Posted in College Admission, Community college, Dual Enrollment, financial aid, Free Tuition, Tuition

$2000 Bachelor’s Degrees in NC

“My son is taking all his classes for 12th grade at the community college, he will be graduating in May with both his high school diploma from our homeschool and associates degree from our local community college” 

-Jayne L., North Carolina homeschooling parent.

 

Updated for 2019

The topic of today’s post is targeted toward our North Carolina families, but the takeaway isn’t that you should relocate to North Carolina, it’s that in almost every state there are some strategies you can build around the resources you have available to you.  I know many non-NC adults who “hacked” their education and earned AA or BA degrees for pennies on the dollar (I’m on that list!)  For the motivated, there are a lot of ways to save money, but this post is my deconstruction and then reconstruction of the resources in NC, assembled in a way that maxes out the benefits available to parents.

I like to point out that I volunteer at our county’s library as a college planning expert (for homeschoolers).  Eight times per year I give Homeschooling for College Credit presentations, championing the educational benefits available to those in North Carolina .  10 times out of 10, a parent will tell me they had no idea these resources were available to their teen, and that their teen could complete a degree this way instead of earning an academic scholarship, or taking on a lot of student loan debt.  Nevermind the opportunity to oversee the process while their teen is still living at home instead of sending them away to college and hoping their college advisors are good stewards of your teen’s time and money.

10 times out of 10, a parent will tell me they had no idea these resources were available

In short, make it your mission to find the programs in your state, and build a ladder that takes advantage of each and every one- then share that ladder with others.  The more brainpower we have working the problem, the greater we all benefit!

College costs:  Tuition, books, fees, meals, housing, and transportation.  No matter what your teen is doing, they have to live somewhere and eat something.  Sure, they can do that on campus and in a cafeteria, but my advice is that they live and eat at home.  I also like to rent textbooks or buy used editions whenver possible.

You have to plan ahead

Starting in high school, the homeschool parent has the option of bringing college credit into their high school -but since each parent acts as their teen’s guidance counselor, sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know.  Parents are great at high school planning, but may not understand dual enrollment planning.  In high school, the Career and College Promise advisor can help you with dual enrollment, but they aren’t great at helping with degree planning.  In community college, the advisors can help you with your AA/AS degree, but they aren’t great at helping you plan your BA/BS.  At a 4 year university, the advisors can help you earn your BA/BS, but they can’t go back in time to correct the inefficiencies from 1-2-3-4 years earlier.

There is no ONE PERSON IN THE SYSTEM that can advise for your teen from 10th grade through college graduation.  You have to take on the role of guidance counselor – Each employee has their niche, but the only common thread is YOU!  No one cares about the efficiency or cost or time or completion of your teen’s college degree more than you.  There are a lot of moving parts in the process.  BUT,  with a bit of planning and adjusting as your teen advances, they’ll get out the other end with a degree.


High School (Grades 9 & 10)

So, first things first, grades 9 & 10 must be academically robust enough that your teen can test into College Algebra and into College Composition.  In North Carolina, our high school students all have access to a state-wide dual enrollment program called Career & College Promise.  Each of the 58 community colleges has programs (called Pathways) available to your teen, some starting in 9th grade, but most start in 11th grade.  To complete the $2000 Bachelor’s degree, your teen needs to start taking courses in their AA Transfer Pathway or AS Transfer Pathway in fall (August) of 11th grade.

What age?  In NC, dual enrollment isn’t based on age, it’s based on grade.  The homeschool parent gets to decide when their teen is ready for 11th grade.

For teens headed to a 4-year college, taking advantage of the AA Transfer Pathway or the AS Transfer Pathway is a tuition-free way to earn unlimited college credit in high school. (you read that correctly- unlimited)  This is the key component of the $2000 Bachelor’s Degree.  In NC, students choosing one of the Transfer Pathways must meet placement test benchmarks (this requirement is reportedly being removed for fall 2019).  If your teen doesn’t meet the benchmark, they can still take college classes, but they won’t be able to follow the plan in this post.

(Note:  if your teen has already taken the PSAT, SAT, Pre-ACT, ACT, Compass, Asset, PLAN, or NCDAP, your teen’s score may already be high enough to meet this benchmark- ask your local community college’s Career & College Promise coordinator for more help.) 

