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#1 MathMom

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:25 PM

I'll try to be as brief as possible, but I appreciate in advance anyone who takes the time to read this and offer insight.

 

My step-daughter was homeschooled for most of her life by her mother.

She was apparently always ahead of her peers as far as her transcript and classes completed showed (not sure about retention/comprehension - keep reading).

She should have graduated at least a year early, but for various reasons, did not.

 

Recently she came to live with her father and I and we have been working on her homeschool assignments with her.

She is a high schooler who only needs two academic credits to finish school.

 

She HATES her curriculum, however.

 

We discussed several options with her and ultimately landed on doing a dual enrollment through our local community college for the spring semester.  She wants to venture somewhat out of homeschool, but not so much as a public high school.  She's interested in meeting more peers and having a wider social circle.  And she wants to get a head start on her college education since she feels like she should have been in college this year anyway.

 

Here is where my question begins.

We took her for placement testing and were given the classes she should sign up for.  Her math score was low, but she was told there was a class she could take at that level or she could try to re-test and place higher.  When we sent her class request in (with the lower math class), however, the college is saying they can't "allow" her to take the math class.

To get true DUAL credit she needs to place into a class that seems three levels above where she is.

She can get college credit for placing into only one class higher, but she can't receive high school credit.

 

Here is the meat of my question:

If she is being homeschooled and the homeschooling parent/association can determine what curriculum is appropriate, why could she not receive credit for the class that's only one step up?

We feel fairly certain she would place into that class with a re-test since we've covered more material and she's had a chance to experience a standardized testing situation.

 

We don't want to abuse or skirt the system in any way, but I can't wrap my head around why we can't give her the grade she would earn from the college and let her finish her transcript and get her diploma.  Especially if she were to stay truly homeschooled and we created or used a curriculum for her at her level it would possibly be less difficult than the college class.



#2 Dianna

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:32 PM

MathMom, to better help you, can you tell us the description and title of the class?

Warmly,
Dianna



#3 MathMom

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 01:42 PM

The class she placed into was Developmental Math.  In order to get two true credits she needs to be in College Algebra.

 

If we can get her in Beginning Algebra she can get college transfer credit, but this is the class I'm being told she can't get high school credit for.  And from the description taken from the website below, she can't get degree credit for it either.  :-(

 

I don't mind trying to help her get through the curriculum she's started.  But I feel like it's below where she should be and she's going to be facing these same issues when she's a true college student if we do that, and she'll have a full load of classes to contend with at the same time.

 

Developmental Mathematics includes a review of arithmetic skills, and focuses on the study of measurement and geometry, basic algebra concepts, and data analysis. Application skills are emphasized.

 

College Algebra: This course includes the following topics: polynomial, rational, logarithmic, and exponential functions; inequalities; systems of equations and inequalities; matrices; determinants; and solutions of higher degree polynomials.

 

Beginning Algebra: (Nondegree Credit) This course includes the study of rational numbers and their applications, operations with algebraic expressions, linear equations and applications, linear inequalities, graphs of linear equations, operations with exponents and polynomials, and factoring.


Edited by MathMom, 16 December 2013 - 01:43 PM.


#4 Dianna

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 03:24 PM

Thank you for clarifying.

 

I'm not sure if I understand correctly, but to get dual credit means that she can earn one unit of high school credit, and she'll be earning college credit at the same time. It doesn't mean that she'll earn two high school credits for one course. (You said she needed two high school credits to graduate.)

 

A developmental math class is pre-algebra at best, and wouldn't be considered a credit for a college prep diploma, so that's why she wouldn't get credit for that unless you want to count it as non-college prep (tech prep).

 

The beginning Algebra sounds like one that you can also count for a tech prep credit, because it's not a full Algebra course (according to the topics covered).

 

All that said, your association director should be helping you with this. What courses has she taken up until now? How many credits does she already have? How did you determine that she needed two more? Have you talked to association director about this so he/she can help you develop a transcript and decide where to go from here?

