Weeks ago, while walking down a hall at Truett McConnell University (TMU), I was asked if I would be willing to write a blog on the value of dual enrollment (DE) for homeschooled students.
I quickly responded with, “You bet, no problem, my pleasure!”
For the next few days, I pondered some ideas. I should have plenty, right? After all, I’m not only the DE program director, but a father of a homeschooled DE student.
After researching dual enrollment data by area across the United States, I found steady growth in the funding of DE programs, student success rates in DE courses, and student readiness for post-secondary education after completing DE courses.
However, I realized there was a problem with the data. The majority of the information reflected the public school student, while the homeschool community was not even mentioned.
First and foremost, DE courses should not take the place of the individual student’s homeschool program. The value of DE courses should be used as a building block in conjunction with the foundations and walls of the individual student’s homeschool program. In doing so, the homeschool student can supplement a high school course with college credit accepted by university admissions counselors and by registrar offices. The DE student is then blessed with an awesome homeschool experience while getting their feet wet in the shallow end of the post-secondary academic pool.
Secondly, DE students should start out slow with one or two courses per semester. In doing so, if a homeschool junior takes two DE courses in the fall semester and two DE courses in the spring semester, they would have achieved 12 college credits for their hard work. If the student repeats the same course load their senior year, they would graduate from high school with twenty-four college credit hours and have a jumpstart on his/her education.
As a homeschool father, I can add that my son found value in taking DE courses while he was finishing up his homeschool education. He graduated from college early and is fulfilling God’s calling on his life. Over the years, I have seen thousands of students take courses as a dual enrollment student at TMU. Some students have found value by taking DE courses as high school students then continued on after graduation and earned degrees from schools of their choice with the confidence they could swim at any level.
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