NCPromise3


High School (Grades 11 & 12)

Grade 11 (FALL) is when your teen must begin their pathway courses.  Your teen will have access to 3 semesters as an 11th grader (fall, spring, summer) and 3 more as a 12th grader (fall, spring, summer).  A pathway consists of about 30 credits and will fit inside of their associate degree, which will fit inside a bachelor’s degree.  Use this for visual reference:

AA Transfer Pathway (30) –> AA Degree (60) –> BA Degree (120)

or

AS Transfer Pathway (30) –> AS Degree (60) –> BS Degree (120)

No matter which community college you use for Career and College Promise classes, the pathway requirements are set at the state level, so “where” they take their classes doesn’t change the process.  Note that your teen is allowed to take pathway classes at any college, it doesn’t have to be your closest campus.  And, the entire AA and AS pathway can be completed online as a distance learning student – so they don’t need to go to campus to take their courses!

“We used two different community colleges and almost a third. One had stronger English and math instructors while the other’s strong suit was history and sociology. The third – CPCC – has a phenomenal online program.”

-Yvonne, Homeschooling for College Credit North Carolina Facebook Moderator

An important point when planning your teen’s courses, it is possible to complete the full AA or AS degree in high school, however, your teen can’t take courses “off-pathway” until they’ve done the entire pathway.  That means, no matter how much your teen wants to take a second psychology course, they won’t have access to the college catalog until every course on the Transfer Pathway has been “checked off.”  The goal is to get off-pathway as efficiently and quickly as possible.

Pathway courses can be completed using community college courses, AP exams for college credit, or CLEP exams for college credit.  Not all NC community colleges apply exam credit the same way- shop around!

If you’re aiming for the most efficient schedule, your teen should enroll accordingly:

  • FALL 11th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 pathway classes)
  • SPRING 11th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 pathway classes)
  • SUMMER between 11th/12th GRADE: 3-6 credits (1-2 pathway/degree classes)
  • FALL 12th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 degree classes)
  • SPRING 12th GRADE:  12-15 credits (4-5 degree classes)

Parents often consider ways to use CLEP or AP exams to either lighten a teen’s course load or accelerate the pathway/degree process.  Keep in mind that CLEP and AP exams cost just under $100 each, so there is an added cost to using these, however, the benefit may be worth it to your family in other ways.  When CLEP and AP credit is earned inside an AA or AS degree that will be used at an NC public university, the exam credit is locked into the transfer agreement and won’t be thrown out – even if the NC public university doesn’t normally award CLEP / AP credit.

“My son took and passed 7 CLEPs during 9th & 10th grade. The AA pathway consists of 11 courses the student must complete before moving on to other classes, his CLEPs knocked out 6 of those classes.  I HIGHLY recommend keeping a spreadsheet to track what your child’s CLEP exams will come in as and what classes they have to complete on the pathway so that you can plan each semester accordingly.”

-NC Homeschooling Parent

If you think 4-5 courses per semester may be too much for your teen, consider enrolling them in the “short” versions of each course.  Most courses come in 2 schedule options, 8 weeks or 16 weeks.  By using 8-week options, you can “stack” 2 courses into a single time slot.

FALL 11th GRADE

  • ENG111 (weeks 1-8)  3 credits
  • ENG 112 (weeks 9-16) 3 credits
  • SOC210 (weeks 1-8) 3 credits
  • PSY150 (weeks 9-16) 3 credits
  • MAT161 (weeks 1-16) 3 credits

Observe that this student is taking 15 credits, but at any given time will only be taking 3 classes at a time (English 1, Sociology, and College Algebra) for 8 weeks, and then (English 2, Psychology, and College Algebra) for 8 weeks.

 What’s on the AA or AS Pathway?


 

Off Pathway- On Degree

At some point in the 11th or 12th grade school year, your teen will be eligible to go “off-pathway” and start checking boxes toward their associate’s degree.  It’s important for me to emphasize that even if your teen can’t finish their entire associate’s degree in high school, that they keep plugging away and finish their degree before matriculating into their target university.  In order to get that “transfer guarantee” offered by our state, your teen must complete the full degree.  Even just one credit short means that their target university will evaluate each and every class, AP, and CLEP exam- which could mean credit being lost in the transfer.  You don’t want that! This whole plan is based on the protected right we have to get a full and perfect transfer.