 

Warmly,
Dianna



#5 MathMom

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:43 PM

Dianna-

We have her transcript from the association and her mother.  She lacks an English class (her mom had her in Grammar) and a Math class.

Her placement tests put her into English Composition 101, so no worries about that class.  She can receive her last high school credit as well as a college credit (yes, you were right about that being the way the two credits work).

 

She has taken "basic" math courses.  What we are currently working on is "Business Economics" chosen by her mother.  If you break the skills down though, they are nowhere near high school level.  IMO.

 

The relationship between parents is not friendly and some of that seems to have bled over into other areas (home school association) so her father doesn't get a lot of information when he tries.  I have a little more time during the day, so I'm trying to help him conduct research and seek guidance from other associations.

 

Both her mother (as educator) and the association director had to sign off on/grant permission for her to take these classes and receive credit.

The director's statement is something to the effect of, "students may take any courses parents see fit or meet their needs".  Thus why I'm wondering if we could give her credit - or even a 1/2 credit - for the Beginning Algebra.  And then have her take Intermediate Algebra as well for another 1/2 credit.  I haven't seen a fast-track course schedule that would let her do that and graduate in May, but the idea only occurred to me today and until we determine if she can get credit at all it seems a moot point.



#6 Dianna

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:27 PM

Thus why I'm wondering if we could give her credit - or even a 1/2 credit - for the Beginning Algebra.  And then have her take Intermediate Algebra as well for another 1/2 credit.  I haven't seen a fast-track course schedule that would let her do that and graduate in May, but the idea only occurred to me today and until we determine if she can get credit at all it seems a moot point.

 

Parents can grant credits for courses as they see fit. Whether the association will include them in the transcript they prepare for the college is up to the association. Parents can prepare their own transcripts for their students, but to qualify for state-sponsored scholarships, they have to come through the association.

 

If you're not trying for a scholarship for her freshman year, then you can grant credits as you see fit (including the number required for graduation - the state requires 24 for SC public school diplomas, but homeschoolers aren't bound by that), graduate her when you see fit, and she can just carry on at the college like any other incoming student who needs remedial math courses.

 

Is the college refusing admission to her unless she tests at a certain level in math or reaches a certain age?

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#7 MathMom

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 04:59 PM

Dianna-

I have ZERO experience in SC schools - home or otherwise.  So a lot of what I share is either personal opinion or multi-hand information.  I have very little straight from the horse's mouth.

 

The parent dynamic as well as the custody/control of the education is extremely tense.  Some of this may be "imagined" tension.  For example, it may not matter to the Association where the grades come from, but since mom originally signed her up for everything and was in charge of the education for so long, there is the impression at least that the association will only deal with her when accepting grades, etc.  This has come from not releasing transcripts to dad without mom's permission, etc.

Mom allowed workbooks to come to our house, but not quiz or test books, or even teacher guides.  We purchased all those separately and our daughter was supposed to go back to her mother's to take quizzes and tests for her to have grades reported.

 

This system has not worked well for anyone involved.  And seems to be causing further unnecessary delays.

 

The prospect of finishing needed high school courses as well as earning some introductory college courses seemed good for several reasons.  It would keep our daughter on track to graduate high school with her peers, but also give her a bit of the college head start she feels she should have.  It would ease her into a classroom and public school setting which she has never encountered.  It would broaden her social circle which consists primarily of pen pals and relatives.  It would give her an actual instructor instead of a stack of books which she was expected to go through on her own and figure out to the best of her ability.

And perhaps most importantly, it would provide parents and association with an outside source of grades/progress so that no one could question whether she was doing the work and actually learning.

 

I know that goes against what many home schoolers seem to believe in - or at least it seems to - I apologize if I'm misunderstanding.  But to put a child in a controlled, formal setting and give them tests as the only way to show they've learned seems to be 180 degrees from a home school situation.

In our situation, however, it has seemed like a lesser evil.  Keeping peace between parents and actually having progress be made instead of contention and stagnation like has happened for most of the last 18 months.

