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 ACE, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, DSST, Foreign Language, Saylor Academy

Single Exam Options

College classes usually require a lot of homework. Some college classes require a little bit of homework, but for some students, earning college credit by exam means skipping homework in college! If your teen is the type of learner who can read a book and pass a test, is a strong independent learner, likes to deep dive into a subject, then credit by exam is probably something to consider.  In addition, parents who plan credit by exam options are the teachers and selectors of the curriculum (because it happens in highschool at home) and there is no worry about what the college may or may not teach.

There are many alternative credit sources out there, and many require passing a series of tests or quizzes, but this post will focus on the single-exam option.

A single-exam option:  one test determines whether or not you receive college credit in a subject.  

Now, to be clear, I’m not advocating skipping a high school class.  Rather, I’m telling you that learning in homeschool can prepare your teen well enough to skip a college class.

Let’s look at this example:

Paul has studied German since middle school and is starting 10th grade.  His parents have used a variety of curriculum options, and he’s done fine, but last year he really had a breakthrough after his family went to Germany to visit family.  When they returned home, Paul was very motivated and put is heart into his German class.  He completed the 4th and final level of his Rosetta Stone German course.  Paul can speak, read, and write German pretty well!  Paul took the German CLEP exam and scored a 70.  That is an exceptionally high score and will qualify him for 9 college credit at most of his target colleges.  With such a high score, his homeschool advisor suggested he attempt the ACTFL  exam too.  His score resulted in 14 college credits.  Though the first 9 credits of his ACTFL exam will duplicate the CLEP exam credits he has (you can’t count them twice), the additional new 5 credits will give him upper-level credit at his top choice university.  At $900 per credit, Paul saved at least $12,000  by taking a single exam and getting 14 credits for his fluency in German.  (If the university tuition price goes up before he graduates high school, his savings will be even more impressive!)

It’s important to point out that not all colleges accept credit by exam, but you’re not going to send your teen to all colleges- you can be strategic in the schools you choose and consider whether or not it is worth your family’s time and money to use credit by exam.

To inject a personal note, when I first read about credit by exam, I was very skeptical.  In addition to thinking it was possibly untrue, I wasn’t sure that I was smart enough to test out of a college course.   Since I was working at a college at the time, I went down the hall and asked about CLEP.  Despite working there for 10 years, I had no idea that we accepted CLEP, we were an official testing center, and that we allowed our students to complete 75% of their degree through CLEP!!!  So, yeah, it’s a real option.

Using my employer’s testing center, I proceeded to test out of class after class. I found a college with better CLEP policy than my employer and tested out of an ENTIRE AA degree.  This was a test, I didn’t even need the degree.  But, that event changed my children’s lives forever, and it led me to start this community.  So, I share that story because it’s TRUE.  (And my IQ is unimpressively average)


List of single-exam options

CLEP College Level Exam Program:  33 different exams.  All credit is considered lower level (100/200) and all exams (except College Composition) are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 2,900 colleges. Taken at a testing center.

DSST (formerly known as DANTES):  36 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are multiple choice pass/fail.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 1,400 colleges.  Taken at a testing center.

Saylor Academy:  31 different exams.  Exams are lower level (100/200) and all are multiple choice and require 70% to pass.  Cost:  $25 each.  Accepted by about 200 colleges.  Taken at home via webcam proctor.

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages:  Exams in over 100 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level (100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score.  Cost and requirements vary.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit.  (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification)

Advanced Placement:  38 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are a combination of multiple-choice and essay.  Exams are scored 1-5, and colleges generally award credit for a score of 3 or above.  Cost:  about $100 each.  Accepted by about 3,200 colleges.  Taken at a designated AP high school.

New York University Foreign Language Proficiency Exam:  Exams in over 50 languages.  Exams are lower and upper level(100/200/300/400) and credit is awarded based on the strength of your score – up to 16 credits.  Cost ranges from $150 – $450.  Accepted by at least 200 colleges for college credit. (This exam is also accepted for government employment and teacher certification).  Taken at a testing center.