While working a degree plan, the community college advising team should be included in course selection and guidance with your teen.  You’ll want to be sure that each course brings your teen one step closer to their degree, and that there are no missteps.  Double check that your teen is following the correct degree plan:  AA or AS TRANSFER DEGREE.  Degrees with other titles (Associate of Applied Science, Associate Degree in Nursing, etc.) can transfer too, but the planning is not as cut and dry as AA/AS, and the nuances of planning go beyond the scope of today’s post.  If your teen is pursuing anything other than an AA or AS, they need to check in with their college advisor each and every semester before choosing classes.


 High School and College Graduation

If you worked the plan, your teen will be ready for their high school diploma (issued by you) and will walk across their community college stage to receive their associate’s degree.  Double win!

Having completed the AA/AS degree, your teen will apply to our public universities as a transfer student.  If your teen doesn’t finish the degree and only has accumulated college credit, your teen must apply as a freshman.  Transfer students in North Carolina who hold a full AA/AS degree don’t have to take the SAT exam or meet the “high school entrance” course requirements.

The entire process of exiting a community college with an AA/AS degree and transferring into a public university is HEAVILY REGULATED and standardized by our state.  It’s called our Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, and the contents are public information.  This is a huge advantage because you can learn everything there is to know about the process- just like an academic advisor.  In fact, traditional high school guidance counselors do not advise students on coordinating high school and college graduation simultaneously – it’s beyond their scope of practice.

Don’t be suprised if you encounter the occasional College Admissions Representative who doesn’t know or understand the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement policy as well as you do.  What you’re planning to do is extraordinary.

Tuition Cost for AA / AS Degree:  $0



Onward to the Bachelor’s Degree

To take full advantage of what NC has to offer, you’ll want to tap into their newest program that went into effect FALL 2018 called North Carolina Promise Program.  The Promise Program has selected 3 colleges in NC that will allow your teen to enroll for a tuition cost of $500 per semester.  This means, your teen can complete their last 2 years of college (4 semesters) for only $2000.  Note that even if your teen doesn’t choose a Promise school, their AA / AS degree is still a guaranteed perfect transfer- but you’ll pay tuition at the rack rate.

You should budget in costs of textbooks (renting or buying used is often a big cost saving) as well as fees.  Most colleges have hidden fees or insurance costs.  You can find these out in advance, and use them as you calculate costs.  EVERY COLLEGE DIFFERS in their fees, so be sure to check all three.

Through NC Promise, the state will significantly reduce student tuition cost at three UNC system institutions – Elizabeth City State University, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University – beginning in Fall 2018. The plan will increase educational access, reduce student debt and grow the state’s economy.  -NC Promise

To keep costs to a bare minimum, you’ll have to address housing.  If you’re fortunate enough to live within commuting distance (Pembroke, Elizabeth City, or Cullowhee) you can avoid the cost of student housing (between $2,000-$4,000 per semester!) by keeping your teen at home.  For two years of housing, this impacts your overall budget by $8,000 – $16,000!  Add in meals, and the “housing question” is no small decision.

What if you don’t live near one of the 3 campuses?  2 of the colleges (UNC-P and WCU) offer a selection of degrees that can be completed as a distance learning student!  Of the three, WCU offers the most online programs, UNCP is a close second, and ECSU offers next to no distance programs. While not “every” major could (or should) be completed as a distance learner, but some of the degrees are offered both ways- so distance learning allows your teen to live at home, avoid transportation costs, and save travel time to and from campus.

What about the stigma?  Distance learning is now mainstream!  In 2018, the US Department of Education reported that 98% of all public colleges and universities offered distance learning courses, and in almost every case, no distinction is made on the transcript or degree- in other words, the degree from either of those three state schools is identical whether earned online or on campus.

What about fees or other costs?  All colleges add in fees, the million dollar questions are “what kind of fees- and how much are they?”  Some fees you can control, for instance, a parking pass isn’t required if you’re not attending classes on campus, at Western Carolina University that saves you $350 per year.  Elizabeth State also has an $80 laundry fee you won’t have to worry about, but bouncing a check will cost you no less than $25 at each school, and if your teen doesn’t have health insurance through a parent, you’ll pay another $2,000 per year for mandatory coverage.

Fees that you should expect no matter which learning option you choose includes:

  • Technology Fees ( about $300/year)
  • Activity Fees (about $600/year)
  • Books (about $1,000-$2,000 per year)

Note that fees for residential (staying on campus) students and distance learning (not staying on campus) students are usually different.  Be sure you’re looking at the correct classification.