 

The college is not refusing to accept her at all.  They would take her as a full college student if she had a diploma and she could take remedial math for non-degree credit.

In order for her to take a math class for dual credit, however, she has to place into College Algebra.  They offer dual enrollment to all eligible high school students, so it is part of their state guidelines (I gather) that they only allow students to take classes which will transfer and/or are at or above classes offered in high school.

 

We already have her signed up for the English Composition.  So, she'll have at least that one class taken care of on both transcripts.

 

Her older brother took the same Business Math class she is working on now and had it on his home school association transcript, but he never tried to get into college, so I'm not sure what holes may have been there.

 

The college has told me that if she places into Beginning Algebra and the high school signs off, they can still allow her to take it.  Even though it is a non-degree course.  They just can't let her take Developmental Math.

 

But since the association director has already said she'll "allow" any classes that are deemed necessary or appropriate, then I don't understand why the Beginning Algebra can't go on her transcript as her last math credit.

Or as occured to me yesterday, why it can't at least be a 1/2 credit and she can take Intermediate Algebra too for the final 1/2 credit.

Course work and time-wise it would be a full class, but as far as material covered the Beginning class might only offer 1/2 the necessary information?  Am I thinking wrong?

 

This is where I am 1000% (yes, 1000%) ignorant of what home schoolers can do/count for credit vs what would be counted on a transcript more similar to a public school.



#8 Dianna

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:48 PM

Okay, I think I understand better now. Since the college won't allow her to enroll, I think it would be best for your association to get involved. I know you said it was a tense situation, but maybe if you call the association directly and explain the situation, they can talk to someone at the college and intervene on your behalf.

 

I'm sorry I couldn't be more helpful to you. :(

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#9 MathMom

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:45 AM

Thanks Dianna.

We're still trying to figure out what to do.  With the holidays upon us, the testing center has closed for a few weeks, so even though we don't feel like we have time to delay a decision, we have some anyway.

We are continuing to work with her and will have her retest before classes start.  If she still places into a "lower" class we will try to get the association involved or have them submit something more specific regarding what classes they will give her credit for.

 

Merry Christmas.



#10 Dianna

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:31 PM

Hi MathMom, have you heard anything else? Has everything been resolved?

 

Dianna



#11 Laura Launius

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 05:34 PM

I'm confused and now a little concerned.  Our dd is going to take courses at G'ville Tech this Spring.  Her ACT scores are high enough for College Alg (I was surprised that she didn't score higher bec she's really good in math) and Engl 101 but she made the decision to enroll in Engl 100 and Intermediate Alg bec it's her first time in a class situation.  The college advisor at first wasn't supportive of her decision, but then talked to her about her goals and told her he then fully agreed bec she needs to maintain a 4.0 if she goes into the PT program.  She realizes that courses won't count if she goes to Clemson or Anderson but she just wants the experience.  Should I have required her to take the high courses? 



#12 Dianna

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 06:13 PM

Laura, as long as the tech school will let her enroll in the lower level classes, and you think they're the best fit for your daughter, then there's no problem.

 

If you want to list the classes as dual-credit (earning a higher weighting) on her transcript, then they may not count for that if they're considered remedial (they'd count as normal college prep weighting). They'd count, just not as much. (Here's more information about the uniform grading policy: http://ed.sc.gov/age...adingPolicy.pdf).

 

It just depends on your goals. Talk to your association director about whether or not the courses would be considered remedial and thus be counted as college prep instead of dual credit.

 

Warmly,

Dianna



#13 Dana

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:26 PM

I teach math part time at Midlands Tech.

I don't log on here regularly, but send me a message to remind me to check back if you have questions & I'll come back and post more promptly ;)

 

Depending on which college you're working with, the courses that are "developmental" (below 101) may have different requirements and course numbers (I also taught at OCTC before having my son.)

