NEWS: HS4CC Beta Testers Needed!

A pre-announcement! I’ve been given 200 “seats” to offer to the HS4CC community from a regionally accredited college in California as part of their beta test! Guess what? These classes will be LIVE! And FREE for this community only!

The details are coming this month, but here are a few details:

The college is regionally accredited and has never offered dual enrollment before- we are their testers.

The classes will have a LIVE (synchronous) model for online learning. The student would need to log in at specific times for this class.

The HS4CC community is often invited to beta test for colleges and businesses, so if you’ve ever done this with us before, you know how rewarding it is to be part of the building process. Your teen may be asked for their feedback, and it’s a fun way to get “paid” for your participation by being given free tuition!

Students in 12th grade will get priority and are their preference, but was told that 11th graders would be considered.

Students will choose 1 of the following 3-credit college classes for dual enrollment:

  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • American Politics & Government

The enrollment period will open next week and run through December 31st. Classes will start on January 17th and run for 11 weeks. *high school transcript will be required*

Syllabi, times, specifics, etc. all to follow.

The credits should transfer well into any other college that accepts transfer credit. They are regionally accredited, which is the gold standard.

  • Marketing and Entrepreneurship should transfer in as “Business” courses
  • American Politics should transfer in as “Government” or “Social Science” courses.
  • Each course will yield 1 high school credit and 3 college credits.

Can High Schoolers Save the Community College?

Even as total community college enrollment has fallen, the number of dual-enrolled high school students has grown. Is it enough to sustain the long-suffering two-year institution?

Liam Knox

November 22, 2022

When the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center released its annual enrollment report last month, the outlook was fairly bleak. Enrollments had declined almost across the board—at lower rates than during the COVID-19 pandemic, but still defying predictions that they would begin to rebound.

One bright spot was community colleges, which, after a nearly 10 percent enrollment decline during the pandemic, saw a slight increase for the 2021–22 academic year. Many experts attribute that largely to one factor: dual enrollment among high school students grew by 11 percent.

The number of high school students enrolled in community colleges had been growing at a healthy clip for years before the pandemic; in 2019, dual-enrollment students accounted for 16 percent of community college students nationwide, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. That number remained relatively steady throughout the 2020–21 and 2021–22 academic years, when general enrollment took a steep dive, according to NSC data.

Now, it’s become increasingly clear that high schoolers are bailing out many two-year institutions that have taken on water. While total community college enrollment has declined every year since 2010, students under 18 are the only age group that has increased each year during that time period, according to a report from the American Association of Community Colleges.

“The growth of dual enrollment seems to be almost propping up new student growth for community colleges,” said John Fink, a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center of Teachers College at Columbia University. “Older adult student enrollment is declining and dual enrollment is holding steady, so you’re just going to see a larger share of enrollment from high school students … It’s going to be a really important constituency for community colleges to think about as part of their institutional strategy.”

Amy Williams, executive director of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships, one of the leading national accreditors for concurrent and dual-enrollment programs, said she’s seen the growing popularity of dual enrollment reflected in an explosion of applications for program accreditation.

From ‘Programs of Privilege’ to Equity Drivers

Williams said she’s seen a “paradigm shift” in recent years as institutions move from offering advanced classes for academic highfliers to using dual enrollment as a way to expand access to higher education for underserved groups.

Access the rest of this story on Inside Higher Education. Free account creation is required.

NEWS: HS4CC Beta Testers Needed!

A pre-announcement! I’ve been given 200 “seats” to offer to the HS4CC community from a regionally accredited college in California as part of their beta test! Guess what? These classes will be LIVE! And FREE for this community only!

The details are coming next week, but here are a few details:

The college is regionally accredited and has never offered dual enrollment before- we are their testers.

The classes will have a LIVE (synchronous) model for online learning. The student would need to log in at specific times for this class.

The HS4CC community is often invited to beta test for colleges and businesses, so if you’ve ever done this with us before, you know how rewarding it is to be part of the building process. Your teen may be asked for their feedback, and it’s a fun way to get “paid” for your participation by being given free tuition!

Students in 12th grade will get priority and are their preference, but was told that 11th graders would be considered.