 


Distance Learning Bachelor’s Degrees at NC Promise Schools (2019)

  • Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC  (Link to all WCU degree options)
    • Birth-Kindergarten Teacher
    • Business Administration
    • Criminal Justice 
    • Emergency Medical Care
    • Emergency and Disaster Management
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Engineering Technology (Off-site/Hybrid Program)
    • Innovation Leadership and Entrepreneurship
    • RN to BSN (Nursing)
  • The University of North Carolina, Pembroke, NC  (Link to UNC-P online degree options)
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Interdisciplinary Studies (Applied Professional Studies, Applied Information Technology, Criminal Justice, or Public and Non-Profit Administration)
    • Business Administration (Finance, Management, or Marketing.) 
  • Elizabeth State University, Elizabeth City, NC  (Link to ECSU distance learning info)

Elizabeth State doesn’t offer entire degree programs via distance learning (yet), but you can take individual courses as a distance learner.  I believe that they expect all students to attend on campus as a rule and that online learning allows for exceptions.  Based on what I could cobble together on their website, none of their degrees can be fully completed as a distance learning student.  This may change if their enrollment increases as a result of the Promise Program.  I’ll keep you updated.  Majors offered at Elizabeth State.

Tuition Cost for AA / AS Degree in high school:  $0

Tuition Cost for BA / BS Degree:  $500 per sem x 4 

BA / BS Tuition Total:  $2,000


If you’re homeschooling for college credit and live in North Carolina, you’ll want to get the inside scoop by joining our NC HS4CC Facebook group!  Readers from other areas of the country can find their state’s Facebook group here.

In closing, even if you don’t take advantage of the new Promise program, every homeschooling teen in NC can take advantage of the AA/AS option.  More encouragement from the North Carolina Homeschooling for College Credit Facebook group:

“My daughter graduated in 2016 with her AA, she transferred to UNCC, moved into her major after taking 2 classes that were needed for it over the summer, and will be graduating with her BS in May ’18 and early admitted to a master’s program and will be graduating that May ’19.”

  –Denise W., NC homeschooling parent


“My daughter transferred to Chapel Hill with her associates in liberal studies. She does have to take three semesters of foreign language and one life fitness class as part of the general requirements to graduate from Chapel Hill, but her Associates fulfilled the rest of the requirements for general ed and she is on track to graduate in two years.”

– Jennifer Brauns Anthony, NC homeschooling parent


“Western was great on transferring my daughters credits even before she committed to attend (which she did not) and if you had a AA or AS completed you were automatically in as a junior”

-Jackie P., NC homeschooling parent

Posted in business, College Admission, College Majors, Computer Science, Distance Learning, Free Tuition

University of the People

I have 2 over-reaching principles that guide what type of college content I share with you, and University of the People breaks both my rules.

(1)  Colleges I share must be Regionally Accredited – this one isn’t.

(2)  Colleges I share must be open to high school homeschooled students – this one isn’t.

So, why keep reading?  Because this college is worth knowing about, even if it isn’t the right fit for your teen.  In this post, I want to make a case for the University of the People. You probably know someone who would love to attend college if cost weren’t a barrier. Perhaps this IS a degree your teen would consider?   University of the People is a university doing amazing things, and they’re worth considering.


Accreditation

I have to go there, just for a minute.  My first rule, that colleges mentioned must be Regionally Accredited (RA), is important within the context of what we do here because many careers and professions won’t acknowledge a degree that isn’t RA. Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Accounting, public school K-12 teaching, Engineering, college teaching, Dietetics, Social Work, Architecture, and many others – including those that require a state license, almost always specify a “Regionally Accredited” degree.  Being “accredited” without the word “Regional” is not the same thing.    If your teen earns non-RA college credit, it will almost never transfer into an RA college (all community colleges and public universities are RA), while RA college credit readily transfers into other RA colleges.  So, as you can see, you can’t go wrong choosing RA.

