Friday, August 31, 2007

Dual Enrollment

Here's an article from the Community College Times about dual-enrollment for homeschooled high-school-aged students. It's titled Community colleges ‘invaluable’ for home-schoolers. This is the beginning of the article:

An increasing number of home schooled high school students are using community colleges to their advantage.

Since community colleges typically don’t require official transcripts, students going on to postsecondary education have found community colleges to be a more home school friendly atmosphere, allowing them to take advantage of dual-enrollment courses and to attend full-time after graduation for a smoother transition toward a bachelor’s degree.

Once seen as an alternative for only elementary school-age students, the numbers of home schooled middle and high school students has grown significantly over the past
few years. However, when it comes time for college, some home-schoolers face hurdles in “proving their work” to many college admissions offices.

This is where parents like Ann Cameron Siegal, a volunteer with the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers (OVH), said that community colleges are especially invaluable for home schooled students. Siegal teaches her 11th grade daughter, who is also in her fourth semester of dual-enrollment classes at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC).

“I would advise students who are home schooled to look into their local community college. My daughter has loved it and it’s a way to get the academics without the drama of high school,” said Siegal, referring to the peer pressure and discipline problems that plague many high schools.

Dual enrollment was once restricted to public and private high school students, but in 1996 state lawmakers expanded access to the program to include home schooled students.

Higher education advocates say that by having official grades from a community college—whether in high school as part of a dual-enrollment program or by obtaining their associate degree—it allows home school students to develop an official academic record to help with admissions into four-year institutions.

We were discussing dual enrollment and community colleges in June on our local homeschool list. I also wrote about our discussions here. This article is something that parents with kids of all ages want to hear about.

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