Posted in Breaking News, Credit by Exam, CS/IT/Tech, HS4CC

Calling Cybersecurity Students

Perks of my job: getting special email invites from universities offering to share their education goodies to with my audience. <oh how things have changed in 10 years> This is a GREAT pilot program offer for any of you who have been studying or working in Cybersecurity and want to try for a credential. Open to any anyone- parents too!

Continue reading “Calling Cybersecurity Students”
Posted in ASU EA, ASU UL, Breaking News, Dual Enrollment, Self-Paced Learning, Transfer Credit

NEW ASU Google IT Certification with Universal Learner

Arizona State University’s Universal Learner Program, in partnership with Google, is offering a new Google IT Certification! From ASU’s site:

“Learn the skills you need for an introductory-level job in IT support.

In this online program, you’ll work through six ASU Universal Learner Courses that leverage the Google IT Support Certificate, as well as supplemental industry material that is aimed at giving you the best preparation possible to begin a career in Information Technology.

Upon completion, you’ll receive a co-branded professional certificate from ASU and Google, as well as 15 credit hours that you can apply towards a bachelor’s degree.”

Courses are designed to be completed sequentially, and are self paced! Students have up to 1 year to complete each course, and the first course begins January 2022. The certification courses include:

CIS 194 Technical Support Fundamentals – 1 credit

CIS 194 Computer Networking – 2 credits

CIS 194 Operating Systems and You: Becoming a Power User – 3 credits

CIS 294 System Administration and IT Infrastructure Services – 3 credits

CIS 394 IT Security: Defense Against the Digital Dark Arts – 3 credits

CIS 402 Privacy, Ethics, and Compliance – 3 credits

The first 3 courses do have the same course number, which we have been advised may change in the future. It is common for colleges to have the same course number on survey courses which may change topic with each offering. The first course only costs $25, with no fee to have the course transcripted. As with all Universal Learner program courses, the remaining courses cost just $25 to start and students only pay $400 at the end of the course if they like the grade. There is no record of failure if the student does not complete the course or receives a lower grade than wanted. Simply do not pay the $400 for the course to be added to the transcript. Retake courses as many times as is needed to pass with the grade you want.

According to ASU, the courses must be completed in sequence and the next course will become available in their catalog (dashboard). The total cost for the courses in the certificate is $2150, which is paid at the time the student signs up and then completes each course and chooses to have it transcripted. Cost per credit averages out to be ~$143/cr for the full 15 college credits. The certificate will be emailed to you upon completion of the program and will have both the ASU and Google logos on it, along with your name.

For those wondering if the courses are the same as Coursera, ASU said “These courses are similar to the courses on Coursera (and leverage some of the same content), but there are additional learning outcomes from our courses and learners achieve academic credit with ours, whereas the ones at Coursera don’t have academic credit guaranteed with them. (Some institutions may validate the credential for credit, but many won’t)” This is referring to ACE credit that some institutions will accept for college credit. Please see “30 Ways to Earn College Credit” on our website for additional information about ACE credit and its transferability. Coursera’s courses have been approved by ACE for up to 12 lower level credits (100-200 level). Please note that the amount of credit granted for ACE credit is determined by the receiving institution. ASU’s certificate includes 4 courses with 9 total lower level credits, and 2 courses with 6 total upper level (300-400 level) credits.

We also asked our contacts at ASU which degrees the credits would apply to: “These will serve as elective credits at the University. They stack really well into any business major at the institution, or majors with several elective credits (liberal studies, organizational leadership, technical writing, etc). However, the electives should be applicable for any major.”

For more information about the Universal Learner program, visit our HS4CC UL page and join our ASU for Homeshoolers Facebook group.

Posted in Breaking News, Debt Free Degree, financial aid, HS4CC

Student Loan Forgiveness…revamp?

You may have read that the student loan forgiveness program (started in 2007) has been an enormous disaster. I’ve written about it here a few times, and in short, next to no one has had their loan forgiven despite making payments faithfully for 10 years. Biden announced Wednesday that the program is being revamped in an effort to correct the disaster.

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Posted in Breaking News, Community college, Debt Free Degree, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment, HS4CC

Breaking News: Free Dual Enrollment program for your teen- sign up now.

UPDATE: since publishing this post, Spartanburg Community College added the line “living in SC” to their eligibility requirements. My screenshot from Wayback Machine confirms that it wasn’t part of the original offer. So sorry guys, this is a bummer.

So, it looks like only our SC families can take advantage, and I hope they do, but congrats to those who got in before of the “change.”

Spartanburg Community College (South Carolina) has opened their catalog to students living anywhere in the country for South Carolina dual enrollment AND they are waiving tuition. Yes, really. $0 Dual enrollment this year- what are you waiting for??? Courses are taken online from anywhere.

The button above will take you to the Dual Enrollment Handbook (59 pages) full of everything you need to know, but this is a quick overview to help you decide if this will work for your teen. My prediction is that these classes will be full immediately, so there is no time to waste if you want your teen to register!

Spartanburg Community College (SCC), established in 1963, is one of 16 colleges in the South Carolina Technical College System. Its service area is comprised of Spartanburg, Cherokee, and Union Counties located in upstate South Carolina. SCC offers 70 certificate, diploma, and degree programs in the following areas: university transfer, health sciences, and technologies.

Spartanburg is regionally accredited, so the credits earned here should transfer well into any other accredited college or university that accepts transfer credit.


