The Possibilities of Elective Credits: Part III

How are elective credits documented?

The answer to this question depends on your state's home education law as well as what college or university choices find their way on your learner's "top ten" list. Your family's record keeping methods will also factor into answering this question. This was definitely the case for our family.

For our family, if a learner has a distinctive interest or an extraordinary gifting--something they naturally spend a good amount of time researching and learning (for us 75 hours for a half credit and 120+ hours for a full credit)--we count if for credit. I personally do not label or flag courses as core or elective on our transcripts (I do however flag dual enrollment, CLEP, or courses taken at other accredited entities). Too many colleges access transcripts differently to flag core and elective courses. What one considers a core course, an academic elective, or an elective another will classify differently. 

As a learner is actively involved in the the learning process, I keep a bullet point list of the concepts learned or experiences completed on a digital document. From that bullet list, I can write an accurate title and course description should we need it for university admission or scholarship applications. Once the course is complete, I add the title, grades, and credit to the transcript--a one-page snapshot of the young adults academic record.

Elective courses often set one young adult learner apart from another, especially if potential applicants have similar, cookie-cutter type elective credits. 

What strengths, interests, or giftings do your learners have which might equate to credit. Some of the courses our learners have completed include Care and Concerns of the Elderly; Drafting and Drawing; Competitive Gaming; Business and Entrepreneurial Principles; Introduction to Early Childhood Education; Nutrition and Health for Disease Prevention; and Interpersonal Relationships. These off-the-beaten-path have proven to give our now adult children life skills they may not have received otherwise. 


Life skills + high school electives = WIN! for preparation beyond the turning of the tassel


 

This blog post is intended to offer an example of personal experience. It is in no way intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such. Parents own the sole responsibility for the training and education of their children. 

Course Descriptions- To Write or Not to Write

I have been following and actively researching homeschooling in the high school years for over 15 years. Some trends have remained the same. Others have changed. 

Course descriptions have definitely been one of those trends. 

When I came into the high school years, the majority of parents were writing course descriptions of some kind depending on the university to which a young adult was applying. 

There are several reasons why less parents are having to spent time documenting textbook titles, course content, evaluation methods, and the like. 

In our geographical area (some trends are geographical), more students are choosing to dual enroll and then continue at the community or state college until the AA is earned. In many cases, that AA offers students a direct connection to an in-state, four-year university. When the AA or AS is earned, usually the only documentation needed from high school is the final transcript, if anything. In some situations, AAs are even providing a direct connection to some out-of-state colleges.

In fact, students who chose to dual enroll and finish the AA or AS are likely not to need the course descriptions.

For example, my first grad went to a four-year college. Some of the colleges--especially highly selective universities--required course descriptions. Others did not. 

My second graduate dual enrolled while in high school and then applied to stay on and finish the AA. The application process was a piece of cake. Only a final high school transcript was required. No course descriptions. 

My two current high schoolers, one a senior, may need a combination based on the top colleges of their choice. In preparation, just in case, I am keeping bullet points of the highlights of the less traditional courses as well as titles, authors and publishers of textbooks and resources. If needed, my bullet points will become sentences to create the course descriptions. 


The current trend for course descriptions is college specific. 


Hence, some parents are choosing to take a "wait-and-see-approach and are not worried about pulling all nighters should their young adults need documentation.

Keep in mind, if the home-educated student is an athlete considering collegiate sports, there is some specific course documentation needed for the NCAA. You can find that information here

A sampling of colleges still requiring course description or some type of course documentation include:  

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Emory, Atlanta, GA

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Oblerin College and Conservatory, Oblerin, OH

Olgethorpe University, Atlanta, GA

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Rice University, Houston, TX

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 

This is only a sampling! Parents and young adults must take the responsibility of researching the requirements of the colleges of interest. Check the admission requirements of the student's colleges of choice. If course descriptions or other documentation is required, plot your plan of action. If that plan includes writing course descriptions, check out this post. 

This blog post is intended to offer an example of personal experience. It is in no way intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such. Parents own the sole responsibility for the training and education of their children.