Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, SAT, Saylor Academy, Straighterline, Study.com

Forms of ID when Homeschooling for College Credit

Parents of teens earning college credit in high school may be shocked to find that many exams require identification.  For those with a driver’s license, that’s usually enough, but many of you have teens without a driver’s license. What can they do?

You’ll find some very different policies regarding the acceptable forms of ID based on the test your teen is taking.  I’ve done my best to collect the most current information from the more popular exams we talk about here, but know that companies can change their requirements at any time!  Please, allow yourself enough time to confirm and also obtain acceptable ID for your teen.

 

CLEP (College Board)

Identification: Your driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued identification that includes your photograph and signature. You will be asked to show this identification to be admitted to the testing area. The last name on your ID must match the name on your registration ticket. The ID you bring must meet the following criteria:

  • Be government-issued.
  • Be an original document—photocopied documents are not acceptable.
  • Be valid and current—expired documents (bearing expiration dates that have passed) are not acceptable, no matter how recently they may have expired.
  • Bear the test taker’s full name, in English language characters, exactly as it appears on the registration ticket, including the order of the names.
  • Middle initials are optional and only need to match the first letter of the middle name when present on both the ticket and the identification.
  • Bear a recent recognizable photograph that clearly matches the test taker.
  • Include the test taker’s signature.
  • Be in good condition with clearly legible text and a clearly visible photograph.
  • Military test takers must bring their military ID.
  • Homeschooled students and high school students: If you do not have the required government-issued ID, please complete a Student ID Form (.pdf/55 KB) which is valid for one year. The form must be accompanied by a recognizable photo with a school or notary seal overlapping the photo. The form must be signed in front of a school official or notary. If you fail to present appropriate identification, you will not be tested.
  • Examples of other types of acceptable indentification include:
    • Government-issued passport with name, photograph and signature
    • Driver’s license with name, photograph, and signature
    • State or Province ID issued by the motor vehicle agency with name, photograph, and signature
    • Military ID with name, photograph, and electronic signature
    • National ID with name, photograph, and signature
    • Tribal ID card with name, photograph, and signature
    • A naturalization card or certificate of citizenship with name, photograph, and signature
    • A Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) with name, photograph, and signature
    • Source link

SAT & AP (College Board)

Note:  AP Students taking AP exams at their high school do not need identification.  More information about AP exams:  AP Bulletin for Parents

Test center staff will compare the information on your Admission Ticket and your photo ID with the test center roster to confirm your registration and identity. You cannot be admitted to the test center if any of the information does not match. This includes the use of a nickname on one item but your full name on another. Source link

The staff is not required to hold your seat if you did not bring acceptable identification.

ID Checklist

ID documents must meet all of these requirements:

  • Be a valid (unexpired) photo ID that is government-issued or issued by the school that you currently attend. School IDs from the prior school year are valid through December of the current calendar year. (For example, school IDs from 2015-16 can be used through December 31, 2016.)
  • Be an original, physical document (not photocopied or electronic).
  • Bear your full, legal name exactly as it appears on your Admission Ticket, including the order of the names.
  • Bear a recent recognizable photograph that clearly matches both your appearance on test day and the photo on your Admission Ticket.
  • Be in good condition, with clearly legible English language text and a clearly visible photograph.

Note: Not all of these requirements apply to Talent Search identification documents used by students who are in the eighth grade or below at the time of testing; however, Talent Search identification forms must bear an original student/parent signature.

Important:

Check Your ID—Every Time

Even if an ID got you into a test center before, it does not guarantee it will be acceptable in the future.

Acceptable ID Examples:

  • Government-issued driver’s license or non-driver ID card
  • Official school-produced student ID card from the school you currently attend
  • Government-issued passport
  • Government-issued military or national identification card
  • Talent Search Identification Forms (allowed for eighth grade and below)
  • SAT Student ID Form (.pdf/490KB); must be prepared by the school you currently attend or a notary, if home-schooled

Unacceptable ID Examples:

  • Any document that does not meet the requirements
  • Any document that is worn, torn, scuffed, scarred, or otherwise damaged
  • Electronic document presented on a device
  • Any document that appears tampered with or digitally altered
  • Any document that bears a statement such as “not valid as identification”
  • Credit or debit card of any kind, even one with a photograph
  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • Employee ID card
  • Missing Child (“ChildFind”) ID card
  • Any temporary ID card

More About Names

If you need to make a change to your name after registering, please contact Customer Service at least 30 days prior to your intended test date. Middle names and initials are optional on your documents; however, if provided, the middle initial must exactly match the first letter of your middle name on your ID.

More About Photos

You may not be allowed to enter the test center, let alone take the test, if test center staff cannot sufficiently authenticate your identification from the ID you present. Your score may even be withheld or canceled.

Admission to the test center is no guarantee that the ID you provided is valid or that your scores will be reported. All reported or suspected cases of questionable ID or test-taker identity are subject to our review and approval before, during, and after the test administration.

ID Requirements Apply All Day

You should keep your ID and Admission Ticket with you at all times while at the test center, including during breaks. You may be required to show your ID and Admission Ticket and/or to sign a test center log multiple times and at various points throughout the test administration.

If it is discovered after your test administration that you used a false or invalid identification, your test scores will be canceled, and you will forfeit your registration and test fees. Your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) (if you are under 18), your high school, and the colleges and programs you have designated to receive your score reports will be notified and may be told why your scores were canceled. Law enforcement authorities may also be notified when fraud is suspected, and you may be banned from future tests.

If you fail to comply with these identification requirements and policies, you may be dismissed from the test center and your scores may be withheld or canceled. If you are dismissed from the test center prior to completing the test because of invalid or unacceptable ID, or failure to comply with these ID requirements and policies, your test fees will not be refunded.

If You Do Not Have Acceptable ID

If you do not have another form of acceptable ID you may be able to use the Student ID Form (.pdf/490KB). This form must be prepared and authenticated by the school you currently attend or by a notary if you are home-schooled. A current photo must be attached to the form in the area indicated before the form is notarized. This form is only valid as ID if you are testing in the United States and for test-takers under 21 years of age.

If You Are Waitlisted

In countries where waitlist status is used, you must present an acceptable school- or government-issued photo ID that has been issued in the country in which you are testing. Foreign passports, foreign national IDs, or IDs from foreign schools will not be accepted.

If You Are 21 or Older

If you will be 21 or older on test day, the only acceptable form of identification is an official government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, that meets all of the requirements above. Student ID cards are not valid forms of identification for test-takers who are 21 or older.

Testing in India, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, and Pakistan

The only acceptable form of identification is a valid passport with your name, photograph, and signature. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Testing in Egypt, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam

A valid passport or valid national ID card with your name, photograph, and signature are the only acceptable forms of ID. If you travel to another country to test, you must provide a passport as identification. There are no exceptions to this policy.


DSST (Prometric)

Q.4 What form of ID should I bring to the testing location when I take a DSST exam?

A. Prior to the test administration, all test takers must present current and valid picture identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or picture student identification. DANTES funded eligible military test takers must provide a valid Common Access Card (CAC). Only test takers should be permitted into the testing room. Unauthorized visitors are not permitted in the testing room at any time. Source link


Straighterline (Proctor U*)

Proctor U is the 3rd party online proctoring system currently used by Straighterline.  Proctor U’s website:  Always have your ID ready before connecting to a proctor. If you are unsure of what identification is needed for your exam, please reach out to your instructor for clarification. In some instances, a second ID may be required. This includes a school ID or passport. Source link

Straighterline’s Proctoring Page:  Source link

Two forms of IDs, one of which must be a government-issued photo ID, as proof of identification. Valid forms of government identification are as follows:

  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by a State provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  • ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  • U.S. Military card
  • Foreign passport

Saylor Academy 

OPTION 1 – Proctor U*

Proctor U is the 3rd party online proctoring system currently used by Saylor Academy.  Proctor U’s website:  Always have your ID ready before connecting to a proctor. If you are unsure of what identification is needed for your exam, please reach out to your instructor for clarification. In some instances, a second ID may be required. This includes a school ID or passport. Source link

Saylor’s website:  When it is time for you to take your test, log in to ProctorU and press the blue button under the “My Exam” tab to launch your proctoring session. To verify your identity, your Proctor will ask you to use a webcam to show a form of identification, and then answer a number of questions based on public record information.  If you live outside of the United States, ProctorU will not have access to public record information, and you will instead be asked to show a second form of ID. Source link

OPTION 2 – Private Proctor

Detailed information is not provided for this option.  Source link  While the proctoring instructions do state that the proctor must  “Verify student identification prior to entering the testing area” there are no further instructions.  My recommendation is to contact Saylor Academy well in advance for clarification.  Saylor Academy Help Center. 


