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Formula for Putting Dual Enrollment on a High School Transcript

Formula for Putting Dual Enrollment on a High School Transcript
For all classes on the transcript, I recommend either a whole or half credit, not smaller or larger. Here an easy to remember "formula" for dual enrollment college classes:  College credits to high school credits  6 = 1 high school credit 5...
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Online Dual Enrollment Classes

Online Dual Enrollment Classes
Online dual enrollment classes are available in many states, but, like anything else, have pros and cons. Before enrolling, become informed, so you make wise decisions for, and with, your child. On the positive side, taking college cla...
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How to Put Dual Enrollment on Your Transcript

How to Put Dual Enrollment on Your Transcript

Follow the 6 steps below to put dual enrollment on your child's transcript.

This post will tell you how to put dual enrollment on a transcript. Want to see what a scholarship-winning transcript actually looks like? Click to download The HomeScholar Record Keeping Samples

  1. Choose an acronym
    Create an acronym for each college or high school location where your child took classes. Like this:
    HCC = Highline Community College
    I like using the CC part of the acronym for community college, it makes it look so obvious that you are dual enrolled.

  2. Place the acronym before the class title on the transcript
    Where you normally put the class title, put in the acronym first, and then use the exact class title that is provided by the community college. Like this:
    HCC SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
    HCC MAT 101: College Calculus
    HCC ART 100: Survey of Fine Art

  3. Define the acronym in key or legend
    At the bottom of your transcript, explain what the acronym means. Like these options:
    HCC: Dual enrollment classes at Highline Community College
    HCC indicates classes taken at Highline Community College

  4. Translate college credits to high school credits
    One whole college class is equivalent to one high school credit. If your child is taking one whole college class, worth 4, 5, or 6 credits, then it is one whole high school credit. If the college class is 1, 2, or 3 credits, I suggest calling it a half credit class.

  5. Insert the exact grade from the college
    No matter what the grade is, put the grade on the transcript. You can change it from the number grade to a letter grade, or translate it from a letter grade to a number grade, but you can't actually change the grade. College classes are just plain harder than high school classes, and it's very difficult to get A's in college, even when a child is used to getting A's in high school. (Read more: Community College Success)

  6. I don't recommend weighting grades
    If you do decide to weight grades, then it would be easiest to weight it the same as an AP class. However, every high school in the country seems to have their own unique way of weighting grades, which is why I don’t recommend weighting them. It makes it harder for colleges, and colleges will like you more if you make their job easier.  Here is the problem, every high school has a different policy on weighting grades. There are so many variation possibilities, and colleges need to compare students from different schools and school districts. For that reason, the first thing they do is to un-weight any weighted grades. Colleges have asked me to tell parents not to weight grades, and so I don’t recommend weighting grades unless your first choice college prefers grades that way. (Read more: Why I Do Not Recommend Weighting Grades)

All parents know that the homeschool transcript is the least of our worries about community college. Our bigger concern is actually how our child performs in the real life college situation, both academically and socially. I do have one big tip to help you guide your child toward higher college grades. The answer lies in vocabulary. 80% of a subject is learned through the vocabulary alone - in other words, if you master the vocabulary, you are 80% of the way to getting an A in the class. Get some flash cards, highlight the book with the vocabulary words, and have the child quiz himself or herself on those vocabulary words.

For answers to your questions on transcripts, take my free class on Grades, Credits, and Transcripts.
Click here to get my free recorded class on Grades, Credits, and Transcripts

If you still have questions, consider getting the Total Transcript Solution. It has a lot of additional resources, and thoroughly answers all common difficulties, while giving you the tools you need to get things done. At the same time, the Total Transcript Solution has one consultation, so you and I can talk together if you still have a question that hasn't been answered.
Learn more about the Total Transcript Solution

Does that explain it all? I hope that make sense to you!