 

Dual credit gets interesting at the technical colleges. Midlands doesn't want students on campus who are under 16. I don't know how I'd go about doing dual credit if I had my son taking courses. I'd probably just sign him up for the classes at MTC and then give him the grade on the high school transcript with the indication (taken at xxx college).

 

All 16 technical colleges in SC have the same course descriptions for content courses. That's designed by the State Tech board.

MAT 101 - Beginning Algebra - basically this is roughly a high school Algebra I course (although it sounds like a high school alg I course will cover a bit more material than we do in 101). We end with factoring quadratics and solving quadratics by factoring (along the way we graph lines, solve linear equations, work with polynomial arithmetic).

 

MAT 102 - Intermediate Algebra - basically a high school Algebra II class. Covers systems of equations, rationals, radicals, and all quadratics and graphing.

 

Neither of these courses transfer to any public 4-year college. They are considered remedial for college. They don't count towards the AA or AS degree at the two-year schools either.

 

After MAT 102, students can take courses that DO transfer to 4 year schools.

MAT 120 (stats) // MAT 110 (college algebra) // MAT 122 (finite math)

Degree and interest determines which course should be taken.

MAT 110 will be the toughest because students can continue on from it. It's partially a precalc course but it doesn't have trig.

Trig is MAT 111.

Calculus is MAT 130 (can take from 110 - no trig included and a terminal course. This is for business students typically)

Calculus I is MAT 140 - trig is a prereq.

 

You can look at any 4 year college's articulation agreement and it will show what courses transfer from the tech schools.

 

Developmental math is prealgebra. A student shouldn't get high school credit for it.

At Midlands, the testing center gives exemption exams the first 3 days of the semester for math courses. A student takes the final exam for the course and if they pass, they can register for the next course.

 

I've taught at the technical college since 1996. A student should NOT skip into a later math class. The placement test used (COMPASS) is pretty accurate. It is possible sometimes for a student to retest, but a student should follow where they placed.

 

Typically you can give a year's high school credit for a semester's college class. Do be aware that the courses move QUICKLY and there are no excused absences or make ups. I wouldn't recommend too many courses at the college for a first attempt. Some colleges count W's as Fs when looking at transcripts for acceptance.

 

Summer school is a possibility for fitting in extra courses if needed.

Happy to answer questions (I'm procrastinating getting ready for my classes that start Tuesday - MAT 101 and 102!)


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#14 Dana

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:32 PM

I'm confused and now a little concerned.  Our dd is going to take courses at G'ville Tech this Spring.  Her ACT scores are high enough for College Alg (I was surprised that she didn't score higher bec she's really good in math) and Engl 101 but she made the decision to enroll in Engl 100 and Intermediate Alg bec it's her first time in a class situation.  The college advisor at first wasn't supportive of her decision, but then talked to her about her goals and told her he then fully agreed bec she needs to maintain a 4.0 if she goes into the PT program.  She realizes that courses won't count if she goes to Clemson or Anderson but she just wants the experience.  Should I have required her to take the high courses? 

 

I'd suggest MAT 102 for the spring. Or honestly, I'd encourage the placement test instead of ACT. Greenville is pretty good (I know some of the faculty there), but at OCTC, I did NOT like placement by SAT/ACT and thought it really misplaced students. Greenville may have a better scoring system though.

 

The health programs are serious about GPA. Having an "easier" course will NOT hurt. I see a lot of students who drop out of programs because of their math scores. Be sure she knows to put in enough study time.

 

A really cool resource is MyMathLab if her instructors use it.

If they don't, http://interactmath.com/home.aspx this has the online problems from MML. It doesn't save work, but it's a great way to practice. Just look for the text!

 

 

If she wants to take 102 and had her advisor sign off on it, I would absolutely encourage her to take 102 instead of a higher class. The classroom experience may be enough of a challenge.


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#15 Dana

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

Dianna -

 

Feel free to toss me an email and draw my attention to any questions like this in the future as well!