Study.com (Software Secure)

Study uses Software Secure AKA Remote Proctor Now as the third party proctoring service.  Study’s proctored exam instructions simply state a student must provide “a photo ID.”  Source link


 

 

ACT 

Acceptable Forms of Identification

Only the following forms of identification are acceptable. If it is not on this list, it is not acceptable, and you will not be admitted to test.  Source link

Current official photo ID

Must be an original, current (valid) ID issued by a city/state/federal government agency or your school. Note: School ID must be in hard plastic card format. Paper or electronic formats are NOT acceptable. Your first and last names must match the ticket. The photo must be clearly recognizable as you.

ACT Student Identification Form with photo  

You MUST present this ACT Student Identification Form (PDF) with photo if you do not have a current official photo ID as described above. It must be completed by a school official or notary public; neither may be a relative. All items must be completed.

ACT Talent Search Student Identification Form 

If you are participating in an Academic Talent Search program and were not required to submit a photo with your registration you must present your ACT Talent Search Identification form. If you are participating in an Academic Talent Search program and were required to submit a photo when you registered, you must present either a current official photo ID or an ACT Student Identification Form with photo.

Unacceptable Forms of Identification

You will not be admitted if you present any forms of ID other than those listed as acceptable. The following are examples of unacceptable identification:

  • ACT ticket alone
  • Birth certificate
  • ChildFind ID card
  • Credit, charge, bank or check cashing cards, even with photo
  • Diploma
  • Family portrait or graduation picture, even if the name is imprinted on the photo
  • Fishing or hunting license
  • ID issued by an employer
  • ID letter that is not an official ACT identification form
  • Learner’s driving permit (if it doesn’t include a photo)
  • Temporary/replacement driver’s license (if it doesn’t include a photo)
  • Organization membership card
  • Passport or other photo ID so old that the person presenting it cannot be identified
  • Personal recognition by anyone, including members of the test center staff, classmates, parents, counselors, and teachers
  • Photo ID of parents
  • Photo with your name embossed or printed on it by a photographer
  • Photocopies or reproductions
  • Photos issued by a business for promotional purposes (e.g., amusement parks)
  • Police report of a stolen wallet or purse
  • Printed, stamped, or photocopied signatures
  • Published photo, including yearbook or newspaper
  • Report card
  • Social Security card
  • Telephone calls to counselors, teachers, or school officials
  • Traffic ticket, even with a physical description and signature
  • Transcript, even with photo
  • Web page with photo

 

ID2

 

*Proctor U :  While not disclosed on any the websites I visited, Proctor U has the ability to use a process called Acxiom-X identifiers.  These identifiers could require your student to answer a number of “unique” questions that they should know about themselves.  The best resource I found identified potential 115 questions in their question bank.  Acxiom’s website states

“The Acxiom Identify-X Authenticate process uses unique data generated questions to identify an individual and then verifies these individuals through our high-quality database, offering greater security to the end user.

Acxiom’s identification platform utilizes demographic and geographic data in challenge questions with nearly 900 data elements for more than 300 million individuals. Identify-X Authenticate data comes from public, publicly available and non-public proprietary databases. Identify-X Authenticate data is current and regularly updated daily, weekly and monthly, depending upon the data source.”

Obviously not all of these would apply- but examples of possible Acxiom questions that could be asked during identification verification when using Proctor U include:

  • Based on your driver’s license do you wear corrective lenses?
  • What professional licenses do you hold?
  • What subdivision do you currently reside in?
  • What state does your relative Joe live in?
  • How many fireplaces did you have in your last residence?
Posted in CLEP

The Easiest CLEP?

If you haven’t heard it yet, there is a pervasive myth that Analyzing and Interpreting Literature is “the easiest CLEP” and “passable with no study.” In this post, I’d like to explore what makes this CLEP “the easiest” for many students, and an unexpected “nightmare” for others.

Official Analyzing and Interpreting Literature CLEP Page

Unlike many other CLEP exams, this exam doesn’t have to follow a semester or year-long course.  Instead, this exam is a literature comprehension exam and must be attempted only by those with strong reading ability and endurance.  If you choose to offer a literature course for your teen (American Literature and English Literature both also offer CLEP exams) this exam fits in well.  Unlike the American or English Literature CLEPs, this exam requires no recall of specific works or authors – just reading.  This exam is worth 3 college credits.

NOTE:  This exam used to be worth 6 credits.  If you took this exam prior to Feb 28, 2015, your college may honor the old assessment and award 6 credits.  Exams taken from March 1, 2015-current are valued at only 3 credits. 

Already confused? watch my “What is CLEP?” video

What is analyzing and interpreting literature?  It is the academic process of breaking down a piece of poetry or prose into components and using critical thinking to understand their meaning. 

cautionThis CLEP at home -vs- COLLEGE ENROLLMENT

A basic undergraduate literature course will usually expose the student to both classic and contemporary literature.  The scope will include poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.  In college courses like this, professors often require an “Anthology” book instead of a textbook or whole pieces of literature.  Passages about slavery, politics, romance, and history are likely to be included in most literary anthologies.  Courses in literature will almost always involve extensive discussion and often some type of controversy.  Additionally, a college literature course generally requires a lot of writing. College courses are based on the premise that the attendees are adults, so no consideration is given to your teen’s age.    Choosing a “more conservative” or “more liberal” college doesn’t assure that the teacher’s opinions will match yours.   All things being equal, I like this subject as a CLEP exam instead of a college / dual enrollment course for teens that have read extensively.  

If you want simple:  use this exam after or alongside a regular high school literature curriculum (or following several years of reading widely).  Test prep for this exam can be done in a couple days because the bulk of the content is simply reading comprehension.  There are a few literary terms your teen should become familiar with.  More on that later.   In our home, I consistently use a layering technique to teach my children subjects that will also be part of a CLEP exam.  This exam, however, is a little different.  The best approach here is just to wait. Wait until they read well.  I put a video on youtube explaining how to layer resources.

For the curious, my husband and I took this exam in March 2007.  My score was 59, his was 50.  I liked this exam, but he hated it!  -Jennifer Cook DeRosa

The Easiest CLEP

When I started preparing for this exam in 2007, I read time and again that I didn’t need to study- it was by far the “easiest CLEP” ever, and that “everyone” passes.  I spent a little bit of time googling literary terms (they’ll be included at the bottom for your reference) and I grabbed my husband to join me.  (Afterall, everyone passes!)  The multiple choice exam asks 80 questions in 90 minutes.  The kicker is that you’ll have to read a long passage and then answer a handful of questions about the passage.  The “easy” part here is that you don’t have to have preexisting knowledge about the works on the test.  They won’t ask you who the main character of Such-and-Such was, or who wrote a particular novel.  In short, you can walk in cold.

When you read a passage and understand it well,  you’ll probably do great on the questions that follow.  Each test is random so you may end up with “easier” passages, like those from Huckleberry Finn or Emily Dickenson.  Lucky you!  Now, the problem comes when the passage is extra long, extra technical, extra wordy, or just extra “old-fashioned.”  The problem, is now you’re faced with a handful of questions you probably won’t get right.  If your version of the exam has 12 long passages and you only really understood 4 of them, it’s not going to turn out well for you.   You really need to understand most of your passages and answer most of the questions correctly.  (It’s also possible to understand the passage and miss questions, but we’ll hope that’s not the case!)


What kind of passages?

Francis Bacon. (1561–1626). Essays, Civil and Moral.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

“He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works, and of greatest merit for the public, have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men; which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. Yet it were great reason that those that have children should have greatest care of future times; unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges. Some there are, who though they lead a single life, yet their thoughts do end with themselves, and account future times impertinences. 1Nay, there are some other that account wife and children but as bills of charges. Nay more, there are some foolish rich covetous men, that take a pride in having no children, because they may be thought so much the richer. For perhaps they have heard some talk, Such an one is a great rich man, and another except to it, Yea, but he hath a great charge of children; as if it were an abatement to his riches. But the most ordinary cause of a single life is liberty, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous 2 minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and garters to be bonds and shackles. Unmarried men are best friends, best masters, best servants; but not always best subjects; for they are light to run away; and almost all fugitives are of that condition. A single life doth well with churchmen; for charity will hardly water the ground where it must first fill a pool. It is indifferent for judges and magistrates; for if they be facile and corrupt, you shall have a servant five times worse than a wife. For soldiers, I find the generals commonly in their hortatives put men in mind of their wives and children; and I think the despising of marriage amongst the Turks maketh the vulgar soldier more base. Certainly wife and children are a kind of discipline of humanity; and single men, though they may be many times more charitable, because their means are less exhaust, yet, on the other side, they are more cruel and hardhearted (good to make severe inquisitors), because their tenderness is not so oft called upon. Grave natures, led by custom, and therefore constant, are commonly loving husbands, as was said of Ulysses, vetulam suam prætulit immortalitati [he preferred his old wife to immortality]. Chaste women are often proud and froward, as presuming upon the merit of their chastity. It is one of the best bonds both of chastity and obedience in the wife, if she think her husband wise; which she will never do if she find him jealous. Wives are young men’s mistresses; companions for middle age; and old men’s nurses. So as a man may have a quarrel 3 to marry when he will. But yet he 4 was reputed one of the wise men, that made answer to the question, when a man should marry,—A young man not yet, an elder man not at all. It is often seen that bad husbands have very good wives; whether it be that it raiseth the price of their husband’s kindness when it comes; or that the wives take a pride in their patience. But this never fails, if the bad husbands were of their own choosing, against their friends’ consent; for then they will be sure to make good their own folly.”