UExcel (Formerly known as Excelsior) Exams:  61 different exams.  Exams are lower and upper-level (100/200/300/400) and all exams are mainly multiple-choice.  Credit is awarded as a letter grade (A, B, C, or F).  Cost is about $100.  Taken at a testing center.

helping

 

 

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Resources, Tuition

Cost of Tuition in the United States

The current and historical cost of tuition in the United Sates is tracked and sorted for us to learn from.   The United States Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics keeps data on this kind of information, and much more!  (Psssttt, it’s one of my favorite sites to browse)

The costs below reflect averaged “rack rate” tuition for 1 year, which is to say the price stated by the college as their tuition rate.  Individual student’s scholarships or other grants are not reflected here, this is simply the price of tuition.   Note that public colleges generally have “in-state” and “out of state” tuition rates- this is because of the economics of a state-funded educational system, and out-of-state students will typically pay a significantly higher rate than in-state students.

Now, because this is the Homeschooling for College Credit page, of course, I’m also including the breakdown for several popular college credit exams that your teen can take – you’ll be able to see the TREMENDOUS cost savings as you get down to the bottom of the page.

“Cost of attendance”  is also collected, and includes OTHER expenses besides tuition.  Books, meals, dorms, etc. may all be estimated on your college’s website. As you dig deeper, you’ll want to sort out the costs that are variable and those that are fixed.  For instance, if a student lives at home, there aren’t many living expenses to add in, but a student living in a dorm will spend about $13,000 more per year. For the purposes of this post, we’re only talking about TUITION.  


Official Calculation as per-year

(Data Source:  National Center for Education Statistics: November 2016)

 

Less than 2-year (Diploma/Certificate)
Public Non-Profit 248 schools $6,505 in-state $7,288 out-state
Private Non-Profit 86 schools $13,433 N/A
Private For-Profit 1,616 schools $15,269 N/A
2-year (Associate Degree)
Public Non-Profit 1,016 schools $3,941 in-state $7,780 out-state
Private Non-Profit 178 schools $13,899 N/A
Private For-Profit 891 schools $14,864 N/A
4-year (Bachelor’s Degree)
Public Non-Profit 710 schools $8,141 in-state $18,341 out-sta.
Private Non-Profit 1,602 schools $26,355 N/A
Private For-Profit 700 schools $16,066 N/A

 


Unofficial* Calculation as per-credit

Less than 2-year (Diploma/Certificate)
Public Non-Profit   $217 in-state $243 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $448 N/A
Private For-Profit   $509 N/A
2-year (Associate Degree)
Public Non-Profit   $131 in-state $259 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $463 N/A
Private For-Profit   $495 N/A
4-year (Bachelor’s Degree)
Public Non-Profit   $271 $611 out-state
Private Non-Profit   $879 N/A
Private For-Profit   $536 N/A

Credit by Exam Calculation as per-credit

Credit By Exam
AP Exam $93  3 credit exam=

$31 per credit

6 credit exam=

$16 per credit

9 credit exam=

$10 per credit

CLEP Exam $80 3 credit exam=

$27 per credit

6 credit exam=

$13 per credit

9 credit exam=

$9 per credit

DSST Exam $80 3 credit exam=

$27 per credit

N/A N/A
ACTFL foreign language $70 (written) 12 cr. exam=

$7 per credit

 

 

 

 

Saylor Exam $25 3 credit exam=

$8 per credit

 

Unofficial* = calculated by dividing the yearly tuition by 30, the standard full-time load.

 

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, Curriculum, High School, Science

A Little Bit About Physics

Physics is often the “last” science a student takes in high school- if at all.  Let’s face it, it’s too much math for most people, because, well, physics is math!  

Navigating physics gave me fits for years until I read a recent post from SolarKat over on InstantCert.  For those who want to study physics, he shares some great advice and gave me permission to share it here with all of you.

