Posted in ACE, ALEKS, Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS: ALEKS is dead

ALEKS, an ACE-evaluated online math course that many of our families have used as homeschool curriculum and college credit may be dead effective this week.

ALEKS posted this statement on their website:

It is uncertain whether ALEKS will be recertified for the ACE credit program. Unfortunately, after August 31, 2017, users will not be able to request ACE Credit approval for work done in ALEKS. We are working to resolve the recertification issues.  We cannot guarantee success in these efforts. If and when we are successful, requests for approval will again be accepted, including work done during the interval of suspended certification. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Anyone who completed an ALEKS assessment with 70% or better BEFORE August 31, 2017 can still submit their score to ACE for college credit.  If you are in progress, you can continue to use the program for high school credit, but college credit is currently off the table unless ALEKS gains new approval.

For years, I’ve followed ALEKS through renewals and extensions, all while they’ve continued to use the same platform and course structure.  Read ALEKS has problems…to understand some of the issues I thought might be the cause of constant uncertainty. Earlier this year, we saw the first expiration happen, and then a renewal.  ALEKS Has EXPIRED *again* – what now? And then an expiration, and then a renewal.  Our suspicions about change were confirmed when they did a revamp of their platform, a change suspected to improve user experience, but also partly to please ACE.

I’m confident that their lack of proctoring is a problem.  In private conversations with an ACE Evaluator (off the record) my suspicions were confirmed, and frankly, I expected the 8/31/2017 renewal to happen with the added proctoring.  It appears, however, as if ALEKS may not even be trying to add this safeguard to their program.

For now, ALEKS is dead.  As always, I’ll keep you posted.

 

Posted in ACE, ALEKS, Alternative Credit Project, Foreign Language, Sophia, Straighterline, Study.com

Creating an ACE Account for your Homeschooled Teen

You’ll need to create an ACE account anytime your teen takes a course NOT taught by a college, but is “for college credit.”  This includes curriculum or exams you purchase for your homeschool, as well as on the job training or certificates that may result in college credit.

Even when the company tells you they can forward your credit directly to the college of your choice, that doesn’t create a permanent record. You are wise to put the credit on an ACE transcript where it will be held for 20 years and can be sent to any college at any time now or later.


Taking courses from these providers?

Set up an ACE account!

  • Straighterline
  • Saylor Academy
  • ALEKS
  • Sophia Learning
  • Study.com
  • TEEX
  • Shmoop
  • ACTFL
  • Alternative Credit Project
  • Ed4Credit
  • Lumerit / College Plus
  • Excelsior College Exams (Uexcel / ECE)
  • Penn Foster College
  • PADI (scuba)
  • Pearson Learning
  • Statistics.com
  • Verity
  • Year Up

Link to set up your teen’s ACE account  ACE-Net


I thought I was the only one that couldn’t figure out how to set up an ACE account, but slowly parents kept asking about how to do it, and I realized, it’s just a tricky website!! If you get stuck, you may want to watch my click by click tutorial.

Posted in ALEKS, Breaking News

ALEKS Expired – Changes Coming?

BREAKING NEWS:  ALEKS is currently approved as a curriculum provider and NOT for college credit.    


Briefly, ALEKS is an online inexpensive math curriculum that awards college credit for a handful of their courses.  Over the past several years, they’ve undergone a renewal of their accreditation, and most recently, they’ve been in a back-and-forth tug between renewal and expiration of their accreditation.  You can read all about ALEKS’ history in several posts:  ALEKS follow-up & shut-down and how we built a strategy to deal with the constant uncertainty here: ALEKS Has EXPIRED *again* – what now?.

I want to share the correspondence that was forwarded to me today by an ACE reviewer. Of course, names have been removed.  I expect HUGE changes to the ALEKS platform this summer.  As such, you have from now until then to complete an ALEKS course in its current format.

“Good Afternoon [removed],
I hope this note finds you well. I wanted to provide you an update on the ACE accreditation for our ALEKS platform that we discussed at [removed].  I have been in close communication with our math product team and was told this morning we are in the middle of going through the reaccreditation process now. The initial [removed] with ACE will be in the next week and the onsite course review is proposed for June. The goal is to have everything approved by early July. In the meantime, our accreditation has been extended until ACE can prepare a final report.”

 

Posted in ALEKS, Breaking News

ALEKS Has EXPIRED *again* – what now?

*EXTENSION OVER*

It looks as if we’ve once again hit the ALEKS extension deadline without any word about renewal or extensions.  If you’re still working on ALEKS, the strategy we talked about in March is still a good one.  (Continued below)


If you have missed the ALEKS saga, or want to know more about them, you should read my previous ALEKS post here.