Are you exhausted?  Was that ok?  How would your teen do with that?  Is the essay content too mature?  This passage is a good representation of this exam.  If your teen hasn’t read classic literature, this exam will give him trouble.   If your teen is a slow reader, this exam will give him trouble.  If your teen zones out after a half hour of hard reading, this exam will give him trouble.  This exam asks 80 questions and allows 90 minutes.   If 1/2 – 3/4 that time is spent reading, they’re left with only about 15-20 seconds per question.

When I took this exam, I felt my mind starting to wander somewhere around the first hour.  It took a lot of focus to get through the last questions, and toward the end, I was simply “pushing through and hoping for the best.”  My husband’s experience with this CLEP exam was enough of a turn off that he didn’t want to attempt any others after this one.  He told me his last 20 or so questions were all marked “B” because it seemed like a good choice- he just wanted to get through it.   My 17-year-old son took this exam and hated it (but passed) and told me it was exhausting.

As to not discourage you, others find this exam really enjoyable!  I’ve asked our Minnesota Homeschooling for College Credit group leader Jenny Bergren to share some words about her daughter’s experience with this exam.  She took it a couple months back and had a great experience.

My daughter just took and passed her first CLEP- Analyzing and Interpreting Literature. She got a 65 and found it to be easy. She even finished 25 minutes early. 

Regarding her daughter’s background:

She’s my reader and poetry writer. I expected it to be easy for her because this subject is her strength. She already knew how to understand and analyze literature before she started studying. She does it for fun!   

Regarding her daughter’s prep for the exam:

She went through the Modern States course to get the free voucher but the only thing she learned was a few terms. She did say the practice tests were a lot harder than the real test. She scored abysmally on the second practice test (29 right out of 80?).

How it went:

I told her not to worry because I’m taking her to Chick-fil-A whether she passes or not. 😉 She wouldn’t talk about what was on the test specifically because she said you have to agree not to. But she did say she enjoyed the passages that she read.

Anything else?

When I asked her what was the most helpful in preparing for the test she said the chapter in your book regarding taking a test. She was so glad that she had read the part about not canceling the test score because they ask you repeatedly. Not that she wanted to. But when they ask you more than once it makes you feel like you are doing something wrong!

Thanks for that feedback Jenny!


Is this the easiest exam? 

About 75% of those who take it WILL PASS.


Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

Overview

The Analyzing and Interpreting Literature exam covers material usually taught in a general undergraduate course in literature. Although the exam does not require familiarity with specific works, it does assume that test takers have read widely and perceptively in poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction. The questions are based on passages supplied in the test. These passages have been selected so that no previous experience with them is required to answer the questions. The passages are taken primarily from American and British literature.

The exam contains approximately 80 multiple-choice questions to be answered in 98 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time test takers spend taking tutorials and providing personal information is added to actual testing time.

An optional essay section can be taken in addition to the multiple-choice test. The essay section requires that two essays be written during a total time of 90 minutes. For the first essay, candidates are asked to analyze a short poem. For the second essay, candidates are asked to apply a generalization about literature (such as the function of a theme or a technique) to a novel, short story, or play that they have read.

Candidates are expected to write well-organized essays in clear and precise prose. The essay section is scored by faculty at the institution that requests it and is still administered in paper-and-pencil format. There is an additional fee for taking this section, payable to the institution that administers the exam.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature exam require test takers to demonstrate the following abilities.

  • Ability to read prose, poetry, and drama with understanding
  • Ability to analyze the elements of a literary passage and to respond to nuances of meaning, tone, imagery, and style
  • Ability to interpret metaphors, to recognize rhetorical and stylistic devices, to perceive relationships between parts and wholes, and to grasp a speaker’s or author’s attitudes
  • Knowledge of the means by which literary effects are achieved
  • Familiarity with the basic terminology used to discuss literary texts

The exam emphasizes comprehension, interpretation, and analysis of literary works. A specific knowledge of historical context (authors and movements) is not required, but a broad knowledge of literature gained through reading widely and a familiarity with basic literary terminology is assumed. The following outline indicates the relative emphasis given to the various types of literature and the periods from which the passages are taken. The approximate percentage of exam questions per classification is noted within each main category.

Genre

35%–45% Poetry
35%–45% Prose (fiction and nonfiction)
15%–30% Drama

National Tradition

50%–65% British Literature
30%–45% American Literature
5%–15% Works in translation

Period

3%–7% Classical and pre-Renaissance
20%–30% Renaissance and 17th Century
35%–45% 18th and 19th Centuries
25%–35% 20th and 21st Centuries


Score Information

Credit-Granting Score for Analyzing and Interpreting Literature

ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.

*The American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) has evaluated CLEP processes and procedures for developing, administering, and scoring the exams. The score listed above is equivalent to a grade of C in the corresponding course. The American Council on Education, the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. Visit the ACE CREDIT website for more information.


Study Resources for Learning to Read Literature

The most relevant preparation for the Analyzing and Interpreting Literature exam is attentive and reflective reading of the various literary genres of poetry, drama, and prose.

You can prepare for the exam by:

  • Reading a variety of poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction
  • Reading critical analyses of various literary works
  • Writing analyses and interpretations of the works you read
  • Discussing with others the meaning of the literature you read

K12 Curriculum

When I taught my own teens how to analyze literature, some of it was organic and spontaneous, but I really enjoyed the way Teaching the Classics (IEW – Adam and Missy Andrews) gave me tools to facilitate analysis in a homeschool setting.  If you use their product, you’ll want the DVD and workbook, but you can use it with all your children.

Textbooks

Textbooks and anthologies used for college courses in the analysis and interpretation of literature contain a sampling of literary works in a variety of genres. They also contain material that can help you comprehend the meanings of literary works and recognize the devices writers use to convey their sense and intent. To prepare for the exam, you should study the contents of at least one textbook or anthology, which you can find in most college bookstores. You would do well to consult two or three texts because they do vary somewhat in content, approach, and emphases.

A recent survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks (first author listed only) are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might find one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore. HINT: Look at the table of contents first to make sure it matches the knowledge and skills required for this exam.

Abcarian, Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford/St. Martin’s)
Arp and Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (W.W. Norton)
Booth, Norton Introduction to Literature (W.W. Norton)
DiYanni, Literature: Approaches to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (McGraw-Hill)

Literature Resources:

Luminarium Anthology of English Literature
Bartleby.com Great Books Online
Voice of the Shuttle Literature (in English)

Online Classes:

A fully online free course offered by Harvard via the edX partnership Modern Masterpieces of World Literature  (they have others too, even for poetry!)

Study.com has a CLEP Analyzing and Interpreting course.  Homeschool Buyer’s CO-OP just added a 3-month subscription option (you used to have to buy a whole year if you wanted a discount) that is 25% off.

The Great Courses Plus  (think: Netflix for streaming educational content) has a number of literature courses, but the one you’ll want to look at is called Life Lessons from The Great Books.  They spend a great deal of time analyzing and interpreting the type of literature on this exam!  (First month is usually free)

 Free online CLEP course by Modern States Education Alliance    Modern States is a free online class with little checkpoints after each lesson.  If you complete their entire course, they will give you a voucher to take a FREE CLEP EXAM.  We have had dozens of parents report back to me that they’ve done this with MULTIPLE exams, not just one, and one mom even told me they paid her proctoring fee!  We don’t know when this program offer will expire, but until then, get your free exam! 



After Learning to Read Literature….Test Prep

For test prep and practice tests:  The best CLEP prep book on the market for this exam is the  REA Analyzing and Interpreting Literature.  You’ll notice I linked you to the older version- you can pick it up for about $4 on Amazon, and it has much better reviews!  You *can get a new version too (about $30), since both include practice tests in the back that explain “why” an answer is right or wrong, I HIGHLY recommend it in one form or another.  You can also check your local library!

Literature Guides:

(Secular) Sparks Notes are a modern version of the old yellow and black CliffsNotes.  You’ll be impressed with their catalog of about a zillion titles – also quizzes, essays, and everything you need to analyze any major literary work.  Did I mention these are free?

(Christian) Progeny Literature Guides are also like Cliffs Notes but from a Christian worldview.  Homeschool Buyer’s CO-OP has 30% off sale for members (free to become a member) and flat $5 shipping.  They sell the guides in 3-pack bundles. These are available electronically or paperback (am I the only one that still loves paper!?). For a sense of scope, a 3-pack would cover 3 books, consistent with 1 semester of high school.