 

Dana


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#16 Dianna

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 10:48 PM

Dana, thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I'll definitely email you when there are more questions in this thread or others.

 

Warmly,

Dianna


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#17 MathMom

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:54 AM

Sorry for no further communication.

 

Here is where we are now.  With classes set to start next week.

 

Daughter re-tested in Math only.

And scored lower than she did the first time.  :-(

 

I spoke with the Dual Enrollment/High School person and based on the guidelines they have to follow, she can't allow my daughter to enroll for dual credit.  There is another program for high school students which doesn't offer high school credit (again, could possibly be gotten around since she is home schooled) but she doesn't place high enough to be allowed to take those classes either.

If she wasn't trying to get dual credit or was a 'traditional' college student they would place her wherever they needed to to meet her needs.  Bit of ridiculous red tape in a screwy system, IMO.

 

We still have no firm diagnostics on where her strengths and weaknesses lie.  She and her dad are going hopefully going today to meet with someone who can give her more than a score result.  We're hoping they'll actually go over both tests and what areas she did well or poorly in, so that we can have a better idea where to start to try to get her where she needs to be.

I tried to have her do an online assessment, but I was at work and she picked it up and left it off so many times to do things with her grandmother that she never finished.  (personal discipline is something we need to work on)

 

After speaking with the HS coordinator for the college I was directed to speak with the head of the math department.  She was kind enough to give me the name and website for the textbook they use in the class(es) my daughter placed into.  She also provided the pacing guide for the secondary class and I am going to email her again today to see if I can also get one for the first class since she placed lower on the second test.

Because we don't know for sure where the gaps are, I don't want to start in the middle of a book when our daughter might need more support or even initial instruction in topics covered in the first half of the book.  Just based on working with her, I feel like she's missing most "basic" concepts at least from middle school and up.  Perhaps just because she had such a time lapse in her instruction, but I'm concerned she either wasn't taught it properly the first time or has some sort of learning delay or testing anxiety which her father has and which one (perhaps two) of her siblings have been targeted for, but which mother refuses to acknowledge or serve.

:-(

 

 

Adding to my confusion is daughter's transcript.

I've been scouring the internet trying to determine exactly how many credits and of what kinds she needs to have her transcript considered complete and her dipolma issued.

I know the requirements are different for public schools and ideally we would be able to have her at least meet those requirements, but with the time we have, I'm not sure that is going to be possible.

Her transcript shows she has 19 total credits.  We have been told she only needs to complete the remaining .5 credit in English and 1 credit in Math to graduate.  That would give her 20.5 total credits.

Her brother's transcript shows 21.5 total credits, however, and he was told he did not have enough to have his dipolma issued.  This was later recanted and attributed to a "calculation error" by both his mother and the association director who didn't notice what he'd taken and how his credits added up.

 

What I'm concerned about is that daughter needs additional credits - most likely in an elective - and that when we try to get her diploma issued her mother and/or the association director will tell us she doesn't have enough credits and she'll be further delayed from moving forward with her college career.

 

Is there anywhere that gives the minimum credit/course requirements for a home school diploma?

 

Also, if her mother shows on her transcript that she already taught Algebra I and II (even though daughter says this is a lie and she clearly doesn't remember anything about algebra concepts whether she ever learned them or not), am I reading guidelines correctly that she just has to have a total of 4 math credits and one is basically an elective?  So, whatever we decide to call this course we're developing for her, even though it's pretty much algebra or pre-algebra redux, she can still receive credit for it?

 

 

Thank you all so much for your input and help.  I am at such a loss.  Nothing in this situation seems to be easy to get figured out.

Blessings to you all for your patience with me.



#18 MathMom

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:09 AM

Dana- I've read your post again more thoroughly and although I'm disheartened I really appreciate all the detail and information you provided (a woman after my own heart!).

 

Since you know the course codes and they are the same statewide, daughter originally placed into Math 032 through Compass testing in October.  She went this week and retook the test, hoping to place at least into Math 101, and instead placed into Math 031.