“I would encourage a LOT of math. Physics, at its heart, is math. Plus, if your student decides he wants to go further with physics, he’s likely to need Calculus 1, Calculus 2, Multivariable Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, and Statistics. Ideally Numerical Methods, too.”

Ok, wow!  That’s a lot to digest.  Let’s take it down a few levels and look at physics as a subject.  (In my case, I wanted this explained to me like I’m a 10-year-old so this might be a little too simple for some of you.) In short, “real scientists” tell you that physics must be calculus-based.  When asking more about the differences, this was the reply:

“in algebra-based physics, you let the partition of finite difference and summation goes to 0, you will get a calculus-based physics. Nothing else more than that.”

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/calculus-based-physics-vs-algebra-based-physics.216149/

Huh?!  Ok, that’s not like I’m a 10-year-old.  So, after more digging, I’ve reduced physics into the absolute simplest terms that I could understand.  If you need more depth, the physics forum referenced above is excellent.  But, I think this says it all:

“To really understand physics, I think you have to understand calculus, but calculs largley came from physics so they are intertwined. Just about all physics equations are dervied with some help from calculus.”

Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/calculus-based-physics-vs-algebra-based-physics.216149/page-2

There are essentially 2 types of introductory physics

Physics 1 (Mechanics)

Physics 2 (Electromagnetics)

Both types will fall into either

Algebra-based (non-science)

Calculus-based (science)

So, as you navigate the high school physics options and the college credit options, my recommendation is to take into consideration your teen’s long-term college and career goals.  If your student will major in any of the liberal arts or career fields (even pre-med) then algebra-based physics will meet their needs!  If your student is headed into any of the hard sciences, engineering, or math, then you’ll want to start them on the proper path (calculus-based) after they’ve studied calculus.

The MOST IMPORTANT takeaway I can offer you is to know which type of mathematical base is being used in the class before you sign up your teen, and choose based on their long-term study plans.

For your science major teen:  wait until after calculus 1 to begin the study of physics.

For your non-science major teen:  study physics anytime or after algebra 2.


AP Physics (Credit by Exam) 

  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (Calculus-based)
    AP Physics C: Mechanics (Calculus-based)
    AP Physics 1: Algebra-Based (Mechanics) formerly called AP Physics B
    AP Physics 2: Algebra-Based (Electromagnetics) formerly called AP Physics B

 

Popular High School Physics Curriculum

  • Conceptual Physics (Algebra-based)
  • Saxon Physics (Algebra-based)
  • DIVE Physics (Algebra-based)
  • Exploration Education Physical Science Course (Algebra-based)
  • Novare Physical Science: A Mastery-Oriented Curriculum (Algebra-based)
  • Robinson Curriculum (Calculus-based)
  • A.C.E. Physical Science (Algebra-based)
  • BJU Press Physics (Algebra-based)
  • Apologia Advanced Physics (Algebra-based)

 

Free Physics Curriculum/Classes

 

College Credit Options for High School Students

  • AP exams:  anyone can take an AP exam.  Use your favorite algebra-based or calculus-based physics curriculum to prepare for the AP exam.  AP exams are worth advanced standing or college credit at most colleges.   2017 AP exam dates
  • Saylor Academy Physics 1 (Calculus-based)
  • Saylor Academy Physics II (Calculus-based)
    • Both of the Saylor courses offer a $25 college credit exam at the completion of the course.  The type of college credit awarded is ACE credit, and not well accepted by colleges, but is guaranteed transfer through their direct partner colleges or the Alternative Credit Project arrangement.
  • Straighterline General Physics 1 with Lab (Calculus-based)
    • Straighterline awards ACE credit for successful completion of the course.  ACE credit is not well accepted by colleges but is guaranteed transfer through their partnership agreements with 100 colleges or Alternative Credit Project.
  • Dual Enrollment:  contact your local community college to see if your teen is eligible for college enrollment as a high school student.
  • CLEP Exam:  only about 25% of the CLEP exam Natural Sciences contains algebra-based physics 1 & 2.  (another 25% chemistry, and 50% biology)  There is no CLEP exam specifically for physics.
  • DSST Exam:  50% of the DSST Physical Science exam contains algebra-based physics 1 & 2.  (the other 50% is chemistry).  There is no DSST exam specifically for physics.