Let me also add that when I tell you a handful of careers specify an RA degree, there are twice as many careers that don’t/won’t.  For instance, careers in business, computers, fire science, technology, military, ministry, drama, music, management, law enforcement, and numerous vocational programs (culinary arts, cosmetology, automotive, plus others) don’t care.  In fact, within certain fields, accredited is accredited; there is no distinction.   I am quite comfortable suggesting non-RA colleges to mid-career adults who are already in their career and simply need to check the box with an accredited degree in something.  I’m usually quiet when it comes to non-RA degrees for teens since there is usually so much uncertainty, but in this post, I’ll let you decide.

University of the People is accredited, but they are not Regionally Accredited.

Quick Back Story

In 2009, UoP was a tuition-free startup in California that nobody heard of and a guy surrounded by a few volunteers.  They offered one or two degrees initially, and since the college wasn’t accredited, they launched without much love from the higher education community.  In addition, they only accepted a handful of students (mostly non-American), so even if you didn’t mind their lack of accreditation, you still might not get in.  If you got in, you couldn’t transfer in ANY of your previous credit, they didn’t accept CLEP, and it was a little disorganized.  An early argument against their initiative is that it’s just as much work to earn an unaccredited degree as an accredited one.   I got the impression that they were a MOOC that wanted to be a college, and that they would fizzle out shortly (or start charging tuition).  If you’d like to see what the NY Times had to say about UoP in 2009, you’ll enjoy this story from their archives.

But then….

February 2014 UoPeople received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), a U.S. Department of Education authorized accrediting agency. This can be verified at http://www.deac.org/

So, this got people’s attention.  In addition, they started getting a lot of support in the university community.  Their list of volunteer university leadership includes:

In addition to the added credibility of a real leadership team and accreditation, they expanded their degree offerings to their current menu:boy3.jpg

Business Administration

  • Associate
  • Bachelor
  • Master

Computer Science

  • Associate
  • Bachelor

Community Health Science

  • Associate
  • Bachelor

For those who don’t need a Regionally Accredited degree, this university just got real. University of the People is now considered a legitimate online university and is listed in the US Department of Education Database as accredited.  Wow!


Tuition-Free

University of the People is the first worldwide tuition-free university.  They are totally online (no room and board cost), provide your textbooks (electronically, so no shipping or rental fees), and don’t charge tuition. But, they do charge a test proctor fee ($100) at the end of each course for the final exam.  In addition, if $100 is a financial hardship, they also offer scholarships!  From their website:

It is the University’s mission to provide affordable, tuition-free education for everybody. UoPeople is tuition-free, not free. You will never be asked to pay for courses, course material or annual enrollment fees. There is a nominal $60 Application Processing Fee for all applicants as well as a $100 Exam Processing Fee for each exam ($200 for the MBA). Based on this, an associate’s degree can be completed in 2 years for $2060,  a bachelor degree can be completed in 4 years for $4060, and an MBA can be completed in 15 months for $2460. UoPeople will never request these amounts upfront, but rather students will pay each Exam Processing Fee by the end of each exam period. These modest fees ensure that the University remains sustainable and can continue to provide quality education for everybody.

There are scholarships available for those students who cannot afford the nominal processing fees of the University. It is the University’s belief that everyone deserves the right to an education, and that no one should be left behind due to financial constraints.


Transfer Credit

(from UoPeople website)  What Credits Are Accepted at UoPeople?

University of the People will consider transferring credits earned at accredited US universities and accredited universities outside of the U.S. UoPeople will also consider credits earned from College Board AP tests or evaluated by ACE (including CLEP).

UoPeople will consider accepting transfer credit for a course in any instance in which the course content is equivalent to that of one of UoPeople’s courses or in which the course may be used towards an elective credit in a UoPeople degree program. UoPeople may award the transfer of up to 50% of the required program credits.

Ok – so, let’s talk about transfer credit, and how this applies to my second rule:

Colleges I share must be open to high school homeschooled students – this one isn’t.

It’s true that as a homeschooled high school student, you wouldn’t be eligible for admission.  (18 years old and a High School Diploma are required for admission) but with their new transfer credit acceptance policy, you can DIY 50% of this degree while you’re still in high school.  For those seeking an Associate’s Degree, that allows for 30 credits of transfer, and for those seeking a Bachelor’s Degree, you’ll be allowed to transfer in 60 credits.

Let me add, that while they will accept credit into their program, it is unlikely that you’d get to transfer course credit out of their program into a different program. In other words, if you start there, finish there.

Last comment:  this is not a self-paced independent study program.  They have 3 terms per year, an academic calendar, application and graduation cycles – the whole thing.  So, if you’re considering the program, you’ll have to verify the application period in advance.