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Recent Comments
Ami Brainerd
Kathleen, I had the same understanding. Maybe different colleges have different systems/designations. I don't know any local unive... Read More
Friday, 15 February 2019 21:16
Lee Binz
Each high school across the nation may assign credits for dual enrollment differently. That makes it confusing for homeschoolers w... Read More
Monday, 01 July 2019 22:07
Lee Binz
If English 103 and English 104 are each full college courses (4, 5, or 6 credits) - according to Lee's definition - they would eac... Read More
Monday, 09 April 2018 21:36
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3 Tips for Including Dual Enrollment on College Applications

3 Tips for Including Dual Enrollment on College Applications

3 Tips for Including Dual Enrollment on College Applications

Dual enrollment classes on the transcript

Use an acronym before the class title to clearly show which classes were taken at the community college. That shows that senior year classes are harder than last year - a good trend to show.  You can read about that trend in this blog post, Acronym for Outside Classes.  For the classes your student is currently enrolled in, replace the grade with IP to indicate those classes that have been started at a community college, or use R if registered but classed haven't started. That way they can see what your child has done so far, and what they can expect to see in the future. Read more about that here: Sending Transcripts for Senior Year Applications. When you apply to college, you must send your homeschool transcript, that includes both homeschool classes and community college classes. A transcript must also be sent from the community college directly to the university where your child is applying (there is usually a small fee for that, perhaps $5 each.) List it on the activity list too, something like this: Dual Enrollment Student at Tennessee Community College.

Dual enrollment classes on the comprehensive records

Copy and paste the course description from the community college online catalog. Paste it into Notepad first, if possible, to remove any funky formatting, then paste it into your own comprehensive record document. You don't have to be as detailed with community college classes, but you can be as long as you like. Some parents choose to leave out anything other than the online course description. I prefer to have people list at least the community college textbook for those classes.

Dual enrollment applications to the university

You are applying as a high school senior, as if your classes were taken at a high school, not at the community college.  You are applying as a freshman UNLESS you have taken a community college class after high school graduation. Even one college credit after graduation can change your status from "freshman" to "transfer" and eliminate your chances of some college scholarships. While you are applying as a freshman, that means you can get freshman scholarships and freshman housing - a very big deal. You don't want your children living with college seniors!  But at the same time, dual enrollment classes will allow your child to be more advanced academically, and take appropriate classes the following year. My son, for example, applied as a freshman but was a college junior academically, so he was allowed to get freshman student housing but also take junior level college courses when he registered.

If your child is taking dual enrollment classes, be sure to talk to them every day about what is going on. If possible, take classes with another homeschooler (preferably of the same gender) so your child isn't going into classes alone. More tips on that here: Community College Success

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Dual Enrollment Senior Year

Dual Enrollment Senior Year
Senior year for most college-bound homeschoolers is usually packed with college applications, scholarship essays, forms to fill out, and choices to make. It’s always a busy time! In fact, it's SUCH a busy time, it's hard to fit it all in! Particularly when your child is doing dual enrollment...

“Senior year seems like a really busy time. Is it possible for a student to successfully do both dual enrollment and complete scholarship applications and essays, etc.?” - Mary

Dual enrollment is when a high school junior or senior attends community college and gets both high school and college credits at the same time for their work. If your child is doing dual enrollment, chances are their schedule is packed, and you never really know when those midterms and finals are coming up; it’s a very intense time. For that reason, I strongly encourage you to complete your entire application process during the summer between junior and senior year.

You may not be able to upload your college applications to a school’s website during the summer, but complete everything anyway. Write the essays, and make sure your application is all ready to go. It’s helpful to pick up a paper copy of a school’s application at a college fair, so that you can fill it out during the summer as practice, and you’re ready to just type it in when it’s time to fill it in for real.

For students doing dual enrollment, it’s possible to fill out school and scholarship applications during senior year, but you really have to set aside entire, multiple weekends in a row to get it done. Most 18-year-old young adults will balk at giving away their weekends to fill out college applications, so I don’t recommend this method! Plan ahead, and work during the summer so that the fall goes smoothly.


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Do you REALLY need that test?

Do you REALLY need that test?

The SAT and ACT are college admission tests, used for college admission purposes.  Some colleges will want those test scores even if your child is older, in order for them to enter for an undergraduate degree.  Because it's hard to forecast the future, I suggest giving one of those tests to students regardless of the situation.  Although it's relatively painless to take the test as a high school student, it would be much more painful to take the test 4 years from now, when much of the information is only a foggy and forgotten memory.

Some families feel they might possibly avoid the tests.  With children attending community college, or pursuing dual enrollment through CollegePlus it can seem unlikely.  Although CollegePlus or Community College can help get a degree started, some students (not all) end up wanting to transfer to a brick and mortar school.

My motto is "always be prepared."