Students will choose 1 of the following 3-credit college classes for dual enrollment:

  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • American Politics & Government

The enrollment period will open next week and run through December 31st. Classes will start on January 17th and run for 11 weeks. *high school transcript will be required*

Syllabi, times, specifics, etc. all to follow.

The credits should transfer well into any other college that accepts transfer credit. They are regionally accredited, which is the gold standard.

  • Marketing and Entrepreneurship should transfer in as “Business” courses
  • American Politics should transfer in as “Government” or “Social Science” courses.
  • Each course will yield 1 high school credit and 3 college credits.

What is Dual Enrollment?

What is Dual Enrollment?

Dual enrollment is not a universally defined.  I use the term “dual enrollment” or “DE” as a generic catch-all term to mean a college course taken by a student for both college and high school credit. In the case of homeschooling, the parent awards the high school credit while the college awards the college credit. Students enrolled in private schools, public schools, and umbrella schools will not have the same autonomy as a high school family, and should consult their school officials for guidance.

It can be confusing, but different states and different college systems use a variety of terms to mean dual enrollment. Since each system may vary in its exact definition, you’ll want to be careful that you understand the details of any program you’re considering.

Examples of dual enrollment program names:

  • Dual Enrollment
  • Career and College Promise
  • Middle College
  • Early College
  • Postsecondary Enrollment Option (PSEO)
  • Concurrent Enrollment
  • Dual Credit
  • Joint High School
  • Articulated High School

How does Dual Enrollment Work?

The student attends class, online or in person, along with the regular college students. Dual enrollment students complete the same requirements as “regular” college students, including receiving grades and a college transcript.

There are versions of dual enrollment used in public schools where the teacher holds regular class for the high school students for “college credit.” This type of DE is growing in popularity, but generally speaking, those programs aren’t open to homeschooling families. Before you feel upset by this exclusion, you should know that outcome data says that students who take courses directly with the college are more successful than those who take their dual enrollment courses with a high school.

Registration for homeschool students is nearly entirely done directly with the college. Since there are no restrictions placed on where you register, parents can select a college(s) based on their budget, interests, religion, or learning preferences. With nearly 3,800 colleges in the United States, most allowing participation, this opens up a fantastic opportunity for homeschooled teens.

caution:   dual enrollment courses won’t be censored for your teen.  Maturity should always be considered.

As a homeschool family, your teen’s access to dual enrollment is often better than if they were in public school. In many states, the public school’s guidance counselor chooses which students and which courses are offered, and generally, only the top scoring students are eligible. As the homeschool administrator, you can choose whether or not your teen participates, and if they aren’t eligible to participate locally, you can choose to use a different college outside your state. If you want to learn it, it’s out there to learn!

Learn Now Transfer Later

Though this isn’t the case in all 50 states, nearly every state (38) has determined that general education college courses taken for dual enrollment credit at a public college or university are guaranteed to transfer into the other public colleges and universities of that state. 35 states guarantee that the associate degree will transfer perfectly into the state’s public colleges and universities. Not having that guarantee doesn’t mean that it won’t transfer, but having the guarantee is an added peace of mind! Even in these guaranteed transfer states, a private university often marches to their own drum and can reject the transfer of credit with otherwise excellent transferability.

Pro Tip: General Education courses like English, math, science, world languages, or history transfer much better than career and technical or occupational courses like business, information technology, management, health, hospitality, agriculture, or skilled trades.

What’s it Cost?

That depends- a lot. Some of you will live in states with free dual enrollment tuition, others will have access to reduced tuition, and some will pay full price. No matter what YOUR STATE OFFERS, you can always shop around! For instance, there are out of state opportunities as low as $25 per credit, so if your state’s best price for reduced dual enrollment tuition is $100 per credit, you may want to look elsewhere.

Homeschool students are not bound by their state’s offerings, you always have the option to choose any college in any state! Be sure to check my list of the cheapest dual enrollment programs at any given time.

During high school you have unlimited access to reduced or free tuition in any amount, but after high school you will absolutely with certainty pay full price.

The following states offer free dual enrollment options in some amount. Check with other parents in your HS4CC State-based Facebook group for guidance.

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Secular or Religious?