DIY 30 or 60 credit transfer plans by request:  I want to extend an offer to help any parent or teen match up the correct CLEP, AP, DSST, or ACE credits to align with the max allowable credit accepted by University of the People.

If you or your teen plans to attend, email me at cookderosa@aol.com or send me a message and we’ll get started.

Any degree plans we create will be shared here to help others.


If you’d like to hear from someone much smarter than I am, the founder of Univerity of the People, Shai Reshef, gives a TED talk about how higher education is changing “from being a privilege for the few to a basic right, affordable and accessible for all.”

 

Posted in ACE, Free Tuition, Self-Paced Learning, Sophia, Transfer Credit

Sources of Free College Credits

BONUS:  currently, the Modern States Online Test Prep Program is offering a voucher to anyone who completes their online CLEP course.  The voucher will pay for your exam cost and reimburse you for your testing center fee if you have one.  You can take an UNLIMITED number of CLEP  exams right now for $0.  When this voucher program ends, or if you don’t use a voucher, CLEP exams cost about $100  each.  Read more.


 

Besides the current CLEP promo- there are classes that are $0 and award college credit.  This fantastic list was put together by a couple members of the InstantCert forum community.  I encourage you to visit the forum if you’re considering distance learning boy1colleges for your teen- it’s the single best resource on the web.

As a homeschooler of high school students, here’s what you should know before you read on:

ALL (but one) of these freebies awards ACE credit.  As such, their transfer is very limited.  If your teen is several years away from high school graduation and selecting a target college, you may want to use these just for fun, and if he gets credit later- that’s a bonus.  You can bundle these together into high school electives too.  But, if you’re getting close to enrollment or you’ve already selected a target college, you’ll want to confirm that they accept ACE credit before investing too much time in these.

That said, since they are free, many parents have their teens complete some anyway.

See my previous posts on colleges that accept ACE courses for college credit and setting up your teen’s ACE account.

Understanding expiration dates:  whenever a course or exam is evaluated for college credit by ACE, they set a date range of usually a few years.  During that time, completing the course or exam allows you to earn college credit.  When a course or exam has “expired” that means the window for college credit has closed.  Frequently, a course or exam is renewed, and the dates will extend out another few years, but occasionally we have seen courses permanently expire.  AS LONG AS you complete a course and get it onto your ACE transcript before an expiration date, the credit is good and you can use it at any point in the future.

I keep a close eye on expiration dates- you’ll see this page updated accordingly.


Saylor Academy (over 100 college credits)

Saylor is 100% free if you can find a local proctor to administer your final exam. If you have to use Saylor’s online proctoring service, the cost is $25 per course.

More about Saylor Academy

Courses consist of optional reading modules and links to videos and a final exam (proctored).  Approximate time needed to complete the course: NA


Sophia – (2 college credits)

Sophia offers a number of paid ACE-approved courses that are fairly expensive. team2However, they do offer 2 free 1 credit courses:

  • Developing Effective Teams (1 credit)
  • Essentials of Managing Conflict (1 credit)

You can sign up for the courses at Sophia.org

The courses consist of video-based modules and short quizzes followed by an online exam.  Approximate time needed to complete one course and exam:  less than 1 day


The Institutes (2 college credits) 

The American Institute For Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (commonly referred to as “The Institutes”) offer a free ethics course that is ACE recommended for 2 credits. (deadline to participate 3/31/2019)

Course consists of reading modules followed by an online exam.  Approximate time needed to complete the course and exam:  less than 1 day

  • 312N-H Ethics and the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct (2 credits) – an upper-level ethics/philosophy course that meets TESU‘s General Education “ethics” requirement. (it meets 2 of the 3 credit requirement – you might have to ask for an exception to be made for the last credit, but typically this is automatically granted. The 3rd credit can be made up as a general ed elective).

To signup, use the following link: http://www.theinstitutes.org/comet/learning_modules/cpcu_ethics.htm

Select the FREE option. You should not do the $5 option. The paid option is for “Continuing Education credit,” which is different than college credit. The free version is ACE approved for college credit.