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Why did you decide to homeschool high school?

Why did you decide to homeschool high school?
I hesitated to start because I didn't want to be over-protective. 
My younger son is anaphylactic to peanuts.  He is one of those children you read about that could die if exposed to the smallest, microscopic speck of peanut. I didn’t want to over-protect my children, and it was very difficult to balance protecting him from a life-threatening allergy and over-protecting him so he didn’t know how to care for his own life-long condition.

I hesitated to start because I was overwhelmed by my children's academic needs.
Both of my children are highly gifted, and it was extremely challenging to homeschool them.  I was always unsure, always anxious about how to keep them challenged without exposing them to things beyond their maturity level.  In the beginning, it was a concern about making their reading challenging but appropriate for their age.  Later on I had concerns about dual enrollment in community college, and whether that might be a good fit for them.

I continued because homeschooling was awesome!
Once we began homeschooling, it was such a perfect fit for my family that I never seriously considered quitting.  I did have times of extreme anxiety.  It seemed like sometimes I could barely sleep!  And I worried! I worried that my children would suddenly rebel, or misbehave somehow, and I wouldn’t be able to teach them.

Back-to-school Nerves
Each fall we started our academic school year on Labor Day.  I wanted my husband to be at home and help me through the first day of school.  Nothing bad ever happened, but I was still anxious and my husband was happy to be available just to calm my nerves.  Yup.  Nervous Nellie!  That was me!

How about you? 

Everyone makes the decision to homeschool for their own reason.  My job is to make sure you don't make a decision based on fear - so you can listen to your heart.  I don't know what is right for your family, but you do. If you decide to homeschool through high school, there is a LOT of support available. I'm here to help you finish the job, and finish strong!

Why did you decide to homeschool high school?

Learn how to homeschool with confidence with my Preparing to  Homeschool High School DVD.  It will help take the fear away.
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Community College Dual Enrollment

Community College Dual Enrollment
Community college dual enrollment is not always a positive experience.

Rebecca on Facebook asked:

Hello - I attended one of your sessions on Homeschooling High School a few years ago at Seattle Pacific University. I appreciated so much what you shared!! My son is now in 10th grade and we're considering Running Start (dual enrollment in community college.) But I had remembered that you mentioned Running Start caused problems for your boys and that you didn't think it was such a great option. Can you tell me why and what problems it caused for your boys? Many thanks!

Hi Rebecca,
Here is an article about my experiences: Facing the Community College Fad

You can read the experiences of others in these two article: Stories about Facing The Community College Fad

Lovely Landmines: Community College Experience in Canada

A few years ago, another mother heard me speak on the same topic.  She has given me permission to share her experience in a blog post.
Two weeks into our 16-year-old daughter’s first quarter at community college, two pornographic reading assignments were handed out in her required English class. I knew from prior discussions with you that dual enrollment was risky. However, I thought that if we were “selective” in the classes we  took, we could avoid the problems you had warned me about. We are looking for alternatives at this time. ~ Linda

My goal is just to encourage parents to see every side of this issue.  I'm really glad you are doing your research!

Learn how to translate all those great homeschool high school classes into the words and numbers that colleges will understand.  Get the Total Transcript Solution .
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How Important is the SAT for College Scholarships?

How Important is the SAT for College Scholarships?
How important is the SAT for college scholarships?
Is it possible for a student to qualify for scholarships without having an SAT score? Let me explain, I have a child who will probably do some dual enrollment during her junior and senior year. If I understand that correctly, she  won't HAVE to take a SAT (will she)? If she doesn't, will that knock her out of potential scholarships at other schools? ~ Nicole

Yes.  It is "possible" for a student to get great scholarships without an SAT score.  I have known students who have done that.  Some have received fabulous scholarships without ever taking the SAT.  Those students usually have an associates degree from a community college.  They are usually older students, often not qualifying for freshman scholarships.  However, it depends a lot on which college you apply to!

Colleges want to know that a student is capable of college level work.  They use the SAT and ACT scores to indicate who is capable of success in college.  Some colleges will try to figure out who will succeed even if they don't provide test scores, and other colleges can't be bothered with the extra effort.

You need to check with the college where your student will apply.  Some will require the SAT or ACT, others will make an exception.  Some will provide scholarships, others will want you to wait until your child has performed well in class before providing scholarships.  It varies widely.