Both! While your state may have limitations for what they pay for you can always choose the better fit for your family and you always have the final say on where your teens take college classes. For parents who want religious dual enrollment courses,  I keep a list of religious colleges with proper accreditation and open to homeschooling students living any state.

What to Watch Out For

The downside to dual enrollment is simple, if your child bombs the class, the grade is on their permanent record (college transcript). Colleges require you to disclose all previously earned credit under penalty, so that “D” may count against future college applications, but for sure counts in their college GPA. For that reason, do not rush your child into a course before they’re ready, and consider taking only 1 course at first. Adjusting to a college schedule is difficult for most people of any age.

Withdrawal vs Failing

Lastly, during the 20 years I taught college classes, more than 90% of the “F” grades I had to issue were simply a result of a student failing to withdrawal. Meaning, the student didn’t fail for “academic” reasons, they simply didn’t withdrawal properly.  All colleges have a formal withdrawal process. NEVER allow your teen to just stop attending class—even if it’s an “online” class. If your teen is not going to pass their class, for any reason, withdrawal from the course immediately using the formal withdrawal procedure. You may or may not get any of your tuition back, but you are protecting their GPA, which is more important. Always withdrawal your teen instead of allowing a failing grade for the course.

Pro Tip: the course syllabus should state the last date to withdrawal from a course. If it doesn’t, contact the college advisor directly and find out asap. Don’t let that date pass without certainty that your teen will pass their course.

For the motivated student, it’s possible to earn an entire certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree along with his high school diploma. And yes, if your teen earns a degree IN HIGH SCHOOL they will still apply to college and for financial aid as a first time incoming freshman. College credit earned AFTER high school can turn your teen into a transfer applicant, but credit earned DURING does not.

To Keep in Mind for Out-of-State DE

  • dual enrollment out of state is always a self-pay situation
  • dual enrollment out of state will occur as a distance learning student
  • transfer arrangements are rare
  • choosing general education courses significantly improves chances of successful credit transfer
  • you do not have to earn a degree at the college you use for DE

More Dual Enrollment for Under $200/course!

I’m always looking for affordable DE courses. Last week I shared 5 colleges offering DE for under $200 per course, and this week brings you another list of 5! These colleges are offering classes (online) to homeschoolers living in any state. Remember, once your teen graduates high school, they’ll pay rack rate!

Continue reading “More Dual Enrollment for Under $200/course!”

Differences between ASU’s Various Portals, ASU Prep Digital, and being a student at ASU?

Arizona State University has several programs, and each has pros and cons. If you’re wondering about the differences between the various programs offered by Arizona State University- this post explains how each works in your HS4CC program.

Read more: Differences between ASU’s Various Portals, ASU Prep Digital, and being a student at ASU?

A bit of History

A little history might help! In the early days of MOOC’s, ASU created a program called Global Freshman Academy on edX – the last vestiges of the program can be seen in the link provided. Students could choose from a small selection of classes, pay a small fee, take the course, and pay $600 (at the time) to transcript the credit at ASU. The Earned Admissions program spun off from this, originally targeting adults returning to college, and addressed, to a certain extent, the concerns of many adults to pass the 3 areas that are traditionally blockades to earning a college degree: English, Maths, Sciences. The pitch was to earn 24 credits with a C or higher and receive auto admissions to ASU.

What is the Universal Learner (UL) program?

As word spread, the courses began to gain traction among a wider group of students, such as gifted students, homeschools, and public schools. ASU’s renamed the Earned Admissions Program to the Universal Learner program last year to better encompass and represent this widening demographic. The program is a unicorn in the college world, we know of no other program that includes all of the features this program provides. Students of any age in any part of the world can sign up for regionally accredited (the gold standard) college courses for $25, with no hassles, no need to send in your transcripts, no red tape, no placement tests, and no risk to a student’s GPA. If the student doesn’t get the grade they want, simply do not pay the $400 at the end of the course and there is no record of the course. Retake the courses as many times as is needed for just a minimal $25 sign-up fee. Students can sign up with a photo ID, such as a driver’s license, passport, public school ID, or some have used homeschool ID’s. Find out the full scope of the program.