Literary Terms:

This exam slips in literary terms that your teen needs to be aware of.  For instance, they might ask about a story’s mood or tone.  They might ask which passage best-demonstrated satire or foreshadowing.  I suggest using flashcards to memorize the vocabulary.  You don’t need to learn hundreds of terms, but the popular terms will certainly appear.

Cyber English literary terms page has the best free list I’ve seen in a while!

InstantCert has an online flashcard study program and a Specific Exam Resource file where members share feedback about the exam in real time.  Use code 100150 to get $5 off the $20 cost.

A fully online free course offered by Harvard via the edX partnership Modern Masterpieces of World Literature  (they have others too, even for poetry!)

The Great Courses Plus  (think: Netflix for streaming educational content) has a number of literature courses, but the one you’ll want to look at is called Life Lessons from The Great Books.  They spend a great deal of time analyzing and interpreting the type of literature on this exam!  (First month is usually free)

PostScript

If you’re looking for more opportunities to earn college credit studying literature, Shmoop has several ACE CREDIT® recommended literature courses.  I bring this up because besides the 3 CLEP literature exams (American, English, Analyzing and Interpreting Literature) no one has more college credit options for literature than Shmoop.  Each of their literature courses are worth 3 college credits.

  • American Literature
  • Classical Literature
  • Foundations of Literature
  • Literature in the Media
  • Shakespeare’s Plays
  • Women’s Literature
  • The Bible as Literature
  • Contemporary Literature
  • Holocaust Literature
  • Introduction to Poetry
  • Modernist Literature
  • Victorian Literature
  • British Literature
  • Drugs in Literature
  • Introduction to Drama
  • Literature 101
  • Shakespeare in Context
  • Western Literature

book boy

Posted in Credit by Exam, Tuition

The 10-Million Dollar Year: 2018

The 2018 goal for Homeschooling for College Credit is that each of our member families initiates ONE CLEP or AP exam in their homeschool.   This single act will save the homeschool community $10 million dollars in tuition next year.

College tuition costs have reached a fever-pitch, and many homeschool families worry how they’ll pay these rising costs while usually raising many children on one income.  Even well-funded families are questioning the wisdom of borrowing tens of thousands of dollars with no promise of a degree or employment after graduation.  Homeschooling for College Credit believes that by resourceful high school planning, parents who inject college credit into their homeschool can reduce the cost of their teen’s college education significantly.  We are a team of volunteers who use these principles with our own teens and freely help other parents walk this journey with support and encouragement.

Our kids are average.  If we can do it, you can do it.

The “average” cost of college is hard to calculate.  While we have access to a lot of data, the choices a parent makes are really the biggest factor.  For instance, if someone asked you the “average” cost of going out to dinner, you’d have so many variables, that you’d both under-estimate or over-estimate for all but a narrow set.  Colleges are like restaurants.  Sometimes you’re looking for value- which is to say you want a return on your investment and at a fair price.  Sometimes you’re looking for an experience- which is to say you hope to have an unforgettable adventure.  Sometimes it’s about price- getting the most out of what little resources you have.  Finally, some are looking for something very specific- their favorite fried chicken.

The community at Homeschooling for College Credit doesn’t presume to know the “best restaurant” for your family.  That’s a personal decision, and there aren’t any wrong answers- what we do know, is that there are ways to save time and money in every case.  Parents in our community aren’t “one size fits all” and our member families aren’t all strictly utilitarian or all strictly academic, they’re a mix.  An in this mix creates a well-rounded and dynamic opportunity for parents on all paths to save a little -or save a lot– of money for their family.

Based on The Department of Education tuition data, the average tuition costs by school type:

  • 2-year community college costs $135 per credit
  • 4-year state college costs $435 per credit
  • 4-year private college costs $1039 per credit

A 2-year degree typically consists of 60 credits (60x$135) and costs $8100.

A 4-year degree from a public college typically consists of 120 credits and costs (120x$435) $52,200.

A 4-year degree from a private college typically consists of 12p credits and costs (120x$1039) $124,680.

Around here, we call these tuition calculations “rack rate” because they don’t take into account any scholarships (merit, academic, athletic, or other), a Pell Grant (government funded gift to everyone meeting income criteria) or special incentives (internal programs given to some students under special conditions).  But, we always proceed from the position of rack rate, because if you can’t get the cost down in some way, that is exactly what you will pay. 

Simple math to reduce rack rate

CLEP and Advanced Placement exams (college credit awarded by exam) award 3-9 college credits per passing score.  A CLEP or AP exam costs roughly $100 dollars and will usually result in 3 college credits.  A family that initiates just one exam for their teen can expect a return on their investment of several hundred, to several thousand dollars.

  • Each CLEP or AP exam that results in 3 college credits at a community college results in a net savings of about $300
  • Each CLEP or AP exam that results in 3 college credits at public 4-year college results in a net savings of about $1200.
  • Each CLEP or AP exam that results in 3 college credits at a private 4-year college results in a net savings of about $3000.

 

The 2018 goal for Homeschooling for College Credit is that each of our member families initiates ONE CLEP or AP exam in their homeschool this year.

When each of our 11,500 members initiates one exam in their homeschool, as a collective community, we will save

Over $3 MILLION DOLLARS off the cost of a community college degree.

Over $13 MILLION DOLLARS off the cost of a public 4-year college degree.

Over $34 MILLION DOLLARS off the cost of a private 4-year college degree.

 

Now, if those numbers are amazing, just imagine if each family took 2 exams?  Or 14?

Injecting credit by exam opportunities in your homeschool, and then guiding your teen into a college that awards credit for their score, is one way you can be pro-active in reducing the cost of your teen’s college degree.  While its true that colleges differ in how many exams they will accept toward a degree, but there are over three-thousand regionally accredited colleges to choose from!  You don’t have to deep-dive into every college’s policy in high school, it’s easy enough to find colleges that accept 15, 31, or more credits by exam – most do.

Why don’t colleges tell parents about this opportunity?  They have no financial incentive! Despite my own background working as a college administrator, I hadn’t heard about CLEP until I stumbled upon it myself.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that our community college not only allowed students to complete 75% of their degree via CLEP and AP, but we were also an official testing center.  (Information available to anyone who asked, of course.)

With most regionally accredited colleges and universities accepting CLEP and or AP credit in some amount, it’s easy enough to take 1 CLEP or AP exam at the very minimum and use it at the school of your choice.   If you want to be a little more extreme, there are a small number of colleges that don’t cap the number of CLEP and AP credits you can bring in.  They are affectionately called “The Big 3” by those of us who obsessively look for opportunities in this category.  The Big 3.


Take encouragement from other families who have started this journey and have shared some of their success on our Facebook page.

We asked:  Has dual enrollment or testing out of a college course saved your family any tuition dollars?

Christine (Ohio) My daughter finished enough credits with CCP that she started as a sophomore. So she will have saved one year of college when she graduates.

Rena (Minnesota) About $25,000 so far.

Lori (Indiana) My son just completed a CLEP test and the cost of the class would have been over $500.

Karen (New Mexico) My son is going to start college with 32 hrs, maybe more if he takes any classes this summer. So, I would say that we’ve saved $12,000-$30,000 in having a year of college done.

Robyn (Florida) My daughter did AP and Dual enrolled. She received credit for all. She is only a sophomore in college now but a junior by credit. It was a nice cushion – but she will probably still spend 4 years at her University to graduate with the dual degree she wants.

Jennifer (Georgia) My daughter took 2 AP tests, 3 CLEPs, did dual enrollment at 2 different colleges and then used my husband’s GI Bill to continue her education. She’s 18 and will be graduating with her Bachelor’s degree this spring with zero college debt!! 

Jude (Iowa) I’m going to quietly admit savings of over 20k using Iowa tuition charges if I paid out of pocket. Net value is MUCH more, as her current school would have charged over $1k per credit hour had we not completed those courses.

Jenifer (New Jersey) AP tests saved us almost a full year of tuition (plus room & board.)

Tanya If we would have paid for last semester of Dual Enrollment it would have been $1100. To date, she has 39 college credits and is taking 11 this semester ($0). Thankful we chose this route.

Julie (Texas) My oldest two of six children both have debt-free college degrees, only possible because they did dual credit and credit by exam throughout high school. They each had about 70 hours before high school graduation.

Mary (Illinois) Between the reduced fees for dual enrollment and scholarships my daughter is expecting to get her associates degree the week after she gets her high school diploma for very little. It is worth looking into and pursuing this option. Besides it completely confounds most college representatives with the fact your child is graduating with college credit!

Susan (Ohio) We spent a total of around ten thousand dollars on my oldest son’s bachelor’s degree, including books! He used cheap community college classes, CLEP exams, DSST exams, and FEMA credits to save money before transferring to his final school for his bachelor’s degree, Thomas Edison State University.

Carissa (New Mexico) By the end of 2018 spring semester, my 15-yr-old will have 21 hours of college credits (and four **free** IT certifications) completed via dual enrollment. He is preparing to CLEP out of French I & II, all History requirements, Psychology, Sociology, all English requirements, and all Economic requirements.