 

 

Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Curriculum, Distance Learning, DSST, High School, Self-Paced Learning

The Great Courses

In 2008, I was struggling through a college Anatomy & Physiology course when I turned to youtube for some help.  I stumbled upon a video by Dr. Anthony A. Goodman – it blew me away.  Not only did he help me understand the information, but I dug until I found the rest of his lectures- they were that good.  As it turned out, they were eventually pulled from Youtube for copyright violation (oops) but I found the source: The Great Courses

Here’s the short of it:  The Great Courses are usually (not always) college-level learning taught by well respected and highly regarded professors.  These are not worth college credit when taken alone, rather they are used in your homeschool as a high school curriculum.  You could then marry the program with other test prep material if you desire to finish your teen’s program with AP, CLEP, or other exam credit.

Format:  Individual Great Courses are available on DVD, CD, Audio, or you can stream their whole Plus catalog on demand through their new Great Courses Plus program (monthly subscription).   While I am not a Plus subscriber, the Plus program looks amazing!  It will appeal greatly to those of you who use technology in your classroom or are already comfortable with products like Amazon Prime, Apple TV, mobile device based streaming, for entertainment.  This product fits into that category perfectly.   Plus program subscribers also have the option of purchasing hard copies at a deep discount (70% off).  

This promotional link gives you 1 month free:

The Great Courses Plus – One Month Free


CLEP & AP Friendly?  I asked our membership if they thought the Great Courses alone were “enough” to prepare their teen for an AP exam or CLEP exam, or if it served as the main curriculum and they followed up with CLEP/AP prep.  This is what they had to say:

Jude Barrier Dickson writes…” I don’t think any TGC {The Great Courses} is enough for an AP or CLEP exam. This is NOT to say they are not valuable, and be sure to know we use them extensively, but I find the best practice for exams are flash cards of info, presented as they would be in an AP or CLEP test.”

Wendy G.  writes… “Lots of CLEP and AP here and I also don’t think TGC would alone be enough, we just use them as supplemental.”

Selecting TGC for Your Homeschool

Since no single course stands alone as your curriculum and test prep, this small selection is representative of the types of courses I believe would enhance your homeschooling for college credit program.  I’ve deliberately selected courses from the Plus list since they are all also available for DVD purchase if you choose.  (Not all DVDs are available to stream)

SCIENCE: The Great Courses Plus

AP or CLEP Biology Program:  Biology The Science of Life, The Joy of Science, Understanding Genetics, and What Science Knows About Cancer.

New course:  Plant Science: an Introduction to Botany

AP or CLEP Psychology Program:  Mysteries of Human Behavior, Biology, and Human Behavior, Understanding the Brain, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

AP or CLEP Chemistry Program:  Chemistry our Universe, Chemistry 2nd Edition, Nature of Matter, and Organic Chemistry.

DSST Astronomy Program:  Our Night Sky, The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy

HISTORY: The Great Courses

AP or CLEP American History Program:  History of the United States 2nd Edition, Experiencing America, World War II, and Decisive Battles of History.

New course:  American’s Founding Fathers

DSST Civil War Program: American Civil War, History of the United States 2nd Edition, and The Life of Abraham Lincoln

ECONOMICS: The Great Courses

AP or CLEP Economics Program:  An Economic History of the World, The Economics of Uncertainty, and New Global Economy.