Students who solely take ASU UL courses at ASU are considered “visiting students” and are NOT considered a regular “fully enrolled” student at ASU. We discuss these differences deeper in the “fully enrolled” students section below.

What is the HS4CC UL Portal?

By 2020, our regular contact with the (at the time) Earned Admissions Support team led to new opportunities for our members, such as access to beta courses not open to the public, and it was determined that we needed a better way to manage these special options for our members, rather than adding each individual student to each new option. Initially, our members’ students were temporarily placed in the “hs” portal (the URL had hs.ea.asu.edu in it, once logged in), which sort of lumped us together with other related groups. Later we were given our own HS4CC portal (the URL has hs4cc.ea.asu.edu in it once logged in), which is what we see today when we log in to and arrive at the student dashboard.

The HS4CC UL portal is a an educational partner portal that allows ASU to easily deliver special courses, pacing options, etc to our members. Students in the HS4CC UL Portal have access to ALL of the courses available in the main “public” Universal Learner Portal. We also have access to a growing number of courses ONLY available for enrollment from our HS4CC portal. At the time of this post, we currently have two different Poetry in America courses that will run back to back Fall and Spring semesters, as well as ENG105 Advanced First-Year Composition, which combines ENG101 English Composition 1, and ENG102 English Composition 2 into a single self-paced course, with faculty feedback, designed to run with a normal school year (August – June). Students must be in the HS4CC portal to see these courses and enroll.

Please note that Homeschooling for College Credit volunteers run the HS4CC with ASU Courses Facebook group and the HS4CC ASU UL Portal. We do not make money from ASU or the HS4CC portal; these are run as a service to the homeschool community.

What is ASU Prep Digital?

ASU Prep Digital is another unrelated program from ASU for smaller cross-section of the UL demographic: primary and secondary aged school children. Prep Digital is ASU’s virtual online school program, which is free to Arizona students or for a fee any primary or secondary school student outside of Arizona can join. While they also offer the virtual school for lower grades, for our purposes, we will focus on the high school/college credit portion of the program, which ASU refers to as “concurrent credit”. Full-time ASU Prep Digital students can take high school courses, and concurrent credit college courses at a discounted rate from ASU’s regular catalog of college courses. Prep Digital also allows students who don’t wish to be a full-time Digital Prep student, to take ala carte courses as a part-time student through their program. Students can optionally choose to take ala carte concurrent credit college courses from the main ASU catalog (along with fully enrolled college students). They charge about 1/2 rack rate, so ~$600/3cr – it’s charged per credit, plus fees, plus books, and unlike the Universal Learner (UL) courses, there is no opting out if you don’t like the grade. It’s like taking them at any other college for dual credit/enrollment/concurrent credit – there are drop dates, you pay upfront for the course, buy your own books, etc. If you withdrawal from a course, you will have a W on your transcript.

There is one other unique advantage to ASU Prep Digital concurrent credit courses that may make this option attractive to some students – nearly all of the ASU course catalog is open to their students to take, including upper level courses, provided prerequisites have been met, and there are no restrictions on the course. Upper level credits are extremely hard to source for concurrent/dual credit/enrollment students – Columbia College is the only other college that allows their dual credit students to take upper level courses, that I know of. If you’ve found other colleges/universities that allow access to upper level courses via dual credit, or if Columbia’s policy has changed, please share in the comments!

If your student is planning to attend ASU, and they have run out of UL courses to take, using extra courses through ASU Prep Digital would be another way to save money on tuition.

Students seeking discounted dual credit rates outside of their home state might find more attractive discounted rates on our Nationwide Dual Credit list (Under Type 1 RA Graded Credit | DE Master List — there are 3 separate classifications, revised annually).

To find out more about ASU Prep Digital programs, we suggest parents attend one of their Live Information Sessions. Be aware of some potential lingo changes while communicating with the college, as each state varies in how they define the terms dual credit, dual enrollment, and concurrent credit. While this is an old post, I believe it still holds true in how ASU defines these terms.

What’s the difference between taking courses in the ASU Portal and being a Regular “Fully Enrolled” ASU Student?

Students strictly taking courses through any ASU UL portal are considered “visiting students” at ASU, just as a student would be considered a visiting student if taking community college courses over the summer break from their regularly enrolled 4 year college. This means you do not have access to all of the services available to “regularly enrolled ASU students”, UL students can’t live in the dorms, and UL students aren’t eligible for financial aid.