Victoria (Missouri) To date, my daughter has taken 3 CLEPs, resulting in 11 credits (biology transferred to her community college as 5 credits). The cost, including testing center fee, for all 11 totals $300 plus about $50 for study materials (InstantCert and one or two used CLEP guides). So let’s say $350. If my student had taken the same classes at her community college at the current rate of $103 per credit, that would work out to $1133. Plus textbooks for the equivalent courses at about $250 (renting at today’s price). So at least $1383. Total savings so far: $1033.

Wendy (Texas) My dd is going to a private university, and she will go in with 9 hours of dual credit. That will save us about $8400. We are hoping to CLEP some, and each one will save us $2800ish. It is significant savings when going to a 4 yr school.

Teresa (Texas) First student graduated high school with 45 college credits. All transferred. And all but 5 (mostly 1 credit electives) count for the degree choice he made after attending4-year university. It is his second semester at the university and he is 2 credits from being a Junior. The tuition at his public university is almost $11,000/year (living at home), so to answer your question …..Y.E.S.!!! About $22,000!!!

Carol (Minnesota) – she used CLEP and dual enrollment to save SO much money that I wrote a story about her:   We just saved $96,780

Has dual enrollment or testing out of a college course saved your family any tuition dollars?  If so, let us know! Be part of our 10-Million Dollar year!

Posted in College Admission, College Majors, Community college, Dual Enrollment

$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in NC

“My son is taking all his classes for 12th grade at the community college, he will be graduating in May with both his high school diploma from our homeschool and associates degree from our local community college” 

-Jayne L., North Carolina homeschooling parent.

The topic of today’s post is targeted toward our North Carolina families, but the takeaway isn’t that you should relocate to North Carolina, it’s that in almost every state there are strategies you can build around the resources you have available to you.  I know many non-NC adults who “hacked” their education and earned AA or BA degrees for pennies on the dollar (I’m on that list!)  For the motivated, there are a lot of ways to save money, but this post is my deconstruction and then reconstruction of the resources in NC, assembled in a way that maxes out the benefits available to parents.

I like to point out that I volunteer at our county’s library as a college planning expert.  Several times per year I give homeschooling for college credit presentations, championing the educational benefits available to those in North Carolina .  10 times out of 10, a parent will tell me they had no idea these resources were available to their teen, and that their teen could complete a degree this way instead of earning an academic scholarship, or taking on a lot of student loan debt.  Nevermind the opportunity to oversee the process while their teen is still living at home instead of sending them away to college and hoping their college advisors are good stewards of your teen’s time and money.

In short, make it your mission to find the programs in your state, and build a ladder that takes advantage of each and every one- then share that ladder with others.  The more brainpower we have working the problem, the greater we all benefit!

College costs:  Tuition, books, fees, meals, housing, and transportation.  No matter what your teen is doing, they have to live somewhere and eat something.  Sure, they can do that on campus and in a cafeteria, but my advice is that they live and eat at home.  I also like to rent textbooks or buy used editions whenver possible.

You have to plan ahead

Starting in high school, the homeschool parent has the option of bringing college credit into their high school -but since each parent acts as their teen’s guidance counselor, sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know.  Parents are great at high school planning, but may not understand dual enrollment planning.  In high school, the Career and College Promise advisor can help you with dual enrollment, but they aren’t great at helping with degree planning.  In community college, the advisors can help you with your AA/AS degree, but they aren’t great at helping you plan your BA/BS.  At a 4 year university, the advisors can help you earn your BA/BS, but they can’t go back in time to correct the inefficiencies from 1-2-3-4 years earlier.

There is no ONE PERSON IN THE SYSTEM that can advise for your teen from 10th grade through college graduation.  You have to take on the role of guidance counselor – Each employee has their niche, but the only common thread is YOU!  No one cares about the efficiency or cost or time or completion of your teen’s college degree more than you.  There are a lot of moving parts in the process.  BUT,  with a bit of planning and adjusting as your teen advances, they’ll get out the other end with a degree.


High School (Grades 9 & 10)

So, first things first, grades 9 & 10 must be academically robust enough that your teen can test into College Algebra and into College Composition.  In North Carolina, our high school students all have access to a state-wide dual enrollment program called Career & College Promise.  Each of the 58 community colleges has programs (called Pathways) available to your teen, some starting in 9th grade, but most start in 11th grade.  To complete the $2000 Bachelor’s degree, your teen needs to start taking courses in their AA Transfer Pathway or AS Transfer Pathway in fall (August) of 11th grade.

What age?  In NC, dual enrollment isn’t based on age, it’s based on grade.  The homeschool parent gets to decide when their teen is ready for 11th grade.

For teens headed to a 4-year college, taking advantage of the AA Transfer Pathway or the AS Transfer Pathway is a tuition-free way to earn unlimited college credit in high school. (you read that correctly- unlimited)  This is the key component of the $2000 Bachelor’s Degree.  In NC, students choosing one of the Transfer Pathways must meet placement test benchmarks.  If your teen doesn’t meet the benchmark, they can still take college classes, but they won’t be able to follow the plan in this post.  Your teen must take the Accuplacer exam in the middle or end of 10th grade.  If they don’t earn a high enough score, they can retest, but they can’t start until they hit the benchmark. Unlike an SAT or ACT, you can take an Accuplacer anytime you want and as many times as you want- the first time is free.  Simply call your closest NC Community College and schedule it with the testing center.

(Note:  if your teen has already taken the PSAT, SAT, Pre-ACT, ACT, Compass, Asset, PLAN, or NCDAP, your teen’s score may already be high enough to meet this benchmark- ask your local community college’s Career & College Promise coordinator for more help.) 

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High School (Grades 11 & 12)

Grade 11 (FALL) is when your teen must begin their pathway courses.  Your teen will have access to 3 semesters as an 11th grader (fall, spring, summer) and 3 more as a 12th grader (fall, spring, summer).  A pathway consists of about 30 credits and will fit inside of their associate degree, which will fit inside a bachelor’s degree.  Use this for visual reference:

AA Transfer Pathway (30) –> AA Degree (60) –> BA Degree (120)

or

AS Transfer Pathway (30) –> AS Degree (60) –> BS Degree (120)

No matter which community college you use for Career and College Promise classes, the pathway requirements are set at the state level, so “where” they take their classes doesn’t change the process.  Note that your teen is allowed to take pathway classes at any college, it doesn’t have to be your closest campus.  And, the entire AA and AS pathway can be completed online as a distance learning student – so they don’t need to go to campus to take their courses!

“We used two different community colleges and almost a third. One had stronger English and math instructors while the other’s strong suit was history and sociology. The third – CPCC – has a phenomenal online program.”

-Yvonne, Homeschooling for College Credit North Carolina Facebook Moderator

An important point when planning your teen’s courses, it is possible to complete the full AA or AS degree in high school, however, your teen can’t take courses “off-pathway” until they’ve done the entire pathway.  That means, no matter how much your teen wants to take a second psychology course, they won’t have access to the college catalog until every course on the Transfer Pathway has been “checked off.”  The goal is to get off-pathway as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Pathway courses can be completed using community college courses, AP exams for college credit, or CLEP exams for college credit.  Not all NC community colleges apply exam credit the same way- shop around!

If you’re aiming for the most efficient schedule, your teen should enroll accordingly:

  • FALL 11th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 pathway classes)
  • SPRING 11th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 pathway classes)
  • SUMMER between 11th/12th GRADE: 3-6 credits (1-2 pathway/degree classes)
  • FALL 12th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 degree classes)
  • SPRING 12th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 degree classes)

Parents often consider ways to use CLEP or AP exams to either lighten a teen’s course load or accelerate the pathway/degree process.  Keep in mind that CLEP and AP exams cost just under $100 each, so there is an added cost to using these, however, the benefit may be worth it to your family in other ways.  When CLEP and AP credit is earned inside an AA or AS degree that will be used at an NC public university, the exam credit is locked into the transfer agreement and won’t be thrown out – even if the NC public university doesn’t normally award CLEP / AP credit.

“My son took and passed 7 CLEPs during 9th & 10th grade. The AA pathway consists of 11 courses the student must complete before moving on to other classes, his CLEPs knocked out 6 of those classes.  I HIGHLY recommend keeping a spreadsheet to track what your child’s CLEP exams will come in as and what classes they have to complete on the pathway so that you can plan each semester accordingly.”

-NC Homeschooling Parent

If you think 4-5 courses per semester may be too much for your teen, consider enrolling them in the “short” versions of each course.  Most courses come in 2 schedule options, 8 weeks or 16 weeks.  By using 8-week options, you can “stack” 2 courses into a single time slot.

