest taking two gen ed CLEP courses and getting credit.  It is just memorizing and asking a test.  This will give you another 6 credits.

Finally, senior year, take more AP and or college classes.

Case might take:  Senior year:  Hon Eng 3, Hon Civics, Theater, AP Statistics, Calc 3’atnthe college, Physics 2 at the college,

When he graduates, not only will he have met most of his freshman classes for college, he will over 30 hours and start college as a sophomore, saving money or with the ability mtomtake a lighter load.