A “regularly enrolled”, or sometimes we say “fully enrolled”, student at Arizona State University, has applied to ASU through the normal application process, and been accepted. Students can be admitted directly from that process, or admitted via the “earned admissions” route if the student fails to meet standard admissions requirements, but has completed the 24 credits via the Universal Learner program. “Failure” to meet standard requirements could be something as simple as not having the required number of documented high school science “labs”, exam scores, or it could be for other reasons. Once enrolled, they are an ASU student, rather than a “visiting student”.

ASU is a well known tier 1 research university that offers traditional on-campus degrees, and they have a sizeable list of fully online degrees. Note that students pursuing fully online degrees are still eligible for Federal student loans and grants, but they are not eligible for scholarships open to on-campus students (often called “merit aid”). ASU does have unique relationships with some businesses, such as Starbucks, and Uber to provide free tuition to their employees.

One other note! Do keep in mind that being admitted to ASU doesn’t guarantee that the student will be immediately admitted into the program of study of their choice. For instance, if the student is targeting an engineering degree, which is traditionally a highly competitive program to enter at any university, “earned admissions” does not guarantee admissions into the engineering program, only the university itself. Students may need to take courses and apply to the program again later for possible admissions into that specific program. Likewise, students planning to pursue degrees in less competitive programs may automatically be admitted into the program without issue.

How Can I Tell Which Portal I’m in?

To verify the student’s account is part of the HS4CC portal look at the URL after the student logs in – there should be “HS4CC” in the URL. See the URL example at the top of the image below (it has hs4cc.ea.asu.edu as the beginning of the URL):

Continue reading “Differences between ASU’s Various Portals, ASU Prep Digital, and being a student at ASU?”

Free High School Planner: Outlier Courses

I’m really excited to share my newest Learning Guide with you! This 4-year high school planner is totally free and is for families who like Outlier courses and want to resourcefully plan them into their homeschool. This guide is unofficial, which is to say it is not endorsed by Outlier, but since Outlier courses are one of the few good options for legitimate credit laundering, there is a lot of new information I’m eager to share about how to use these courses. This guide contains 7 different high school plans.

Continue reading “Free High School Planner: Outlier Courses”

NEW! ASU UL Courses in Architecture!

We are thrilled to add TWO new Architecture courses available starting in Spring 2023 in the HS4CC UL Portal!

ARC111 Architecture of Architecture I (anticipated term: Spring A, 1/10/23 – 3/8/23)

ARC 112 Architecture of Architecture II (anticipated term: Spring B, 3/7/23 – 5/3/23)

* Spring A =the first 8 weeks of the Term. Spring B = the 2nd 8 weeks of the term. one or both should be available for enrollment in the student Dashboard sometime AFTER 10/1/22.

** As these are NEW courses, please note that these are anticipated launch dates for the courses, and they *could* slide to a different semester. Please plan accordingly.

Overview

We do not yet have course briefs or syllabi for these courses. In the interim, the description from the main ASU course descriptions should provide a general sense of courses. Please note that these descriptions might not fully match the what is released in the UL platform, they might have different projects and utilize different resources.

ARC 111 main catalog listing

ARC 112 main catalog listing

As always, we will post the course documents in the Files section of our Facebook group HS4CC with ASU Courses as soon as we receive them from ASU.

Course Format

We expect these courses to be released as a teacher-paced course rather than self-paced. All ASU UL courses are asynchronous, due to their global availability, and we expect the same with these courses.

Earning College Credit

This course appears on your transcript identically to how it appears on the transcript of an enrolled ASU student.

These 3 credit courses will fulfill requirements at Arizona State University in several degree plans, such as Architecture Studies BSD, and BA in the Arts degrees. We also think the courses might make nice risk-free high school electives for career exploration!

In order to receive academic credit for this course, you must earn a grade of “C” or better. You have one year to add the course to your transcript.

How to Succeed

To be successful in this course, we recommend English language fluency and computer literacy. We also encourage you to make sure your laptop or desktop computer meets the technical requirements.

How will these Courses Transfer?