FEMA Independent Study (over 40 college credits)

  • NOTE: FEMA is NOT ACE evaluated for credit.  As such, FEMA IS courses are only acceptable as transfer credit at Charter Oak State College and two other small 2-year colleges.  IF you’re planning to attend COSC, you can still apply some FEMA courses to your degree, but COSC hasn’t set an official limit – at least not one that they’re sharing with the public. I’m hearing between 3 and 9.  Cost:  $0 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency operates an online Independent Study program offering approximately 197 courses online for free. Anyone can take FEMA courses for high school credit or for fun, but only the following courses are approved for college credit:

The current list of  FEMA courses worth college credit can be found here.

The courses consist of reading modules followed by an online exam.  Approximate time needed to complete each course and exam:  1 day


TEEX Cybersecurity (1-11 college credits) 

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) offers 10 ACE-approved courses recommended for college credit. These are DHS/FEMA funded and therefore free for the general public to take.  This program expires 11/30/2021

In February, TEEX and ACE did a switch-up on how these courses are evaluated for credit.  If you’ve already taken TEEX (before December 2018) you can possibly take them AGAIN and opt for the 10 credit option.  If you take them now, you can choose to take 1 or all 10 courses.


Old TEEX Method, New Credit

3-10 credits

Even with the change, I’m leaving this older section here because it is actually still an option, but if you complete the TEEX courses this way, you can only earn 6 credits (see below).  This method uses the umbrella course names (Cyber 101, 201, 301) on your ACE transcript instead of the individual course names.

  • Cyber 101 – Cybersecurity for Everyone (was 2 credits –> now 4 credits)
    • Must complete all 3:
      • ARW168 Cyber Law and White Collar Crime
      • ARW174 Cyber Ethics
      • ARW175 Information Security for Everyone
  • Cyber 201 – Cybersecurity for IT Professionals (was 2 credits –> now 3 credits)
    • Must complete all 4:
      • ARW138 Network Assurance
      • AWR139 Digital Forensics Basics
      • ARW173 Information Security Basics
      • ARW178 Secure Software
  • Cyber 301 – Cybersecurity for Business Pro (was 2 credits –> now 3 credits)
    • Must complete all 3:
      • ARW169 Cyber Incident Analysis and Response
      • ARW176 Disaster Recovery for Information Systems
      • ARW177 Information Risk Management

New TEEX Method

1-11 credits (1 upper level)

Complete each course individually and submit to ACE for college credit.

  • ARW168 Cyber Law and White Collar Crime, 2 credits
  • AWR174 Cyber Ethics, 2 credits
  • ARW175 Information Security for Everyone, 1 credit
  • ARW138 Network Assurance & AWR 139 Digital Forensics Basics, 1 credit
  • ARW173 Information Security Basics, 1 credit
  • ARW178 Secure Software, 1 credit 
  • ARW169 Cyber Incident Analysis and Response, 1 credit
  • ARW176 Disaster Recovery for Information Systems, 1 credit
  • ARW177 Information Risk Management, UPPER LEVEL 1 credit

To signup, use the following link and make sure you complete each mini-class in each main class before submitting to ACE.   https://teex.org/Pages/Program.aspx?catID=607 

After you are enrolled, use this login URL to take the classes: https://my.teex.org

Course consists of reading long modules and taking many quizzes.  Approximate time needed to complete EACH course:  1 day-3 days.

 


WATCH LIST

Courses under this line have been worth college credit in the past but are currently not worth college credit.  These courses are still available to take, but beware that if you take them while they are expired, you will NOT receive college credit.  If any of these courses are renewed, I’ll update it asap.

 

National Fire Academy (1 college credit) 

  • Q0118 Self-Study Course for Community Safety Educators  (1 credit)

The National Emergency Training Center/National Fire Academy (NFA) offers one free course that is ACE-recommended for 1 credit. To signup, use the following link and find Q0118 on the list: National Fire Academy Course List

After you are enrolled, use this login URL to take the classes: NFA Login


 

Posted in Dual Enrollment, Free Tuition

Dual Enrollment Advice from Parents

I recently as the parents on Homeschooling for College Credit’s Facebook page to share their experiences with dual enrollment, and any advice they might have for parents considering it for their teens.

Dual enrollment is enrolling in a college credit course, usually through a college, and counting it also as a high school course.  Popular dual enrollment courses include English 101, College Algebra, United States History, and others.

Parent comments: 
Mark Mandel We are wrapping up Maecroeconomics with certell and have applied for dual credit through Colorado. It’s pretty cool program and well recommended.
Karen SidurFirst class just finished. We are trying to sign up for another but are waitlisted. They don’t make it easy that’s for sure.
  •  Jennifer’s comment:  at most colleges, dual enrollment students are the bottom of the pecking order, and preference will go to the college’s regular students.  My only advice is to try and register the first day you’re allowed, and even consider a second college to use as your “back up” provider.
Sarah Burns Weiser My daughter is finishing 7 credits at Messiah College. Very positive experience but expectation of a high level of writing skills. She had excellent preparation from a co-op class she had taken so it was ok, but would be a shock for people not prepared for the writing. The other students and professors were very welcoming and inclusive.
Heather JonesMy DD14 completed college algebra at the local CC. She was already familiar with the content, but had to learn time management and how to do quality work even when bored. I’m thrilled we could rent the textbook, rather than buying it, and hope to rent for future classes.
Kristy Hassler Huddle For us it was a huge success. It was his first semester and he did extremely well.
Mary Lynn StimpsonMy daughter just finished her 3rd semester of community college for dual enrollment (they call it concurrent enrollment at her college). She did really well and will graduate in may with her high school diploma and her associate’s degree at the same time. I highly recommend it if it’s not too stressful for your child. I don’t think the courses were much more difficult than high school courses. It’s much more economical than a 4 year college (which I hope she will transfer to complete her bachelor’s).
  • Jennifer’s comment:  Good point about dual enrollment having more than one name.  I’ve found dozens of different names, and usually, a state tends to call it the same thing.  For instance, if you’re in Georgia, your state calls all dual enrollment “Move on When Ready” and if you’re in North Carolina, it’s called “Career and College Promise.”  If you can’t find “dual enrollment” for your state, it might be called something else.
Lori Trentanelli17 yr old just finished Intro to Japanese. Big success, especially for a person who took her time sampling various foreign languages. She organized a study group, which plans to continue meeting.
Teresa CavenderI have 2 dual enrolled high schoolers.
On campus is much more engaging than online.
Spread out heavy reading/writing courses.
Apply/register early.
Get as much face time with professor (even with online courses, if possible).
Don’t get overwhelmed with the process /paperwork from registering. It boils down to a few documents, but the email and explanation can seem daunting!!
Don’t pass it up. It will save you THOUSANDS of dollars in the end. Like getting a scholarship without the essay. Lol!
  • Jennifer’s comment:  Thousands! That’s right.  In a handful of states, dual enrollment opportunities are FREE tuition, in a couple you even get free books and fees.  If this applies to you, the can mean your costs for 2 years of college = $0
  • For students that have to pay dual enrollment tuition, you’re paying the community college rate, which is typically 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of a typical 4-year college rate. In addition, your teen is living at home, so the living expenses associated with 2 years in a dorm are eliminated.
  • A far-reaching benefit, but for those edu-nerds like myself, an important one:  you get a better return on investment (ROI) when you complete college credit in high school.  Every credit your teen earns early puts them in the industry one year sooner.  For students in high-paying professions like nursing, medicine, engineering, etc. that means an extra 1-2-3+ years of full salary ahead of their peers.

Karen Dutton Realize that your child will be in regular college classes with adults, and that topics, assignments, and discussions will not be altered because of your child’s age, so they should be both academically and emotionally ready. The average age of a student in classes at our community college is 25. The student needs to be able to handle interactions with the professor on their own as you probably won’t have access.

Leah Johnson Stanford Daughter currently in her first semester of dual enrollment. We settled on online due to local university doesn’t allow until senior year and local cc have no price break for homeschoolers. She is taking Eng 101, American Government, and Fine Arts this fall. So far positive, but the work load is intense. Best advice watch due dates and work ahead when possible. My daughter is getting assignments turned in early to allow more free time to have extra study time to prepare for tests.

Lori Andersson Dual enrollment was the best decision we ever made. My high schooler will be nearly finished with his AA by the time I issue his high school diploma, and every core class he takes, I also count toward high school credit.

Lisa Tatum Ga is very de friendly for homeschoolers. We get free tuition and free books. Most colleges also waive the additional fees. My son has taken 7 de classes so far.

 

 

Parents and teens have to decide which subjects make sense, and choose carefully.  You can’t duplicate credit, so taking US History as a dual enrolled student means you can’t also get AP credit for US History – you have to choose.