Google’s IT Support Certificate is great way to bring a LOT of high school credit into your homeschool, and there are 2 ways you can get college credit for the program. This post explores both, and how to compare and choose which is better for your teen.
The Google IT Support Professional certificate is available 2 ways, both are available to any student of any grade, so if you have a teen interested in Information Technology, this could make an excellent high school course for your teen. Based on the general guidelines for determining high school credit, I recommend each be recorded differently on a high school transcript and for different amounts of high school credit.
The course objective is to prepare beginner-level learners for an entry-level role in IT Support in about six months. This hands-on online training is developed exclusively by Google and hosted on Coursera.
Which of the 2 options you choose depends on several factors, and neither is “best” because they are identical credentials- but which one you choose depends on your teen’s future goals, target college, and budget.
Option 1: Coursera
This is the cheapest of the two paths because you pay monthly for Coursera and move at your own pace. Motivated teens might be able to do the entire thing in a month or two, though though the average timeframe is 6 months (1 semester). You could absolutely stretch this out to occupy a full year in your homeschool schedule, but since you’re paying monthly, you’ll want to weigh the cost/time balance. Coursera charges $39 per month which begins after your 7 day free trial period.
Coursera courses are not worth college credit, but in this instance, Google has had this certificate evaluated for college credit through American Council on Education ACE. ACE credit does not transfer well, but it does transfer well enough that it’s worth considering.
PRO TIP: If your teen is earning college credit from Sophia, Studycom, Straighterline, or Saylor Academy and they plan to use a partner college to one of those companies, then the odds of getting credit for THIS certificate are VERY GOOD.
ACE’s entry for this certificate is 12 credits:
- Lower-Division Baccalaureate 6 Computer Information Systems
- Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Cybersecurity Fundamentals
- Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Computer Networking
Suggested transcript entry and high school credit award:
- Google IT Support Certificate, 1 hs credits per semester when done over 2 semesters
- Google IT Support Certificate, 2 hs credits when done in 1 semester
Option 2: Arizona State University Universal Learner
This is the same credential, but when earned through ASU, it is now in an entirely different league. If your student takes the credit through ASU, they now have “actual” college credit from a regionally accredited 4-year university that appears on an official university transcript. This is a big distinction, and now the credit is likely to transfer to almost every other college or university in the country that accepts transfer credit. ASU makes this easy by breaking the certificate down into 6 individual courses, each with “real” names and grades. In addition, 2 of the courses are upper level credit!
A consideration when taking this route is that the courses now cost more, but since it is a flat rate cost, you’re no longer obligated to race through the courses, and can plug them into your homeschool one at a time or over a couple semesters. how you pay can be spread out in a very manageable way and the utility is better. Also, since these courses are each college courses with a grade, you can now award credit as dual enrollment, which gives you a reason to follow the 3:1 ratio as well as weighting the GPA! Taken this way, your teen can earn 5 high school credits and 15 college credits.
Suggested transcript entry and high school credit award:
- CIS194: Business Technology Fundamentals, 0.5 credit
- CIS194: Computer Networking in Organizations, 0.5 credit
- CIS194: OS Management for Business, 1 credit
- CIS294: Systems Admin and IT Infrastructure, 1 credit
- CIS394: Introduction to IT Security in an Organization, 1 credit
- CIS402: Privacy, Ethics, and Compliance, 1 credit
3 Key Points about ASU Universal Learner:
- Any student of any age – there are no admissions requirements, placement testing, or geographic restrictions. You will not send in your teen’s high school transcript, and they can begin at any time. Homeschooling for College Credit a partner organization with ASU and we work closely with ASU to bring these options to our community. We have our own HS4CC with ASU Courses Facebook group started to specifically to support our families using these ASU courses! (about 3,500 parents) We do not receive financial compensation in any way-shape-or form from ASU!
- Students can fail without consequences. Their structure is such that you only pay for their grade to be recorded after the course, and only if you like it. This means a poor grade is never revealed to future colleges and is fully purged from their record. Successful grades are transcribed at the end of the class and only with your permission.
- $25/$400. ASU’s Universal Learner courses all follow the same payment process. You pay only $25 for the course. If, after course ends, you do decide to have it recorded as college credit by ASU, you pay a fee of $400. You have up to 12 months to do so, but if you want college credit you have to pay the fee. If you don’t, that’s fine, you simply record high school credit and move on.
Costs for this program:
- If done only as high school credit, no college credit is desired: $150
- If done with the intention of earning college credit: $2,150
Course 1: $25, free to transcribe = $25
Course 2: $25 + $400 transcription = $425
Course 3: $25 + $400 transcription = $425
Course 4: $25 + $400 transcription = $425
Course 5: $25 + $400 transcription = $425
Course 6: $25 + $400 transcription = $425
For 15 college credits, the break down is about $144/credit, which is certainly cheaper than any university tuition.
Which is Best?
Choose ASU if….
- your student prefers to work slowly over time
- your teen’s future target college is unknown
- your teen will major in IT/Tech
- dual enrollment is not free in your state
- you want your teen to receive a letter grade on a college transcript
- you want weighted GPA courses (5.0)
- your teen’s future target college only accepts regionally accredited credit for transfer.
Choose Coursera if…
- your teen works quickly (can complete in under 6 months)
- your teen’s target college accepts ACE credit
- college credit is unnecessary
- you are not weighting their GPA (4.0)
- not enrolling a future IT/Tech major