New Course:  The Art of Investing

OTHER: The Great Courses to Consider

DSST Cultural Anthropology Program:  Customs of the World and Cultures of the World.,  Anthropology and the Study of Humanity

AP or CLEP Western Civilization Program:  Foundations of Western Civilization (coming Fall 2017)

AP or DSST Environmental Science (Human Cultural Geography): Understanding Cultural and Human Geography, The Science of Energy, and Fundamentals of Sustainable Living.

AP or DSST Statistics and Probability Program:  Big Data How Analytics are Changing the World, Probability Made Clear, Mathematics of Games and Puzzles, and Game Theory.

AP Music Theory Program:  Music and History, Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas, Mozart’s Chamber Music, Greatest Orchestral Works, and Great Solo Piano Works.

CLEP Humanities Program:  Understanding Opera, History of European Art, Masterpieces of the Ancient World, How to Look at and Understand Great Art, The World’s Greatest Churches, The Louvre, and Understand Great Music.


If your family has used The Great Courses in your homeschool, let me know your favorites, and I’ll add them to this page!  Contact Jennifer

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Posted in ACE, AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Curriculum, Distance Learning, Self-Paced Learning, Sophia, Straighterline

Fine Arts

Fine Arts for College Credit

Most general Associate of Arts and Associate of Science (2 year) degrees have at least 1 “Fine Arts” requirement (3 college credits), and you can usually fill that in high school.

Exception:  if your teen is headed into a fine arts college, a music conservatory, or other highly specialized area of fine arts education, you’ll want to check with target colleges before accumulating a lot of college credit in high school.  Specialized art/music colleges sometimes have a policy against accepting transfer credit of any kind, but may allow your teen use Advanced Placement exam scores to boost their admissions application. 

The list of acceptable “Fine Arts” courses will differ slightly by institution, but the following courses will do the trick most of the time.  colors3

  1. Literature
  2. Music Theory
  3. Music Performance
  4. Art History
  5. Studio Art
  6. Humanities

Ways to Fill a College Fine Arts Requirement in High School

Dual Enrollment (contact your local Community College for information)

  • Dual enrollment has the highest probability of transfer assuming the target college accepts transfer credit.  Dual enrollment credit earned in high school is not considered “transfer credit” by most schools, but does carry a grade as part of the student’s permanent record.

Credit by Exam (CLEP, AP, DSST, Saylor, ECE/Uexcel)

  • Credit by Exam (CBE) acceptance varies dramatically.  CBE credit earned in high school is not considered “transfer credit” and generally does not carry a grade (pass/fail only).

Non-College ACE Credit (Straighterline, Sophia, Shmoop, Study, ed4credit, Propero)

  • ACE Credit is generally not accepted except when a partnership exists.  Some companies, like Straighterline, have credit-transfer-guarantee partnerships with more than 100 colleges.  ACE credit earned in high school is not considered “transfer credit” and generally does not carry a grade (pass/fail only).

Credit by Exam

(last update:  04/07/2017)

EXAM NAME EXAMS OFFERED COST LINK
Advanced Placement (AP) Art History (6 cr.)

Studio Art (6 cr.)

$93 Official AP Page
DSST Art of the Western World (3 cr.) $80 + local proctor fee (~$20) Official DSST Page
CLEP American Literature (3 cr.)

English Literature (3 cr.)

Analyzing & Interpreting Literature (3 cr.)

Humanities (6 cr.)

$80 + local proctor fee (~$20) Official CLEP Page
Excelsior College Exam (ECE / Uexcel) Introduction to Music (3 cr.) $110 + $60 local proctor fee Official Uexcel Page
Saylor NONE $0 + $25 webcam proctor fee Official Saylor Page

music

Non-College ACE Credit Courses

(last update:  04/07/2017)

COMPANY NAME COURSES OFFERED COST LINK
Shmoop American Literature (3 cr.)

The Bible as Literature (3 cr.)

British Literature (3 cr.)

Contemporary Literature (3 cr.)

Drugs in Literature (3 cr.)

Holocaust Literature (3 cr.)

Introduction to Poetry (3 cr.)