FALL 11th GRADE

  • ENG111 (weeks 1-8)  3 credits
  • ENG 112 (weeks 9-16) 3 credits
  • SOC210 (weeks 1-8) 3 credits
  • PSY150 (weeks 9-16) 3 credits
  • MAT161 (weeks 1-16) 3 credits

Observe that this student is taking 15 credits, but at any given time will only be taking 3 classes at a time (English 1, Sociology, and College Algebra) for 8 weeks, and then (English 2, Psychology, and College Algebra) for 8 weeks.

 What’s on the AA or AS Pathway?


 

Off Pathway- On Degree

At some point in the 11th or 12th grade school year, your teen will be eligible to go “off-pathway” and start checking boxes toward their associate’s degree.  It’s important for me to emphasize that even if your teen can’t finish their entire associate’s degree in high school, that they keep plugging away and finish their degree before matriculating into their target university.  In order to get that “transfer guarantee” offered by our state, your teen must complete the full degree.  Even just one credit short means that their target university will evaluate each and every class, AP, and CLEP exam- which could mean credit being lost in the transfer.  You don’t want that! This whole plan is based on the protected right we have to get a full and perfect transfer.

While working a degree plan, the community college advising team should be included in course selection and guidance with your teen.  You’ll want to be sure that each course brings your teen one step closer to their degree, and that there are no missteps.  Double check that your teen is following the correct degree plan:  AA or AS TRANSFER DEGREE.  Degrees with other titles (Associate of Applied Science, Associate Degree in Nursing, etc.) can transfer too, but the planning is not as cut and dry as AA/AS, and the nuances of planning go beyond the scope of today’s post.  If your teen is pursuing anything other than an AA or AS, they need to check in with their college advisor each and every semester before choosing classes.


 High School and College Graduation

If you worked the plan, your teen will be ready for their high school diploma (issued by you) and will walk across their community college stage to receive their associate’s degree.  Double win!

Having completed the AA/AS degree, your teen will apply to our public universities as a transfer student.  If your teen doesn’t finish the degree and only has accumulated college credit, your teen must apply as a freshman.  Transfer students in North Carolina who hold a full AA/AS degree don’t have to take the SAT exam or meet the “high school entrance” course requirements.

The entire process of exiting a community college with an AA/AS degree and transferring into a public university is HEAVILY REGULATED and standardized by our state.  It’s called our Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, and the contents are public information.  This is a huge advantage because you can learn everything there is to know about the process- just like an academic advisor.  In fact, traditional high school guidance counselors do not advise students on coordinating high school and college graduation simultaneously – it’s beyond their scope of practice.

Don’t be suprised if you encounter the occasional College Admissions Representative who doesn’t know or understand the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement policy as well as you do.  What you’re planning to do is extraordinary.

Tuition Cost for AA / AS Degree:  $0



Onward to the Bachelor’s Degree

To take full advantage of what NC has to offer, you’ll want to tap into their newest program that goes into effect FALL 2018 called North Carolina Promise Program.  The Promise Program has selected 3 colleges in NC that will allow your teen to enroll for a tuition cost of $500 per semester.  This means, your teen can complete their last 2 years of college (4 semesters) for only $2000.  Note that even if your teen doesn’t choose a Promise school, their AA / AS degree is still a guaranteed perfect transfer- but you’ll pay tuition at the rack rate.

You should budget in costs of textbooks (renting or buying used is often a big cost saving) as well as fees.  Most colleges have hidden fees or insurance costs.  You can find these out in advance, and use them as you calculate costs.  EVERY COLLEGE DIFFERS in their fees, so be sure to check all three.

Through NC Promise, the state will significantly reduce student tuition cost at three UNC system institutions – Elizabeth City State University, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University – beginning in Fall 2018. The plan will increase educational access, reduce student debt and grow the state’s economy.  -NC Promise

To keep costs to a bare minimum, you’ll have to address housing.  If you’re fortunate enough to live within commuting distance (Pembroke, Elizabeth City, or Cullowhee) you can avoid the cost of student housing (between $2,000-$4,000 per semester!) by keeping your teen at home.  For two years of housing, this impacts your overall budget by $8,000 – $16,000!  Add in meals, and the “housing question” is no small decision.

What if you don’t live near one of the 3 campuses?  2 of the colleges (UNC-P and WCU) offer a selection of degrees that can be completed as a distance learning student!  While not “every” major could (or should) be completed as a distance learner, but some of the degrees are offered both ways- so distance learning allows your teen to live at home, avoid transportation costs, and save travel time to and from campus.

What about stigma?  Distance learning won’t bring a stigma that came with the older correspondence colleges, degree mills, and shady for-profit schools of the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  Distance learning is now mainstream!  In 2018, over 98% of all public colleges and universities participate in distance learning technology (offers one or more courses in a distance learning format), and in almost every case, no distinction is made on the transcript or degree- in other words, the degree from either of those three state schools is identical whether earned online or on campus.

What about fees?  All colleges add in fees, the million dollar questions are “what kind of fees- and how much are they?”  Some fees you can control, for instance, a parking pass isn’t required if you’re not attending classes on campus, at Western Carolina University that saves you $350 per year.  Elizabeth State also has an $80 laundry fee you won’t have to worry about, but bouncing a check will cost you no less than $25 at each school.

Fees that you should expect include Technology Fees ( about $300/year), Activity Fees (about $600/year), and in some cases, you’ll have a Health Insurance Fee if your teen doesn’t already have health insurance through a parent.  Note that fees for residential (staying on campus) students and distance learning (not staying on campus) are usually different.  Be sure you’re looking at the correct classification.  Also note that with a completed AA/AS degree in hand, your teen isn’t subject to “freshman fees.”


Distance Learning Programs at Promise Schools (2018)

NOTE:  As of this writing, the Promise Program is in progress to launch- you won’t find accurate tuition and fees listed… yet.  I’m even seeing rack rate tuition. Stay tuned.

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC

  • Birth-Kindergarten Teacher
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice 
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Engineering Technology (Off-site/Hybrid Program)
  • Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship
  • RN to BSN (Nursing)

The University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC

  • Criminal Justice
  • Sociology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies (Applied Professional Studies, Applied Information Technology, Criminal Justice, or Public and Non-Profit Administration)
  • Business Administration (Finance, Management, or Marketing.) 

Elizabeth State University, Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth State makes it harder for students to earn a degree via distance learning because they only separate out a list of courses the student can complete online.  I believe that they expect all students to attend on campus as a rule and that online learning allows for exceptions.  Based on what I could cobble together on their website, none of their degrees can be fully completed as a distance learning student.  This may change if their enrollment increases as a result of the Promise Program.  I’ll keep you updated.  Majors offered at Elizabeth State.

Tuition Cost for AA / AS Degree:  $0

Tuition Cost for BA / BS Degree:  $500 per sem x 4 

Tuition Total:  $2,000


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If you’re homeschooling for college credit and live in North Carolina, you’ll want to get the inside scoop by joining our NC HS4CC Facebook group!  Readers from other areas of the country can find their state’s Facebook group here.

In closing, even if you don’t take advantage of the new Promise program, every homeschooling teen in NC can take advantage of the AA/AS option.  More encouragement from the North Carolina Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group:

“My daughter graduated in 2016 with her AA, she transferred to UNCC, moved into her major after taking 2 classes that were needed for it over the summer, and will be graduating with her BS in May ’18 and early admitted to a master’s program and will be graduating that May ’19.”

  –Denise W., NC homeschooling parent


“My daughter transferred to Chapel Hill with her associates in liberal studies. She does have to take three semesters of foreign language and one life fitness class as part of the general requirements to graduate from Chapel Hill, but her Associates fulfilled the rest of the requirements for general ed and she is on track to graduate in two years.”

– Jennifer Brauns Anthony, NC homeschooling parent


“Western was great on transferring my daughters credits even before she committed to attend (which she did not) and if you had a AA or AS completed you were automatically in as a junior”

-Jackie P., NC homeschooling parent

Posted in Dual Enrollment

Dual Enrollment Colleges

Like homeschooling, there is no “one policy” for our entire country – A family in North Carolina enjoys free dual enrollment, while their friends in South Carolina pay a hefty fee- so if your state doesn’t provide an affordable option for your teen and you want them to take college courses in high school, you may want to look outside your state. 

Many colleges offer “distance learning” dual enrollment opportunities to any teen- you don’t have to live in that state!  (The schools on this all do)  In addition, you’ll want to be sure to use wisdom about choosing courses that will transfer into your teen’s future target college.  The #1 criteria colleges use for transfer credit is Regional Accreditation -every college on this list is Regionally Accredited, which is to say they meet the minimum standard.  There is no “higher” accreditation than regional, but a college ultimately decides for itself whether or not to accept transfer credit.  If you’d like to dive deeper into transfer credit, this transfer guide will help

Also, schools review and revise their policies from time to time, so if you notice a mistake, let us know.  We strive to keep this list up to date!  

Finally, comparing options can be frustrating, so if you’re not already in your state’s Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group, I would highly recommend it so you can communicate with other families in your state.  That’s the best way to find out what’s available locally before you have to go outside your area.  The best resource we have is the collection of our shared effort.