Let’s move forward with a strategy. 

     Many members have shared the feedback they’ve received from ALEKS, I’ve received feedback, I’ve talked to ACE, I’ve talked to a friend that is an ACE evaluator, and when I sort it all out, I think we will probably see some type of renewal, eventually.
To be clear: no one has confirmed anything, which means this is only speculation on my part.  If I had to put odds on my speculation, I think it’s better than 50:50 that we’ll see a renewal.
as such…
     I’m going to operate under the assumption that there will be an eventual renewal.  It could happen tomorrow, it could happen next week, it could happen in 6 months- I don’t dare to guess.  But if we operate under the assumption that a renewal will happen, let’s plan what this means for your teens starting tomorrow morning.
  1. DO NOT SUBMIT THEIR COURSE TO ACE!!!!  Your teen can keep working, but when your teen finishes (70% or greater on an assessment) do not submit their course to ACE.  Submitting your teen’s course now means they’ll have a date attached to it during a period when they are not approved to award credit.  You won’t be able to change this date later, even if ALEKS receives approval later.  Submitting a course during this unapproved date range will result in NO CREDIT.
  2. KEEP YOUR SUBSCRIPTION ACTIVE.  If you can continue your monthly subscription without placing a hardship on your family’s finances, keep doing so while we wait this out.  Have your teen continue to work their pie, practice, refresh their memory, and just keep their account active for at least the next several months.  Submitting a course as complete during this unapproved date range will result in NO CREDIT.  If we see several months pass without word, you may want to consider canceling, but if you can hold out a little bit, it may work in your favor.
  3. WAIT FOR RENEWAL.  Once the renewal is granted, go ahead and “finish” the course by submitting their course to ACE.  As long as their account with ALEKS is active and their last assessment was 70% or better, they’ll receive credit.

Historical Pattern for ALEKS

     Since ALEKS first appeared on the scene, we’ve watched their credit period expire twice.  Twice before, ALEKS’ college credit approval did not immediately renew but did eventually renew.  Twice before, we had a couple months of lag before a new extension was granted, and twice before, ACE “backdated” the renewal date to match the date of expiration.  In other words, they fudged the numbers so there was no “gap” period in their credit status.  This made a lot of people happy.

     There are at least 2 cases of members over on the InstantCert forum who actually completed ALEKS during the unapproved period and were GRANTED credit before ACE renewed.  I believe both members were students at Thomas Edison State University (an exceptionally generous university regarding credit).  It is my strongest suggestion not to play those odds.  We can’t count on ACE backdating a new approval, and if they don’t, we’ll have a “dead zone” of unapproved credit.


     So, be patient.  At this point, use ALEKS as your math curriculum and carry on business as usual.  As always, I’ll keep you up to date on any developments as soon as they are released.  I hope we hear something soon.
Posted in ALEKS, Breaking News, Self-Paced Learning

ALEKS follow-up & shut-down

(UPDATED POST  February 27, 2017)

It looks like ACE and ALEKS have extended the completion deadline to December 31, 2016January 31, 2017.  February 28, 2017.   March 31,2017.  You can view the ALEKS entry – or the entry of any ACE evaluated course- in the ACE database.  ACE database

I’ve got to be honest, with these “1 month at a time” extensions, I can’t imagine they’re getting many subscribers.  The problem with a 30 day extension, is that it isn’t long enough for someone who really needs to learn the material. It takes people longer than 30 days to complete a college math/statistics course when they’re doing it for the first time.  Beyond folks who just need a refresher, or are cheating, the real student has too much to risk by signing up for a course that isn’t worth anything next month.

My ACE insider told me that as of today, there are still no plans for an extension, so those of you considering ALEKS for college math credit, you’ll need to have your teen’s assessment at 70% or better no later than December 31, 2016January 31, 2017.  February 28, 2017.  March 31, 2017 [update]  I read on InstantCert yesterday about an email from ALEKS saying their ACE was “straightened out” whatever that means.  Their continued extensions probably mean a full multi-year approval is coming, but just use caution, there are not guarantees at this point.

TIP:  If your teen has earned ALEKS math credit, be sure they’ve earned all the credits UNDER their highest credit!  This is low-hanging fruit, and for only $20, they can pick up a ton of extra math credit.  For instance, if your teen did College Algebra, go back and allow them to scoop up Intermediate and Beginning Algebra.

ACE CREDIT-RECOMMENDED ALEKS COURSES:

  • Beginning Algebra
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • College Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • College Algebra with Trigonometry *
  • PreCalculus *
  • Introduction to Statistics
  • Business Statistics
  • Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences