Posted in ACE, CLEP

CLEP Expiration / Revision Dates

ACE is the third-party review organization that colleges use to decide if a class or exam is “worth” college credit or not.  In other words, CLEP exams are worth college credit because they have undergone review by ACE.

When ACE reviews an exam, they always assign a date range for that review.  At the ending date, the exam must be reviewed again or removed.  If it is reviewed and renewed, a new date range is issued.  Recently, we saw a renewal for every exam except for Social Science and History (which was recently renewed anyway).  Even exams that weren’t set to expire were bumped.  We don’t know if any exams are undergoing a rewrite for implementation before 11/30/18, but that’s always a possibility.

All date ranges and the history of date ranges are available by searching the ACE Database.

These dates are not guarantees that there will be an exam revision or removal, but they are the expiration dates as established by ACE. As such, you should plan your high school accordingly, and proceed as if an exam will be revised or removed on its expiration date to be on the safe side.   

Currently, 33 exams are evaluated for college credit.  


American Government 7/1/01- 11/30/18

American Literature 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Analyzing and Interpreting Literature  3/1/15-12/31/21

Biology 7/1/01- 12/31/21

Calculus 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Chemistry 7/1/01- 11/30/18

College Algebra 1/1/07 – 12/31/20

College Composition (essay) 7/1/10 – 11/30/18

College Modular (no essay) 3/1/15 – 11/30/ 18

College Math 3/1/15 – 12/31/21

English Literature 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Financial Accounting 1/1/07 – 12/31/22

French Language 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

German Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/21

History of the United States I 7/1/01- 11/30/18

History of the United States II 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Human Growth and Development 11/1/06 – 11/30/18

Humanities 3/1/15 – 11/30/18

Information Systems 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Intro. Educational Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Business Law 5/1/02 – 11/30/18

Intro. Psychology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Intro. Sociology 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Natural Sciences 7/1/01- 11/30/18

Precalculus 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Princ. of Macroeconomics 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Princ. of Microeconomics 10/1/12 – 11/30/18

Princ. of Management 3/1/15 – 12/31/22

Princ. of Marketing 10/1/12 – 12/31/20

Social Science and History 3/1/16 – 12/31/23

Spanish Language 3/1/15 – 12/31/19

Western Civ. I 7/1/01- 12/31/19

Western Civ. II 7/1/01- 12/31/20

Posted in Curriculum, Distance Learning, High School, Self-Paced Learning, Straighterline

Straighterline Dissected: What to Take

I first published this story in February 2017, but in March 2018, some of the Straighterline courses changed a bit.  You can see every Straighterline syllabus by entering their website and clicking on the course you’re interested in.  If the exact number of quizzes/points is important in your decision-making process, be sure to check before enrolling.  -Jennifer

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Not all Straighterline courses follow the same format.  In this document, we’ll explore the structure of each Straighterline course, and I’ll help you break down the differences between them.  This will help you choose courses that meet your specific need.


Courses are generally considered “easy” and/or “fast” to complete when they:

  1. Consist only of only exams, a midterm, and a final.  Those three exam types are multiple choice format, open book, and instantly graded by computer.  
  2. The course point distribution allows you to accumulate enough points to pass the course before taking the final.
  3. The course textbook is available digitally, which allows you to search out answers quickly during exams.  Tip: hold the Ctrl button and press the F key.  A “find” box will open, and you can search the text for any word or phrase.

Courses are generally considered “hard” and/or “slow” to complete when they:

  1. Have assignments that must be uploaded to Straighterline.  The assignment will be graded by a human, and can take 3-5 days.
  2. Are subject to a human’s interpretation of the course instructions, which can result in a low grade.  The nature of the grading system means your grader is anonymous and you can not ask follow up questions or make revisions.  You will likely have a different person grading each of your assignments.
  3. Require labs.  Science labs can stretch several days each, especially if you’re waiting for a reaction or culture to grow.  Labs also require uploading photos in every lab report.

Courses are generally “more expensive” when:

  1. You take a science lab.  Science labs all require lab kits purchased through the link in the course syllabus.  Lab kits can cost as much as $200. 
  2. You don’t use a discount code.  There are usually at least 2 codes at any time.  I keep a log of current codes on this website. Discount Codes

 

A passing score for every Straighterline course is 70% unless your college says differently.

Straighterline credit comes into every college as PASS/FAIL credit unless your college says differently.  

Charter Oak State College (CT) is the only college I know of that awards letter grades for Straighterline courses.  They use a standard 90=A, 80=B, 70=C grade scale.

When the “pre-proctor” column is 700 or more, you can pass the course before taking the final exam. Note, they still require you to take it, but there’s no pressure.


I pulled all of the following MASTER TABLE information from the Straighterline website on 2/25/2017.  Information is subject to change at any time, but I will make every effort to keep this current.  If you find an error, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

 

MASTER TABLE

STRAIGHTERLINE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY PRE-PROCTOR PROCTORED EVENT
Accounting 1 4 exams @ 150 / midterm 200 800 Final exam 200
Accounting 2 4 exams @ 150 / midterm 200 800 Final exam 200
American Government 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200 700 Final exam 300
Anatomy & Physiology 1 16 exams @ 40 / midterm 160 800 Final exam 200
Anatomy & Physiology 1 Lab 9 exams @ 42 *lowest score dropped

9 written lab reports @ 83 *lowest score dropped

1000 -0-
Anatomy & Physiology 2 13 exams @ 50 / midterm 150 800 Final exam 200
Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab 9 exams @ 42 *lowest score dropped

9 written lab reports @ 83 *lowest score dropped

1000 -0-
Biology 13 exams totaling 700 700 Final exam 300
Biology Lab 8 exams @35 / 1 homework @ 40

8 written lab reports @ 85

1000 -0-
Business Communication 14 exams @ 25 / midterm 150

3 written papers @ 100

800 Final exam 200
Business Ethics 4 exams @ 175 700 Final exam 300
Business Law 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
Business Statistics 6 exams @ 125 750 Final exam 250
Calculus 1 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 150 650 Final exam 350
Calculus 2 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 150 650 Final exam 350
Chemistry 6 exams @115 690 Final exam 310
Chemistry Lab 8 exams @35 / 1 homework @ 40

8 written lab reports @ 85

1000 -0-
College Algebra 4 exams @ 125 500 Final exam 500
Criminal Justice 12 exams @ 50 / midterm 200 800 Final exam 200
Cultural Anthropology 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
English Composition 1* 15 exams totaling 610

9 written assignments totaling 400

1010 -0-
English Composition 2 17 exams totaling 510

8 written assignments totaling 500

1010 -0-
Environmental Science 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
Financial Accounting 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
First Aid 4 exams @100 / midterm 200

1 demonstration 100 / CPR verification 100

800 Final exam 200
Introductory Algebra 7 exams @ 100 700 Final exam 300
Introduction to Business 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
Introduction to Communication 4 exams @ 100 / midterm 100

3 speeches totaling 300

800 Final exam 200
Introduction to Nutrition 15 exams @ 40 / midterm 150 750 Final exam 250
Introduction to Philosophy 4 exams @ 75 / midterm 200 500 Final exam 500
Introduction to Programming C++ 4 exams @ 50 / midterm 200

8 Program assignments @ 25

600 Final exam 400
Introduction to Religion 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200 700 Final exam 300
Introduction to Statistics 5 exams totaling 500 points 500 Final exam 500
IT Fundamentals 19 exams totaling 700 points 700 Final exam 300
Macroeconomics* 19 exams @ 40 / midterm 120 880 Final exam 120
Managerial Accounting 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200 700 Final exam 300
Medical Terminology 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200 700 Final exam 300
Microbiology 6 exams @ 100 / midterm 200 800 Final exam 200
Microbiology Lab 8 exams @ 48 *lowest score dropped

8 written lab reports @ 95 *lowest score dropped

1001 -0-
Microeconomics* 24 Exams @ 30 / midterm 140 860 Final exam 140
Organizational Behavior 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
Personal Finance 14 exams @ 50 / midterm 100 800 Final exam 200
Personal Fitness 10 Exams @ 70

Fitness test/Caloric Inventory/5K race @ 0

700 Final exam 300
Pharmacology 1 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
Pharmacology 2 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250
Physics 4 exams @ 150/ midterm 200 800 Final exam 200
Physics Lab 9 exams @ 42 *lowest score dropped

9 written lab reports @ 83 *lowest score dropped

1000 -0-
Pre-Calculus 4 exams @ 175 700 Final exam 300
Principles of Management 4 exams @ 150 / midterm 200 800 Final exam 200
Psychology* 4 exams @ 175 700 Final exam 300
Sociology 10 exams @ 50 / midterm 150

5 discussion assignments @ 20

750 Final exam 250
Spanish 1 4 exams @ 75 / 2 written assignments @ 75

2 oral assignments @ 75 / midterm 150

750 Final exam 250
Spanish 2 4 exams @ 75 / 2 written assignments @ 75

2 oral assignments @ 75 / midterm 150

750 Final exam 250
Survey of World History 18 exams totaling 700 points 700 Final exam 300
United States History 1 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 200 700 Final exam 300
United States History 2 4 exams @ 125 / midterm 250 750 Final exam 250

SL courses WITHOUT webcam proctored final exams

English Composition 1
English Composition 2
Microbiology Lab
Anatomy & Physiology 1 Lab
Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab
Biology Lab
Chemistry Lab
Physics Lab

SL courses approved as “Advanced Placement” by College Board

English Composition 1
Macroeconomics
Microeconomics
Psychology

SL courses you can’t pass unless you also pass the final exam

Chemistry
Calculus 1
Calculus 2
Introduction to Programming C++
College Algebra
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Statistics

SL courses that require written essays

Business Communication
Sociology
English Composition 2
English Composition 1

SL courses that require giving speeches/video recording

Spanish 1
Spanish 2
Introduction to Communication

SL courses that require a 3rd party to verify your activity

First Aid
Personal Fitness

SL courses that require purchase of a lab kit

Anatomy & Physiology 1 Lab
Biology Lab
Chemistry Lab
Microbiology Lab
Anatomy & Physiology 2 Lab
Physics Lab

TIP:  If you have multiple children that are earning lab credit, you only have to buy 1 lab kit.  Email Straighterline at Advisor@straighterline.com and request a “group lab form.” 

SL courses that can be “passed” before taking the final exam 

NOTE: the quizzes, labs, homework, exams, and even mid-term exams are all open book.  The only closed book activity is the FINAL EXAM, and not all final exams are closed book!  In other words, your teen should be able to earn nearly perfect scores on everything leading up to the final exam.

Macroeconomics
Microeconomics
Introduction to Communication
First Aid
Business Communication
Accounting 1
Accounting 2
Anatomy & Physiology 1
Anatomy & Physiology 2
Criminal Justice
Microbiology
Personal Finance
Physics
Principles of Management
Spanish 1
Spanish 2
Sociology
American Government
Business Law
Business Statistics
Cultural Anthropology
Environmental Science
Financial Accounting
Introduction to Business
Introduction to Nutrition
Introduction to Religion
Organizational Behavior
Pharmacology 1
Pharmacology 2
United States History 1
United States History 2
Western Civilization 1
Western Civilization 2
Personal Fitness
Psychology
Biology
Business Ethics
Introductory Algebra
IT Fundamentals
Managerial Accounting
Medical Terminology
Pre-Calculus
Survey of World History

Jennifer’s TOP 10 Suggested SL Courses

based on: fewest computer graded activities that can result in a pass before the final exam

  1. Psychology – not only is this course approved as an AP course (record it as such on your teen’s high school transcript) but it only has 4 exams @ 175 points each + final. If you want, your teen can also take the AP exam and/or CLEP exam.  The content of this course aligns with both very nicely.  Note: their target college will still only award 3 credits even if they have multiple passing scores.
  2. Business Ethics – some partner colleges consider this a philosophy or ethics course, which meets a general education requirement!  Only 4 exams and a 300 point open book final.
  3.  Accounting 1 & 2 – These don’t make sense for all of my readers, but if you’re looking for math alternatives or business courses for your teen, these two courses follow the same structure and can yield a full year of math.  There are 4 exams and midterm (all open book) totaling 800 points.  Since only 700 is needed to pass the course, you can pass long before attempting the 200 point open book exams.
  4. Principles of Management– Also a less traditional option, the structure makes this class a winner.  4 exams and a midterm (all open book) totaling 800 points.  Again, easy enough to pass before attempting the 200 point open book exam. CLEP also offers an exam for this course.
  5. American Government- Almost every high school student takes a government course, so this acts as a great DIY dual enrollment option.  A straight-forward structure consisting of 4 exams and midterm (all open book) totaling 750 points.  The final is closed book, however, it’s possible to pass this course before taking the final. CLEP offers an exam for this course, however, the pass rate is very low.  SL would be a significantly easier option if deciding between the two.  *while there is an AP exam in this content area, the SL course is not an approved AP course.
  6. Environmental Science– Considered a nice and easy science by most, the structure here makes this course a great option.  4 exams and a midterm (all open book) totaling 750 points followed by an open book final.  *while there is an AP exam in this content area, the SL course is not an approved AP course
  7. Introduction to Religion– This course is usually considered a general education course, not a theology course, making it a good option for any degree.  The structure is simple with 4 exams and a midterm (all open book) followed by a 250 point open book final exam.  In my opinion, I thought this course covered the major religions well and without strong bias toward one over another.
  8. United States History 1 & 2 – Like Accounting, these two courses can be taken individually, but when taken together make a full sequence.  Both have the same structure: 4 exams, a midterm, and final.  US History 1’s final is closed book, while US History 2’s final is open book.  Either way, it’s possible to pass both before taking the final.  There are CLEP exams for US 1 and US 2, but if you want to plan for an AP exam, be sure to take both classes!
  9. Western Civilization 1 & 2 – Identical in structure to US History 1 & 2, but both have open-book final exams.  Like all the courses on this list, you can pass the class before taking the final exam.  There are CLEP exams for Western Civilization 1 and 2.
  10. Cultural Anthropology– This course is an alternative to Sociology or Psychology as a social science option.  In some colleges, this course also meets requirements related to world cultures or diversity.  The structure is very similar to the others on this list- 4 exams and midterm with a 250 point open book final.
Posted in College Admission, Credit by Exam

2017 Survey of College Admin

Sometime I like to share articles that help you see inside the big picture of higher education – how it works and what they think. I just read the report from Insider Higher Education this morning (link follows)- they looked at the 2017 survey that asks college leaders (Chief Academic Officers/Provosts- the big bosses) about the state of higher education on their campus today.   I realize you may not be interested in reading the entire thing, but there are 4 quotes I wanted to pull from the summary. If you only have 2 minutes, skip straight to number 4.
1.  “Seventy-three percent also say that their institution relies ‘significantly’ on non-tenure-track professors…35% expect more reliance on adjunct faculty.”
WOW! Ok folks, this is huge. Let me break this down for you.  Tenure (not without problems) really means having a teaching position for life.  Coming from a community college where there are almost zero tenure faculty, even I was shocked by this number. Colleges and universities that have tenure faculty have typically stood out as being the creme de la creme.  Thnk: flagship universities and Ivy League.  These professors are integral to the college’s “brand” and for some fields, it’s the reason students choose a specific university.    But wait, there’s more….
There are other categories besides tenure and non, so if they rely less on tenure, who is doing the teaching?  Certainly they mean just regular -full time faculty?  Uh, nope.  Over 1/3 of them are going to use more adjunct faculty.
What is adjunct?  That’s the academic term that means “temp hire.”  Adjunct work 1 semester at a time, teaching classes the full timers can’t or don’t want to teach.  As it stands, community colleges already have the highest number of adjunct faculty.  I’m not going to slam adjunct work – I did it for 14 years in the community college system, but if you’re paying a premium dollar for tuition, you may be getting the same teacher who is also teaching 6 other sections at 3 other colleges in your town.  (Adjunct earn on average only $1500 per semester per course taught).   As a temp, there are extreme limitations to that teacher’s commitment to the student (that they will never see again) their ability to interject quality into the curriculum (they have no power) and their desperation to be hired back next term (be extra nice to the students – students like A’s).
2.  “45 percent of provosts believe that liberal arts education (across institutional types) is in decline.”
I suspect that’s because students with a strictly liberal arts preparation are having a hard time repaying their enormous student loans while earning low paying jobs. There is a push (rightfully) that college graduates should be employable upon graduation.
My first degree (Associate of Occupational Studies) was to get a job – plain and simple.  I went to culinary school to learn culinary arts so I could become a chef.  Simple.  Everything else is not so simple.  Later, when I earned an AA in general studies and a BA in Social Science (liberal arts), I realized how starkly different a liberal arts education and vocational education were.  My BA didn’t give me “work place skills” I studied social psychology, anthropology, history, and other social sciences.  Interesting, but not job skills.  If I wanted a job in social science, I’d have to earn a PhD so I be hired by a university that would then pay me to teach students studying social science who would then have the option of earning a PhD so they could teach social science to students….  [I’ll give you a minute to let that soak in….]
So, if a vocational education is job training, why do people earn BA degrees in liberal arts? Well to be “educated” of course.  Everyone knows vocational education isn’t real college (heavy sarcasm).  BUT, here’s the rub.  The highly educated but underemployed segment is growing at a HUGE rate.  This is the group that can’t repay their student loans, and the group that is getting expensive colleges in major hot water.  (To be fair, vocational colleges whose students can’t get jobs are also in hot water).
3.  “Eighty-five percent of provosts report that their institutions use student evaluations when judging faculty members for tenure, promotion or raises.”
Do students know that they hold this kind of power?  Bad reviews on Rate My Professor can make or break a career.  I remember in 1997, our college adopted a new philosophy called “Continued Quality Improvement” or CQI.  In short, we could no longer call students students, we were now to think of them as a “customer” and our focus was to shift toward customer service.  Having been a college student as a teen and as an adult, I can tell you there is a stark contrast between my experience as a youth and that of an adult.  While I liked having more power (don’t laugh), we also know what student-driven success looks like.  It looks like an “A” or else.
4.  “This year, 91 percent of provosts at public colleges and universities said they favored awarded credit through CBE”
THIS!  CBE is “competency based education” which is to say a college awards credit for competency rather than time spent in a classroom.  This looks like CLEP, AP, DSST, prior learning assessments, and others.  If you read nothing else in the article, pan down and read the section titled Competency Based Education.  Frequently, at least a few times per month, someone asks me what I think of fewer colleges accepting CLEP or awarding credit for AP.  Huh?  Those number have soared over the past decade (I keep records of such things).    As you read the article, you’ll see 2/3 of all public colleges report awarding credit for some type of CBE, while only around 1/3 for private.  I think that’s reasonable.   Private colleges have a brand development dilemma that gets in the way – but that’s not because of CLEP, those same private colleges also don’t accept much transfer credit either.  It’s just the nature of their business model.
So, one more bit of good news, even with 2/3 currently participating in CBE, those that don’t were asked if they were exploring the idea.  49% said yes.
Posted in AP Advanced Placement, CLEP, Credit by Exam, Dual Enrollment, Foreign Language, Self-Paced Learning

Foreign Language for College Credit

ANY non-English language can be tested for college credit, even if English is your second language. For those starting early enough and developing fluency, foreign language exams as a whole offer the largest return on investment of ANY college credit exam option!  A high score earns up to 16 credits (NYU-Foreign Language Proficiency) and costs as less than $6 per college credit (ACTFL written).

If a student completes French 101 and French 201 for college credit through dual enrollment, the French CLEP or AP exams would probably not provide any new or higher credit since they duplicate the effort.  Check with your dual enrollment college for clarity.

ADVANCED PLACEMENT: Languages – Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Tested on – reading, writing, listening and speaking (this is the only exam that tests ALL 4 AREAS, making it the hardest exam of the bunch). Credit awarded: 0-16 based on language and score (only Chinese is worth 16, most max out at 8). Some colleges award zero credit, but award “advanced standing” in the language. The score is reported on an official College Board transcript. Cost $92 AP Exams

ACTFL WRITTEN: Languages- Albanian, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Tested on- reading and writing only (no listening or speaking). Credit awarded 2-12 based on the score. The score must be recorded on your ACE transcript. Cost $105 Written exam

ACTFL ORAL: 50+ languages. Tested on- listening and speaking only (no reading or writing). Credit awarded 2-12 based on the score. The score must be recorded on your ACE transcript. Cost $$50-159 Oral Exam

CLEP: Languages- French, German, and Spanish. Tested on- reading, listening, and speaking only (no writing). Credit awarded 6-9 based on the score. Note – students who took this exam before October of 2015 may be eligible for more credit since that version was worth 6-12 credits at the time. The score is reported on an official College Board transcript. Cost $80 CLEP Exam

NYU-FLP: 50+ languages (see list below). Tested on – reading, writing, and listening (no speaking). Credit awarded 12-16 depending on the score. The score is reported by letter to your designated recipient. This exam is not ACE evaluated, but many colleges will still award college credit. In cases where no college credit is granted, the score report can still verify proficiency with employers/resume. Cost $300-$400 NYU Exam

American Sign Language is frequently used by parents as their teen’s high school foreign language, however, at this time I know of no way to roll that into college credit without taking it through a college.  If you’re looking for an ASL course, I have been told that the Rocket Sign Language course is an affordable option.

NYU-FLP CLEP ACTFL oral ACTFL written Advanced Placement  
Yes Yes No Yes Yes Reading
Yes No No Yes Yes Writing
Yes Yes Yes No Yes Listening
No No Yes No Yes Speaking
12-16 6-9 2-12 2-12 0-8 Number of credits possible
$300-$400 $80 $139 $70 $92 Cost
$25.00 $8.88 $11.58 $5.83 $11.50 Cost per Credit Max Score

NYU-FLP language list:

Afrikaans, Albanian,Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek(Modern), Gujarat, HaitianCreole, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ibo, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Lithuanian, Malay, Mandarin, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese(Brazilian), Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yiddish, Yoruba

 

Curriculum

These curriculum options would fulfill the homeschool high school language requirement/credit, and you could choose to follow the year(s) with a credit by exam option above.  Remember, that you cannot duplicate credit, so dual enrollment already awards college credit, these resources would either supplement a dual enrollment program, provide strictly high school credit, or be used for an entirely different language.

  • FREE ONLINE:  A free product you can use in your homeschool and is super easy is Duolingo. I did an experiment on Facebook using Duolingo every day for a year.  While I didn’t become fluent, it was easy to use and my teens enjoyed it too.  Duolingo  It is very much like Rosetta Stone in my opinion.  They currently offer about 20 languages.
  • DVD & STREAMING:  Many DVD course options, as well as streaming options, are available through The Great Courses (DVD) and The Great Courses Plus (streaming).  I’ve recently learned that you can even stream your Great Courses through your Roku.  The Great Courses offer many courses, but through the (cheaper) streaming option you can access:  Latin 101, Greek 101, and Spanish101.
  • ONLINE COURSES:  A large company that provides many online foreign language courses (including sign language) is Rocket Language.  They have monthly plans as well as one-time purchase options.  Specializing in Spanish is Synergy Spanish which seems to have a really good feedback rating as well.
  • SKYPE LESSONS:  In March 2017, I shared contact information for a college student teaching foreign language instruction in Spanish, Russian, and Arabic via Skype.  You can reach out to him if you’d like to investigate his services.  Russian, Arabic, and Spanish for College Credit
  • UDEMY:  An open online marketplace for people to teach classes.  You can find a ton of very inexpensive courses taught by many instructors.  Read about Udemy

 

Military Career Tip (extra pay!):  According to Defense Pay Regulation, Volume 7A, Chapter 19,  Military members who have received training in a foreign language and are assigned to a job requiring foreign language skills receive a monthly Foreign Language Proficiency Pay. It depends on upon the level of proficiency maintained. Additionally, other military members who are proficient in a language that the Department of Defense considers to be critical may also receive this monthly pay, as long as they maintain proficiency in the language.

Posted in Curriculum, Distance Learning, Dual Enrollment

The Great Books (48 UL Credits)

UPDATE:  The Western Civilization Foundation’s Courses expired with ACE on 06/2017.  These courses are currently NOT worth college credit.  If this changes, I will update the page. 


It’s not cheap*, it’s not fast, it’s not easy – but it is a homeschooling for college credit option! The Great Books program consists of eight semesters (four years) of online classes meeting 2 hours per week, September-May, discussing the reading from one of the great classics of Western civilization – Great Books – done that week.  The structure follows a typical 4-year high school set up, but you’d have to provide everything else (Math, Science, etc.)
*While researching this program, I found a FREE online open resource for K-12 Great Books study.  I don’t think it is enough to stand alone as a substitute for this program, but it certainly contains enough resources to DIY a program!  The Great Books Free Resources
The curriculum contains LOTS of reading and writing. You must be 14 to enroll, but interestingly, there is no upper age limit. No other entry requirements listed. Regarding the program, I reviewed a parent-submitted Sample Schedule and it freaked me out just a little.  My Master’s program was less work.  No, really.  I expect the majority of students in the program are also devoting a great deal of time to learning Latin.
Who will like this kind of program?  I think this program is most like Classical Conversations in approach (very classical, Latin, very academic, the Trivium approach) but without the group meeting requirement.  The online option means you can do it from anywhere it in the world that has an internet connection.  That appeals to many families, especially those that are turned off by the meeting requirements of Classical Conversations.
How many books?  Depending on the reference you check, it’s about 150.  To give you an idea of the type of books, here are the first 20 (listed chronologically on Wikipedia)
  1. HomerIliad; Odyssey
  2. The Old Testament
  3. Aeschylus – Tragedies
  4. Sophocles – Tragedies
  5. HerodotusHistories
  6. Euripides – Tragedies
  7. ThucydidesHistory of the Peloponnesian War
  8. Hippocrates – Medical Writings
  9. Aristophanes – Comedies
  10. Plato – Dialogues
  11. Aristotle – Works
  12. Epicurus – “Letter to Herodotus”; “Letter to Menoecus”
  13. EuclidElements
  14. Archimedes – Works
  15. ApolloniusConics
  16. Cicero – Works (esp. Orations; On Friendship; On Old Age; Republic; Laws; Tusculan Disputations; Offices)
  17. LucretiusOn the Nature of Things
  18. Virgil – Works (esp. Aeneid)
  19. Horace – Works (esp. Odes and Epodes; The Art of Poetry)
  20. LivyHistory of Rome
Here’s the big deal…the end result is 48 UPPER-LEVEL college credits (ACE).
Upper-level college credit is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HARD TO GET while homeschooling in high school.  In fact, it’s the hardest type of credit to get.  (Reading The Great Books, also pretty hard.)
What can you do with 48 upper-level credits in humanities/liberal arts/religion/literature?  In theory, that credit exceeds the requirement for a major at any of The BIG 3 colleges. I have not *yet* met anyone who finished this program and submitted their credit for evaluation.  If you have, tell me about it.  Based on past behavior of the Big 3, this is the type of credit they always accept, so I put it in the “excellent” transfer-ability category when earning a Liberal Arts/ Liberal Studies / Humanities / Literature  / Religion degree.  When applying to a traditional or elite college, the likelihood of transfer is limited to small.

If you’re not interested in The Great Books as the foundation of your high school program, but like the idea of a college degree, there is an ENTIRE college degree option built around the Great Books.  Thomas Aquinas College (California) holds Regional Accreditation (the golden standard) and is very homeschool friendly.  Their degree in Liberal Arts is typically considered preparatory for graduate study in medicine, law, education, etc.

If your student studies Latin, be sure they attempt the Latin exam options for college credit.  Foreign Language for College Credit