College subjects are not treated equally. In this post, we’ll predict where your teen’s English 101 or Management CLEP should fall once they go to college. This is important because choosing college courses for your teen to take while in high school can be a little overwhelming, and this piece of the puzzle will help you tremendously.
This list is a general guide to help you understand where your teen’s college credit accumulated in high school might fall once they go to college. Note: if your teen is already enrolled in college or is certain of the college they’ll attend, disregard this list and ask the college directly. This is a guide for those 1 or more years away from enrollment.
If you want to read one of my earlier posts about how courses become accepted for credit, see my post on Will it Transfer? That’s the Wrong Question
Let’s proceed as if the credit has been accepted into the college. A typical FILTER process looks something like this:
- All credit that has been accepted starts here. This may include CLEP, AP, dual enrollment, or transfer credit. Courses must be 100 level or equivalent.
Degree Distribution Directive
- In every degree, there are some directives that are vague- it may ask for “6 credits in social science” or it may be specific “3 credits Psychology and 3 credits US History.” In every case, credit is first evaluated to see if it meets one of the directives for the degree. Once a slot is full, credit overflows to the next filter below.
General Education Elective
- The number of general education electives vary by the college but can be as many as 30 or more. General Education Electives are made up of courses also known as LIBERAL ARTS. It is unusual for a non-liberal arts course to count as a General Education Elective, but this can vary by school. Once GE Electives are full, credit overflows to the next filter below.
Free / Open Electives
- Not all colleges or degrees have openings called Free or Open Electives. If yours does, this is a “catch-all” category that includes all overflowed credit as well as credit that was accepted by the college, but for but didn’t fill any of the requirements of the degree. Non-liberal arts courses that don’t meet the earlier filters all overflow here. Some degrees deliberately allow for a lot of free electives to encourage adult students to return to college.
TIPS for 4-YEAR BACHELOR OF ARTS/ SCIENCE degree seekers: As you see in the filter process, accumulating a lot of non-liberal arts credit before you’ve selected a school or degree can be risky later – as a rule of thumb for high school students who plan to earn a 4 year degree, take no more than 1 non-liberal arts course for every 2 liberal arts courses. This ratio will make for optimum transfer.
Tips for ASSOCIATE OF APPLIED SCIENCE degree seekers: It’s likely that your degree will require no more than 15 general education courses. If possible, your best bet is to no accumulate more than 6 credits in any one liberal arts category. For instance, no more than 6 credits of history. The majority of your degree will consist of degree-specific courses, so you don’t need a lot of liberal arts/gen eds.
Tips for ASSOCIATE OF ARTS seekers: Most of the AA degrees consist entirely of liberal arts courses. As such, choose only courses from the liberal arts list.
The following subjects are usually classified as LIBERAL ARTS
Art / Fine Art
Mathematics / Statistics
The following subjects are usually NOT classified as LIBERAL ARTS
Automotive / Engine / Body / Machine
Allied Health / Dental
Business / Accounting
Health Education / PE / Fitness
Health Services / Medical Assistant
Home Economics / Culinary Arts
Management / Business /Human Resources
Marketing / Sales / Advertising / Graphic Design
Nursing / Nursing Assistant
Recreation / Coaching / Sport / Leisure
Rehabilitation Services / Counseling
Secretarial Science / Administrative Assistant
Social Work / Counseling
Technical Services / Repair
Student Success / Study Skills / Intro to College / Orientation
Parents who are trying to plan a full college degree can start here: Degree Planning 101