If you need scholarships to finance college, the SAT or ACT can seriously improve your chances - even if your scores are average.  There are some colleges that will provide great scholarships even for an average score.

If you need scholarships to finance college and your scores are seriously below average, then dual enrollment in community college will be a huge benefit.  Good grades in real college classes are a pretty good indication of good grades in college classes in the future.  If you complete an AA degree prior to applying to college, in some instances your application may be considered a freshman admit and the grades will provide an alternative to the SAT or ACT.

I encourage you to take the SAT or ACT, however.  It makes the process of applying much simpler!

Do you have a homeschooling high school question?  Send me an email!
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Do You Really NEED to Take College Admissions Tests?

Do You Really NEED to Take College Admissions Tests?
Do you really NEED to take college admission tests?  Even when you have dual enrollment in a community college?
Quick question. If my daughter is in the Running Start program,  doing dual enrollment, and will enter college as a transfer student, does she need to take the SAT? Thank you in advance,

Dear Leslie,

Quick answer:  yes!

Long answer:  She doesn't rally "have to" take the SAT in that position, but it will help.  If she is doing dual enrollment her junior and senior year in high school, she is only a transfer in terms of academics.  She'll still be a freshman in terms of admission.  So having the SAT scores will help her freshman admission package to look as complete and awesome as possible, and can lead to more financial aid.   If she really stinks at tests, then the SAT probably won't hurt her, and her grades at community college will be more important than her SAT.  But if she does above average on the test (above 500 on each section) then it will improve her chances of admission and scholarships.

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Dual Enrollment and Freshman Scholarships

Dual Enrollment and Freshman Scholarships
One small detail about going to college as a freshman means you have to remain a freshman until you begin at the University.  Taking college classes within the context of dual enrollment is fine.  When college classes are counted toward high school courses, then they are counted as high school courses, and the student is still considered a freshman in terms of the university admission.  In senior year, you can take college classes that are placed on the high school transcript.

Here is the big problem:  the moment the student graduates high school, all community college classes are no longer considered high school classes.  That means if you take even one single credit during the summer after senior year it can cancel your freshman application.  One single course taken during the summer may mean you are a transfer admission instead, and not eligible for freshman scholarships.  So taking community college courses while you are in high school is not a problem.  Taking ANY community college courses after you graduate high school, during the summer before going to the university, can be a BIG problem and it can eliminate the freshman scholarships.

It's a good idea to contact the university you are applying to - well in advance, if possible.  Each university can set their own policy about these kinds of things, so it can vary widely across states and counties and colleges.  Because dual enrollment for public school students is not usually offered during the summer, they may assume that ANY summer classes at a community college aren't dual enrollment.  You want to make sure to check on that.  There are some universities that are dissatisfied with the academics of community college classes.  For that reason, some universities don't accept community college courses for credit, and those classes will count just like any other high school level course.  With policies varying widely, it's important to check.

Although I haven't done research on the NCAA, I have heard people say that dual enrollment courses can affect your ability to play NCAA sports, so that is also something worth checking.

These scholarships usually come from the university, and they make the decisions about the admission status of each student.  I'm not sure if federal grants are tied to community college courses, or if they are distributed based on how the university determines your status.

For some families and in some situations, it will make sense to take summer course at the community college and delay admission into a university.  While it's true that the student will not receive freshman admission scholarships, community college courses are so inexpensive the strategy can still save a family money.  University freshman do receive additional scholarships, but that is not the only financial consideration.

I hope that helps!  Remember that in Washington State, dual enrollment in community college is funded by the State of Washington, and is called Running Start.  Colleges refer to it as "dual enrollment" and it is common across the country.

Do you like getting this sort of help for homeschooling high school? Gold Care Club members get extended answers to their most challenging high school issues. You will love your free month of Gold Care when you get my transcript e-book!

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Community College and Final Desperate Appeal!

Community College and Final Desperate Appeal!
When I speak to groups, I sometimes express my dissatisfaction with dual enrollment community college.  In Washington State, students can access this opportunity for free, and it's called "Running Start."  Extremely popular with homeschoolers, I often get asked why I am hesitant about such programs.

My feeling about Running Start is that it's often a "Rated R" environment, even when you control the teacher AND the curriculum.  If I could do my life over, I wish I would have done two years of homeschooling college, not just one year.  I wish I would have skipped Running Start altogether.