We can’t answer that for any course or college. It’s up to each individual college to determine how transfer credit is accepted and applied to a degree plan. You can search for the “school name transfer tool”, or a tool like Transferology and often colleges will list courses they’ve already evaluated for transfer from other institutions, and how it transfers. These courses are not new to ASU, only the Universal Learner platform, therefore some colleges may have evaluated them for transfer already. ASU’s courses, in general, should be highly transferrable to other colleges. It’s regionally accredited credit from a 4 year Tier 1 research institution.

Do keep in mind these are not general education courses, but rather represent something that might appear as a course for the major in a degree plan. Therefore, the second part of your search, after verifying if the course will transfer involves looking at the degree plan to see how the course(s) apply to the degree plan.

What is the UL program?

ASU’s Universal Learner program, formerly known as the Earned Admissions program, is a unicorn in the college world. Students of any age in any part of the world can sign up for regionally accredited (the gold standard) college courses with no hassles, no need to send your transcripts, no red tape, no placement tests, and no risk to a student’s GPA. If the student doesn’t get the grade they want, simply do not pay the $400 at the end of the course and there is no record of the course. Retake the courses as many times as is needed for just a minimal $25 sign-up fee. Find out the full scope of the program.

How to Sign Up as a New Student:

For more detailed information about how to sign up for to take courses in the Universal Learner program, formerly known as the Earned Admissions program, please visit our post “How to Sign up for ASU Earned Admissions Courses”. Again, please note that students in the HS4CC portal have access to ALL of the courses in the regular Universal Learner portal, but we have EXTRA course offerings, such as Poetry in America courses, the pilot of ENG105 Advanced English Comp, and occasionally we have additional pacing options (ie self-paced vs teacher-paced), etc. The list of courses on the sign-up page is just a sample of what’s available and is not the full list available to HS4CC students in their dashboard. We do not make any money from this program or ASU in any way. The HS4CC portal was created to facilitate special offerings from ASU to the homeschool community.

Join our ASU Course group for Homeschoolers community on Facebook for help selecting courses, course reviews and discussions, and much more!

Exciting Changes with ASU Universal Learner ENG101 and ENG102 English Composition Courses!

We were notified in the Spring that there were changes on the horizon for the popular English Composition 1 (ENG101) course. At that time, the self-paced version was pulled from the lineup as they made modifications. The self-paced version has returned, and the Fall 2022 course has also been given an upgrade! The biggest change is additional teacher feedback on writing assignments – something long requested by our members!

Continue reading “Exciting Changes with ASU Universal Learner ENG101 and ENG102 English Composition Courses!”

NEW! ASU UL Advanced First Year English Composition ENG105

The HS4CC ASU UL Portal has a new English course option: ENG105 First-Year Advanced Composition! This is a unique course based on a new “classroom model” ASU is piloting. ASU provides the central curriculum for the course through videos,
readings, and assignments, and all grading is done by the ASU faculty, while optional discussions, collaborations, and peer review are handled in the classroom (not the online course site).

Continue reading “NEW! ASU UL Advanced First Year English Composition ENG105”

TWO Poetry in America Courses for HS4CC Portal Students Only!

For our HS4CC families only. You can only enroll in these special course when you use the HS4CC portal. Offered for Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.

We are thrilled to announce Homeschooling for College Credit, in partnership with Arizona State University and the ASU Center for Public Humanities, is offering two for-college-credit English Course to high-school students: Poetry in America: The City from Whitman to Hip Hop this Fall 2022 and Poetry in America: 1850-1945 will be available in Spring 2023.

Continue reading “TWO Poetry in America Courses for HS4CC Portal Students Only!”

HS4CC Cheapest Dual Enrollment List

Yesterday’s new list didn’t attach properly to my post- I’m so sorry!! I think I’ve fixed it, thank you for your patience as we try this again!

Looking for dual enrollment classes that won’t break the bank? My new list has the cheapest of the cheap! These are real college CLASSES (not ACE or credit by exam) open to homeschooled high school students in (almost) every state who can register and take these classes remotely. All colleges on my list are regionally accredited so they are expected to transfer well into colleges that accept transfer credit.

Cheapest Dual Enrollment 2022 List