Bluefield College (Bluefield, Virginia)

Type of school:  Private 4 year regionally accredited Christian college

Delivery: on campus or online

Called:  Dual Enrollment

Assessment scores required:  No

Cost for out of state:  $175 per course ($58 per credit)

Books: additional cost

Course offerings:  selected courses

NOTE:  Residents of UT, NY, WI, KY, RI, NJ not eligible

Meg G, a parent from our FB group, has this to say:  “My son is in his second year of Dual Enrollment on the Associate’s in General Studies track at Bluefield, and he is also a senior in high school. He earned 27-semester credits at BC last year. During his first year at BC, Bluefield was great, but now in his second year, we’ve discovered some negatives… PROS: 1.) Inexpensive 2.) No testing required for admission, and no testing required for English and Math courses.  3.) Challenging coursework but doable. 4.) Small class size and professors are accessible. 4.) 8-week terms which is perfect for holding my sons’ attention and interest. 5.) Accepts CLEP, DTTS, and ACE credits. 6.) Christian college but does not push their philosophy on students.  CONS: 1.) VERY INFLEXIBLE about course substitutions. (My son got closed out of most of his required classes this fall, and BC would not allow him to substitute one of THEIR OWN literature courses for the literature course that he needed.) 2.) Will not accept courses from other colleges unless they match exactly the course that they offer. 3.) They (the registrar) often lose paperwork and do not reply back quickly…At least that’s what our experience has been.”


Bryan College (Dayton, Tennessee)

Type of school:  Private 4 year regionally accredited Christian college

Delivery: On campus or online

Called:  Dual Enrollment

Assessment scores required:  Yes

Cost for out of state:  $166/credit.  TN students receive a special grant scholarship reducing tuition by 99%.

Books: additional cost

Course offerings:  selected offerings

NOTE:  Allow dual enrolled students in the study abroad program


Liberty University (Lynchburg, Virginia)

Type of school:  Private 4 year regionally accredited Christian college

Delivery: Online

Called:  Dual Enrollment

Assessment scores required:  No

Cost for out of state:  $182/credit.

Books: additional cost

Course offerings:  selected offerings

NOTE:  Students must be in 10th grade or higher (no age restriction)


New Mexico Junior College (Hobbs, New Mexico)

Type of school:  Public 2 year regionally accredited community college

Delivery:  on campus or online

Called: Concurrent Enrollment

Assessment scores required:  Yes

Cost for out of state:  $64 per credit (1-11 credits) $768 flat rate (12+ credits)

Books:  additional cost

Course offerings:  access to full catalog


Troy University (Troy, Alabama)

Type of school: Public 4 year regionally accredited university

Delivery: Online

Called:  Accelerate

Assessment scores required:  minimum score of 20 on the ACT, 950 on the SAT, or recommendation letter from a high school counselor.

Cost for out of state:  $169/credit.

Books: additional cost

Course offerings:  selected offerings

NOTE:  Students must be in 10th grade or higher (no age restriction)


 

Posted in CLEP, Sociology

CLEP Psychology

Official CLEP Psychology Page

The Psychology exam is a great first CLEP for your teen.  The content is manageable in a semester and is a great 1/2 credit elective for high school students that can yield 3 college credits.  Note- for teens applying to competitive colleges, you may instead want to consider The College Board’s other exam product:  Advanced Placement

Already confused? watch my “What is CLEP?” video

What is psychology?  It is the academic study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior.

cautionCLEP at home -vs- COLLEGE ENROLLMENT

Topics like sexual development, sexuality, gender roles, and mental health are always included in a basic Psychology 101 course -these are areas you probably want to oversee with your minor teen at this age.  College courses are based on the premise that the attendees are adults, so no consideration is given to your teen’s age.  Choosing a “more conservative” or “more liberal” college doesn’t assure that the teacher’s opinions will match yours.  As a parent, it is my opinion that your minor teen (under age 18) learn this content at home with you, and take the CLEP exam as opposed to as a dual enrollment college course with an instructor/professor.  

If you want simple:  select a college textbook and simply have your teen read it.  That will cover the curriculum.  You’ll want to follow learning with some test prep and maybe a few practice tests.  In our home, I consistently use a layering technique to teach my children subjects that will also be part of a CLEP exam.  I like to include documentaries, homework, field trips, research papers and the like- but how deep you dive is really up to you.  I put a video on youtube explaining how to layer resources.

For the curious, I took this exam March 2007 and earned a score of 64.  Jennifer Cook-DeRosa



Introductory Psychology

Overview

The Introductory Psychology exam covers material that is usually taught in a one-semester undergraduate introductory course in psychology. It stresses basic facts, concepts, and generally accepted principles in history; approaches and methods of psychology; biological bases of behavior, sensation, and perception; states of consciousness; learning; cognition; motivation and emotion; personality; psychological disorders and treatment; social psychology; and statistics, tests, and measurements.

The exam contains approximately 95 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time test takers spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

The questions on the CLEP Introductory Psychology exam adhere to the terminology, criteria, and classifications referred to in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Introductory Psychology exam require test takers to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities.

  • Knowledge of terminology, principles, and theory
  • Ability to comprehend, evaluate, and analyze problem situations
  • Ability to apply knowledge to new situations

The subject matter of the Introductory Psychology exam is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

History, Approaches, Methods (8–9%)

  • History of psychology
  • Approaches: biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic
  • Research methods: experimental, clinical, correlational
  • Ethics in research

Biological Bases of Behavior (8–9%)

  • Endocrine system
  • Etiology
  • Functional organization of the nervous system
  • Genetics
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Physiological techniques

Sensation and Perception (7–8%)

  • Attention
  • Other senses: somesthesis, olfaction, gestation, vestibular system
  • Perceptual development
  • Perceptual processes
  • Receptor processes: vision, audition
  • Sensory mechanisms: thresholds, adaptation

States of Consciousness (5–6%)

  • Hypnosis and meditation
  • Psychoactive drug effects
  • Sleep and dreaming

Learning (10–11%)

  • Biological bases
  • Classical conditioning
  • Cognitive process in learning
  • Observational learning
  • Operant conditioning

Cognition (8–9%)

  • Intelligence and creativity
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Thinking and problem solving

Motivation and Emotion (7–8%)

  • Biological bases
  • Hunger, thirst, sex, pain
  • Social motivation
  • Theories of emotion
  • Theories of motivation

Developmental Psychology (8–9%)

  • Dimensions of development: physical, cognitive, social, moral
  • Gender identity and sex roles
  • Heredity-environment issues
  • Research methods: longitudinal, cross-sectional
  • Theories of development

Personality (7–8%)

  • Assessment techniques
  • Growth and adjustment
  • Personality theories and approaches
  • Research methods: idiographic, nomothetic
  • Self-concept, self-esteem

Psychological disorders and health (8–9%)

  • Affective disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Health, stress, and coping
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychoses
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Theories of psychopathology

Treatment of psychological disorders (7–8%)

  • Behavioral therapies
  • Biological and drug therapies
  • Cognitive therapies
  • Community and preventive approaches
  • Insight therapies: psychodynamic and humanistic approaches

Social Psychology (7–8%)

  • Aggression/antisocial behavior
  • Attitudes and attitude change
  • Attribution processes
  • Conformity, compliance, obedience
  • Group dynamics
  • Interpersonal perception

Statistics, Tests, and Measurement (3–4%)

  • Descriptive statistics
  • Inferential statistics
  • Measurement of intelligence
  • Reliability and validity
  • Samples, populations, norms
  • Types of tests

Study Resources

Most textbooks used in college-level introductory psychology courses cover the topics in the outline given earlier, but the approaches to certain topics and the emphases given to them may differ. To prepare for the Introductory Psychology exam, it is advisable to study one or more college textbooks, which can be found in most college bookstores. When selecting a textbook, check the table of contents against the knowledge and skills required for this test. You may also find it helpful to supplement your reading with books listed in the bibliographies that can be found in most psychology textbooks.

K12 Curriculum

Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op is offering 25% off HMH Psychology Curriculum a secular high school level full curriculum.

Textbooks

A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.

Online Resources

These resources, compiled by the CLEP test development committee and staff members, may help you study for your exam. However, none of these sources are designed specifically to provide preparation for a CLEP exam. The College Board has no control over their content and cannot vouch for accuracy.

Score Information

Credit Granting Score for Introductory Psychology

ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.



Homeschooling for College Credit Recommends…

This free online Psychology 101 textbook is very well organized and easy to use.  It might be a good place for a parent to do a little background reading before getting started.

An excellent free video series Discovering Psychology by Annenberg Media to round out your psychology curriculum.

You can buy workbooks to go along with most subjects [Annenberg Media]. Give them a call. They have sent me any samples. -Stephanie J from Facebook

The best CLEP prep book on the market for this exam is the REA CLEP Psychology Guide (2nd edition).  It includes practice tests in the back that explain “why” an answer is right or wrong.  HIGHLY recommended.  Two different parents confirmed my experience using this book.