Literature in the Media (3 cr.)

Modernist Literature (3 cr.)

Shakespeare’s Plays (3 cr.)

Western Literature (3 cr.)

Women’s Literature (3 cr.)

$87.68/mo. subscribe

Unlimited courses

Shmoop
Study.com Introduction to Humanities (3 cr.) $199/mo. subscribe. Limit 2 courses per month Study.com
Propero (Pearson) Literature (3 cr.) $330 per class Propero
Sophia Visual Communications (3 cr.)

Introduction to Art History (3 cr.)

$329 per class Sophia
Straighterline NONE $99/mo. subscribe + $59 per class Straighterline
Ed4Credit Literature (3 cr.)

Film Appreciation (3 cr.)

$195 per class Ed4Credit
Davar Academy (NCCRS approved, not ACE approved) NONE $70 per class + $25 web proctoring  Davar

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Posted in AP Advanced Placement, Computer Science, Credit by Exam, Curriculum, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment, Self-Paced Learning

Computer Science for College Credit

UPDATED 9/2/2017:  in addition to the links and tips on this page, I found a few great resources that are new through Coursera.  Coursera is a Massive Open Online Course program that offers free courses and/ or allows you to purchase courses that lead to a credential. Here are a couple worth looking at:

Python Specialization from the University of Michigan

Specialization: Full Stack Web Development

Artificial Intelligence with Andrew Ng’s Deep Learning Specialization


Parents constantly ask for computer science courses for their teens, and I have never had a really good suggestion…. but I think there is a gem offered by Popular Mechanics! It’s a complete computer science bundle for $39.

Popular Mechanics Computer Science Courses

At that price, it’s certainly worth a look. It’s 8 courses that your teen can do at home on the computer. These are the same courses typically taught through the computer science “boot camps” that are popular right now -but not producing results as expected…Coding Schools Failing Their Students.

“Today, 91 full-time coding boot camps exist in the U.S. and Canada, according to Course Report, a research group that tracks the industry. Almost 18,000 people will graduate from them this year. That’s up from 43 schools two years ago, and about 6,000 graduates. Tuition averages over $11,000 at non-degree granting programs that generally last around three months, but it can go as high as $21,000. Some schools take a cut of future salary instead of tuition.” -Bloomberg News

While there isn’t a CLEP or DSST exam for computer science, there are two Advanced Placement (AP) exams your teen can take! Depending on your teen’s score and target college, they can earn 3-8 college credits for a passing score.  If someone signs up for this series, I’d love to get feedback, especially if this is used as the foundation for  AP exam(s).

What is the AP Computer Science exam?

What is the AP Computer Science Principles Exam?

Popular Mechanics Computer Course Set:

  1. From 0 to 1: C Programming – Drill Deep

  2. Byte Size Chunks: Java Object-Oriented Programming & Design

  3. From 0 to 1: Data Structures & Algorithms in Java

  4. From 0 to 1: SQL And Databases – Heavy Lifting

  5. From 0 to 1: Learn Python Programming – Easy as Pie

  6. Learn By Example: C++ Programming – 75 Solved Problems

  7. From 0 to 1: Raspberry Pi and the Internet of Things

  8. Case Studies: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple

Angel from our Texas Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group suggests MORE JAVA for teens considering the AP exams.  She writes “I’d rather pay $155 for the Teen Coder course and know I was getting something aligned to the test. I have spoken to teachers who use this every year and have had great success with it.”  If you’d like to explore her suggested resource, check out the Teen Coder Course.

Let me add a last option – MOOCs.  Your teen can take free college level courses through Coursera.  These are great because you don’t have a big application process or entrance exams – just sign up and go.  If you want, you can even do “bundles” that they call Specializations.  These are sets of courses that award a certificate (for a fee).  These classes can work for high school credit, or rolled into college credit by exam (AP) or the full certificates might be a great alternative on your student’s resume.Computer Science on Coursera

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