  • The college *always offers dual enrollment, but normally charges tuition. This free tuition program is only for 2021-2022 school year (3 semesters: fall 2021, spring 2022, summer 2022)
  • They offer several high school programs that all fall under their umbrella term they call Early College.
  • The online courses open to homeschoolers are in their program called Dual Enrollment (still under the Early College umbrella term).
  • When you register your teen, it creates a permanent record / GPA / college transcript that will follow them forward and will require future disclosure of their attendance and grade earned.
  • Your teen has access to the entire college catalog as long as they meet prerequisites (if applicable). Example: You can’t take Biology 2 without having taken Biology 1.
  • You have to fill out an application.
  • Instructors are not expected to alter standard course content or discussion topics to accommodate a younger audience. Students should be prepared to read, hear, or see course content that includes mature and sometimes provocative, controversial academic topics and be able to respond in a mature way to such subject matter.
  • You have to pay for textbooks (if applicable).
  • SOME of these classes are LIVE ONLINE which means that you have to log in at a specific time- be sure to check!!
  • Synchronous = live or in real time, Asynchronous = learn anytime


  • Age 16 and having completed 10th grade. (Younger students may appeal using the form in the back of linked booklet above- appendix D)
  • 3.0 Grade Point Average (from your homeschool transcript)
  • SAT / ACT scores may be used in place of 3.0 GPA if necessary
  • LIVING IN SOUTH CAROLINA (this was just added per SPCC)


  • You don’t have to get a certificate/diploma/degree from this college.
  • These courses should transfer well to other colleges outside of South Carolina
  • If your teen takes a college class, you can award them 1 high school credit
  • If your teen pursues a bachelor’s degree at a South Carolina university, use this link to confirm transfer South Carolina Transfer and Articulation Center (SC TRAC):


Their full catalog is searchable, so be sure to filter for ONLINE when looking for a class. Note that it is possible to earn an entire associate degree online through this college, so if your teen already has a lot of college credit, you may want to consider “finishing” their degree at Spartanburg! They allow you to transfer in up to 75% of the credits toward a degree. Transfer page

Their transfer page says they accept CLEP, AP, and ACE credit. It is unclear if they accept Sophia, Straighterline, Studycom, etc. If any parent here has their teen’s ACE credit evaluated by Spartanburg, PLEASE let me know. -Jennifer

Step 1: Use this link

Step 2: open “Advanced Search” from the top bar

Step 3: Select “Fall Term 2021” as desired term

Step 4: Select “SCC Online” as desired location

**At this point a new screen opens with all online courses**

Step 5: Select “Open Sections Only” from the Availability option on the left

**At this point the number of open courses will appear as a number next to the SCC Locations button. In this screenshot you’ll see that there are (were) 86 available classes to choose from.

Step 6: You can now either browse the entire remaining list of classes, or filter further by subject on the left. In the sample above, you’ll see a number next to the subjects. That number indicates how many courses are open in that subject. American Government (1) indicates 1 course available.

NOTE: Where it states “ENG-032 and RDG-032” they are indicating a placement level, not a class. In short, your teen needs to be eligible for college level English and Reading. Check with advising about how to prove eligibility.

Step 7: The catalog should be in real time (or very close to it) so be sure to have your teen’s application in the works asap! I expect the availability to be different every day until the semester begins. Popular classes sometimes have extra sessions added, so you can continue to check back.

Jennifer’s Pick for Resourceful Planning

The following are my “top picks” because I like to make the most out of every ounce of learning. If I take a class, I like to see if there are any CLEPs that are “similar but different” to bundle with it. In addition, if I take a CLEP, that might meet prerequisites for other classes. I’ve picked a few classes that will bundle well (without duplicating) CLEP exams – and suggestions for classes you could try if you’ve already taken a CLEP in that subject.

  1. PSY-103 Human Relations (3 credits) This course is a study of human relations, including the dynamics of behavior, interrelationships, and personality as applied in everyday life.
    • (I would study for and take the CLEP Sociology after this course)
  2. PSY-212 Abnormal Psychology (3 Credits) This course is a study of the nature and development of behavioral disorders, including the investigation of contemporary treatment procedures.
    • (I like this course if you’ve already done CLEP General Psychology exam and want more psychology credit)
  3. PHS-101 Physical Science I (4 Credits) Topics are selected from astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics.
    • (This course has some math/language arts pre requisites, so not everyone will qualify, but if you’ve already taken either high school or college biology, I would study for the CLEP Natural Sciences exam after this course)
  4. MUS-105 Music Appreciation (3 Credits) This course is an introduction to the study of music with focus on the elements of music and appropriate listening experiences. ART-101 Art History and Appreciation (3 Credits) This is an introductory course to the history and appreciation of art, including the elements and principles of the visual arts.
    • If you take both Music Appreciation and Art Appreciation, it’s low hanging fruit to attempt the CLEP Humanities exam too.
  • BONUS suggestion: PHI-105 Introduction to Logic (3 Credits) This course is an introduction to the structure of argument, including symbolization, proofs, formal fallacies, deductions, and inductions. This course doesn’t tie into another CLEP exam, but it’s SUPER HARD TO FIND and one that many parents ask for!

Posted in Breaking News, DSST

UPDATE: DSST Review, Renew, or Discontinue?

Earlier in March, I posted about the DSST exams that are currently “expired” and promised an update as soon as the exams were reevaluated. ACE has extended the exams, but for 10 months, not several years. What does that mean? I’ll tell you what I think it means, but it’s “interesting” to say the least.

Continue reading “UPDATE: DSST Review, Renew, or Discontinue?”
Posted in Breaking News, Dual Enrollment, Free Tuition

BREAKING NEWS: Get 2 free dual enrollment courses this summer!

THIS SUMMER Husson University in Maine (yes, regionally accredited) allows eligible high school juniors and seniors to take 2 free online courses. These are for college credit and should transfer into your target college in the future. You can take a max of 21 credits before you graduate high school! ANY STATE except California. Details below.

Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Get 2 free dual enrollment courses this summer!”