I used the REA second edition for the CLEP Introductory Psychology exam and she scored a 71.  -homeschooling parent from Illinois

One of my kids passed it with no background after studying only the REA book. -homeschooling dad from Texas

A fully online free course offered by St. Margaret’s Episcopal School via the edX partnership Psychology 101

A fully online free course offered by University of Toronto via the Coursera partnership Psychology 101

A fully online free course offered by MIT via the Open Courseware partnership Psychology 101

Free CLEP Prep has a study guide and a practice exam for this test!

InstantCert has an online flashcard study program and a Specific Exam Resource file where members share feedback about the exam in real time.  Use code 100150 to get $5 off the $20 cost.  *If you drop by, be sure to say hello!  I’m a daily contributing member there under the username Cookderosa.  

We used these last year when my daughter took psychology. She found the videos interesting. -Katrinka G from Facebook

 

Saylor Academy offers a completely free Psychology 101 online course. They offer an exam that awards college credit for $25, however, their exam is only worth 2 credits, whereas the CLEP exam is worth 3 credits.

The Modern States organization offers a completely free Psychology 101 video-based online course. As a bonus, they are currently issuing vouchers to take the CLEP exam for FREE to anyone who asks.  Reducing your CLEP cost to $0? Yes, please!

Crash Course Psychology is youtube based accelerated study series, and a good review tool!

My 17 year old daughter just passed the Psychology test with a score of 61. -Texas homeschool parent

Sparks Notes Psychology Study Guide is a free online note site that outlines all the major aspects of psychology.

If you’re looking for something on paper, I love laminated study charts like the one in this photo.  I have a ton of them covering about a dozen subjects.  You can almost always get them for under ten bucks, and they will outline and zero in on all the major topics/dates/names/etc. for the subject without fluff.   Psychology Quick Reference Guide

 

Content Clusters

A study strategy commonly used to make the most of learning includes forming “content clusters” and taking multiple exams that cover the same topics.  Psychology is a good subject for forming a content cluster because it is covered on more than one CLEP exam. These are separate exams that yield separate credits so a successful content cluster in psychology can reward big returns.

These 3 CLEP exams will share psychology content to some extent:

Introductory Psychology

Human Growth and Development (note that the DSST exam called Lifespan Developmental Psychology is considered the same exam by colleges, so do not add that exam to your cluster!  They won’t award credit for both)

Introduction to Educational Psychology

The DSST exam Fundamentals of Counseling doesn’t count as a psychology credit at most colleges, however, it does have its foundation in psychology and would be an added bonus if your teen is interested in pursuing fields in counseling, teaching, child development, or social work.

 

 

 


Affiliate links are may be included in this post where applicable.  Making your purchase using an affiliate link does not change the price you pay for something, but keeps this site alive and ad-free.    

Posted in CLEP, Sociology

CLEP Sociology

Official CLEP Sociology Page

The Sociology exam is a great first CLEP for your teen.  The content is manageable in a semester and is a great 1/2 credit elective for high school students that can yield 3 college credits.

Already confused? watch my “What is CLEP?” video

What is sociology?  It is the academic study of the development, structure, and function of a human society and its problems.  

cautionThis CLEP at home -vs- COLLEGE ENROLLMENT

Topics like marriage, family, gender roles, politics, and poverty are always included in a basic Sociology 101 course -these are areas you probably want to oversee with your minor teen at this age.  College courses are based on the premise that the attendees are adults, so no consideration is given to your teen’s age.  Choosing a “more conservative” or “more liberal” college doesn’t assure that the teacher’s opinions will match yours.  As a parent, it is my opinion that your minor teen (under age 18) learn this content at home with you, and take the CLEP exam as opposed to as a dual enrollment college course with an instructor/professor.  

If you want simple:  select a college textbook and simply have your teen read it.  That will cover the curriculum.  You’ll want to follow learning with some test prep and maybe a few practice tests.  In our home, I consistently use a layering technique to teach my children subjects that will also be part of a CLEP exam.  I like to include documentaries, homework, field trips, research papers and the like- but how deep you dive is really up to you.  I put a video on youtube explaining how to layer resources.

For the curious, I took this exam Feburary 2007 and earned a score of 65.  Jennifer Cook-DeRosa



Introductory Sociology

Overview

The Introductory Sociology exam is designed to assess an individual’s knowledge of the material typically presented in a one-semester introductory-level sociology course at most colleges and universities. The examination emphasizes basic facts and concepts as well as general theoretical approaches used by sociologists on the topics of institutions, social patterns, social processes, social stratifications, and the sociological perspective. Highly-specialized knowledge of the subject and the methodology of the discipline is not required or measured by the test content.

The exam contains approximately 100 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. Any time test takers spend on tutorials and providing personal information is in addition to the actual testing time.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Questions on the Introductory Sociology exam require test takers to demonstrate one or more of the following abilities. Some questions may require more than one of these abilities.

  • Identification of specific names, facts, and concepts from sociological literature
  • Understanding of relationships between concepts, empirical generalizations, and theoretical propositions of sociology
  • Understanding of the methods by which sociological relationships are established
  • Application of concepts, propositions, and methods to hypothetical situations
  • Interpretation of tables and charts

The subject matter of the Introductory Sociology exam is drawn from the following topics. The percentages next to the main topics indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions on that topic.

Institutions (20%)

  • Economic
  • Educational
  • Family
  • Medical
  • Political
  • Religious

Social Patterns (10%)

  • Community
  • Demography
  • Human ecology
  • Rural/urban patterns

Social Processes (25%)

  • Collective behavior and social movements
  • Culture
  • Deviance and social control
  • Groups and organizations
  • Social change
  • Social interaction
  • Socialization

Social Stratification (Process and Structure) (25%)

  • Aging
  • Power and social inequality
  • Professions and occupations
  • Race and ethnic relations
  • Sex and gender roles
  • Social class
  • Social mobility

The Sociological Perspective (20%)

  • History of sociology
  • Methods
  • Sociological theory

Study Resources

As you read sociology textbooks, take notes that address the following issues which are fundamental to most questions that appear on the test:

  • What is society? What is culture? What is common to all societies, and what is characteristic of American society?
  • What are other basic concepts in sociology that help to describe human nature, human interaction, and the collective behavior of groups, organizations, institutions, and societies?
  • What methods do sociologists use to study, describe, analyze, and observe human behavior?

I watched a whole series of videos on YouTube from Crash Course – very helpful!! – 17-year-old teen from Ohio

K12 Curriculum

Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op is offering 25% off HMH Sociology Curriculum a secular high school level full curriculum.

Textbooks

A survey conducted by CLEP found that the following textbooks are among those used by college faculty who teach the equivalent course. You might purchase one or more of these online or at your local college bookstore.

Score Information

Credit Granting Score for Introductory Sociology

ACE Recommended Score*: 50
Semester Hours: 3

Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from that of ACE. Contact your college as soon as possible to find out the score it requires to grant credit, the number of credit hours granted, and the course(s) that can be bypassed with a satisfactory score.


This was definitely harder than I anticipated.  – 14-year-old homeschooled teen from Texas


Homeschooling for College Credit Recommends…

The best CLEP prep book on the market for this exam is the REA CLEP Sociology Guide.  It includes practice tests in the back that explain “why” an answer is right or wrong.  HIGHLY recommended.

Free CLEP Prep has a study guide and a practice exam for this test!

InstantCert has an online flashcard study program and a Specific Exam Resource file where members share feedback about the exam in real time.  Use code 100150 to get $5 off the $20 cost.  *If you drop by, be sure to say hello!  I’m a daily contributing member there under the username Cookderosa.  

I scored a 59 on the CLEP exam today.  -16-year-old Homeschool teen from Iowa

Free online Sociology course through Arizona State University (non-credit) but can serve as your curriculum.

Free online VIDEO based Sociology course through New York University (non-credit) but can serve as your curriculum.

Saylor Academy offers a completely free Sociology 101 online course. They offer an exam that awards college credit for $25, however since their exam is only worth 1 credit, whereas the CLEP exam is worth 3 credits.

The Modern States organization offers a completely free Sociology 101 video-based online course. As a bonus, they are currently issuing vouchers to take the CLEP exam for FREE to anyone who asks.  Reducing your CLEP cost to $0? Yes, please!

Crash Course Sociology is youtube based accelerated study series, and a good review tool!

Sparks Notes Sociology Study Guide is a free online note site that outlines all the major aspects of sociology

 

If you’re looking for something on paper I love laminated study charts like the one in this photo.  I have a ton of them covering about a dozen subjects.  You can almost always get them for under ten bucks, and they will outline and zero in on all the major topics/dates/names/etc. for the subject without fluff.   Sociology Quick Reference Guide

 

 

My 17-year-old daughter passed Intro to Sociology today with a 58! -Texas parent