Winter Break, Minimesters, Accelerated Terms

Regionally Accredited (RA) Graded Credit has the highest level of transferability and acceptance. These credits result in a letter grade on a college transcript. Credit options in this section are solidly transferable into colleges that accept transfer credit.

A great way to squeeze a little extra college credit out of this academic year is through winter break, ministers, or accelerated terms. You can expect that any regionally accredited college offering this option means excellent transferability for your teen.

We see a trend among colleges to fill each and every blank spot in their school year- especially since COVID propelled every college into remote learning, and that changed the way many colleges looked at using that technology. You’ll see a mix of online and on campus options using these accelerated schedules.

One of my favorite college classes was offered as a minimester through my local community college. The class took place entirely inside of Christmas break. I completed a 3-credit course that I transferred back to my regular degree program at my 4-year university. The course lasted only 14 days! I didn’t find the workload impossible (brisk, but doable).

Just this year, my son’s community college started offering 4, 4-week classes per 16-week semester. Offered as Fall 1, Fall 2, Fall 3, and Fall 4, these 4 courses are worth 3 college credits, making it possible for a student to take 24 credits per semester while only taking 2 courses at a time. Again, this will be a very fast paced course(s) but the flexibility is amazing.

Harvard University (Massachusetts) offers my other favorite winter option, called “January session.” Offered through their Continuing Education College, and take place for only 20 days in January!  These courses are open to anyone age 15 or older (undergraduate level) or 18 and older for graduate credit.  There is no application fee and no selection process. Simply enroll, and attend! (Harvard DOES have requirements for enrolling in their degree programs, the most significant is that your teen has to graduate high school first- but they can still take classes now! Read about Harvard classes for college credit here.

Accelerated terms, winter sessions, January sessions, Minimesters, or programs like these are excellent classes for homeschooled students. Local colleges generally provide the lowest tuition rate to members of that community (sometimes for FREE) but if your school doesn’t have any options, don’t hesitate to look outside your community.