I don't know your family, your children, or even your community college - so you are in a MUCH better position to make a decision than I am.  Trust yourself!  Here is a blog post that I wrote on our Running Start stories.

Running Start is EXTREMELY popular with homeschoolers in Washington right now, and I want parents to think it through and weigh the pros and cons, rather than just follow the crowd.  When you talk to those who have gone before you, listen for the "but...."  They will say things like, "We had a wonderful experience, but....."  Listen to what follows, and decide what is best for YOU.

Christian support groups on campus are a BIG help, so encourage your children to get involved in positive groups on campus.  Also, use the buddy system, so that students are in groups in class.

If you are interested in alternatives, here is my "dig deeper" page on homeschooling college, in case you want to see what I mean by that.

OK people, after three weeks of intense voting, the category of Best Business/Curriculum Blog is.....tied!  Now there is about 24 hours left to vote.  If you haven't voted yet, please vote for "The HomeScholar Helper" at the following link.  If you have voted, please find another computer to vote on, perhaps the neighbors, I know they won't mind.  Tell them it is for a "higher cause" and "the greater good."  Explain that Lee's husband is, well, a bit nuts.

Finally, if you vote for Lee's blog, I promise to show you a picture of a cute puppy....

Cute Puppy Sez "Vote for Lee"

Now, how can you resist that??

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Ready for Community College?

Ready for Community College?

Joyce asked:  Do you believe that the risk is community college itself (i.e., is it WORSE than the universities in moral issues - which I cannot imagine!) or is it the age at which our h.s. juniors and seniors are when they encounter it?  I'd really like to hear what you think about this.

Dear Joyce,

I do NOT believe that the experience at community college has anything at all do do with the age of our students, and I don't believe it has anything to do with naivete in general.  Read this mother's blog post.     She is neither a young student, nor is she naive, and yet she has problems with community college as well - unique difficulties that we haven't previously discussed.  I think that the stories we hear about our children would be the SAME stories we would hear if WE were going to community college.  It's not the kids, it's the environment.

I believe that community colleges are often worse than public universities, although I know that universities have their own unique challenges.   Public universities will often (not always) have higher academic expectations, and (more importantly perhaps) the students population will often have higher academic expectations.  Community college students are frequently remedial in one way or another.  They often aren't ready for a university --   financially, academically, socially, or for some other reason.  That means they can be a challenge to educate.  For that reason, professors have told me that they use the "sex sells" approach.  In a high school, although there are many issues, there are generally limits to the use of sex to sell their educational product.  There are usually no such limits in a community college.  Community colleges are meant to be an adult environment.  They cater to the broad expanse of adults, not the unique subset of homeschool young adults who don't want to mix education with unrelated material.  Those adults include "adjudicated individuals" as one community college official warned me.  She was extremely concerned about young, innocent homeschoolers in a classroom with newly released criminals.  I'm sure the criminal element is relatively rare (although how would we know?) but the point is still important.

To me, it seems like community college will often have the socialization you normally see in a public high school.  It will have the adult content and worldview of a university but without the normal limits seen at a university.  Because they are public institutions, community colleges come complete with all the "public school" worldview and academics, which is the reason why many homeschoolers left public school to begin with.  Some of those issues will also be present in a public university, like you mentioned, but other issues are unique because of the mix of students and teachers in a community college.

I know that I have a very unique perspective on community college, and I don't think for a minute that my view is "right" and others are "wrong."  I also know that parents will make decisions about their children that I can't make because I don't know their kids - but they do!  Parents are the best people to make these choices, that's for sure!  I'm just trying to open the discussion to include these issues.  What I see in my homeschool community is that parents are feeling pressured to put their children into dual enrollment as a Junior in high school.  I'm trying to remove that pressure, so that people can make judgments based on their understanding of the situation, and not do it just because other people are doing it.

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What is "Running Start?"

What is "Running Start?"
Running Start is a Washington State dual enrollment program, which allows students to attend community college while in high school, paid for by the state.  The good news is that it's paid for by the state, it's college level, and it looks good on a college application.  The bad news is that it can be just like public school, with all the same issues of a public school.  In addition, they oftentimes have even more of a "rated R" environment.

Get tips on how to save money by homeschooling college on my Dig Deeper - "How to Homeschool College" webpage!
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