 

Your detailed explanations have confirmed my gut feeling that she was WAY below where she needed to be to be ready for college.  My heart is breaking, I will admit.

 

The MyMathLab series is what was recommended to us by TTC.  In looking over some samples yesterday I feel like it might work for her.

 

But based on your recommendation that she not even get high school credit for these classes, I'm again at a loss for what to do.

 

If you'd prefer and/or are able and would like to send me a private message I would love to really dig into this with you and try to figure out what to do to help my daughter.



#19 Dana

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:45 AM

I've seen students graduate from local high schools, where they need 3 math credits to graduate and algebra 1 is the lowest class they can take, and test into developmental math. Many of my 101 students have had algebra with the past 6 years and never mastered it. There's a LOT of poor math teaching out there at all levels.

Your daughter is at a disadvantage, but she's not incapable of catching back up....it just may take a bit longer.

I'd say you have a couple of options...

Self paced study. Aleks is online software and can help a student start where they need to be. You may also see if she can get a private tutor to help with explanations when needed. Use online videos for further explanation...Khan Academy or Art of Problem solving videos (very good!). Use the text Trident uses in developmental for additional explanations. Then in the fall, she can see where she is. I'm not sure what you'd call the math for this semester...self study? Check high school course descriptions.

Take the classes at Trident. I don't know their DVS numbering...they may have minimesters...7 week courses, so she could take two in the spring semester. Again, I've had students straight from high school test into DVS. Again, call the course something like math review. It wouldn't be dual credit since she couldn't get college credit for it, but that foundation in math will be needed for any college courses.

I know students at USC who have to go to Midlands to pick up courses in areas where they can't get college credit but need the background. There may be a delay, but this IS manageable.
It will take a lot of work and likely a lot of frustration along the way. The good thing is when you start seeing the connections, you can learn more quickly. The college texts are written much better IMO than high school texts. I really like Jordan's text linked in the interact math link. It's very well written and I like his explanations.

So I'd suggest counting math for high school credit this year anyway...even if there needs to be some creative naming, but focus on moving as quickly (but solidly) through prealgebra and what can be done with algebra this semester and summer.

I'll try to post some general math study suggestions later this weekend.
And I'm happy to answer questions or make suggestions to the best of my knowledge.
There isn't one right way or one right path.
Don't give up!

#20 MathMom

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:27 PM

Thanks Dana!

I don't doubt my ability to help her.  I was a math teacher at the elementary and middle levels, which seems to be where she is, and have had classes up through trig myself.  I am at a serious time disadvantage though and I know I'm probably not giving her all she needs due to working full-time, etc.  Or at the very least, I could push her through more if I had more hours in a day in which to do it, maybe that's a better way to put it.

 

While her dad and I would absolutely love it if we could drop her in an Algebra class either on a campus or at home, and have her soar at it, our main goal right now is to get her foundation firmed up.  We want to make sure that whatever class she places into in the fall as a full-time student, she can be successful in.

 

Trident has minimesters in some of their classes, but based on what I'm understanding from them, there's no way they can let her on campus to take classes (in math).  No enrollment status that will allow it.

She can't do it as an Early Admit high school student.

She can't do it as a Dually Enrolled high school student.

And she isn't yet a true college student so she can't do it that way.

 

Like Laura, though, one of our (mine, husband's, daughter's) prime objectives with taking classes at TTC was the experience of a classroom setting and college campus.  Meeting peers, getting used to a schedule and managing various courses, etc.  Daughter has been home schooled and socialized primarily with siblings.  Weekend interation semi-regularly with extended family.  Some interaction with church.  Almost no other peer socialization.  And, based on what she and son have said, they only did one subject at a time and then moved to the next.  So, concurrent learning, scheduling, prioritizing, etc haven't really been learned yet.

 

Dual enrollment was almost a ... bonus?

The fact that she placed high enough in English to take a college level course while still getting high school credit for it was killing two birds.  She needs a final English credit and she'll need the English no matter which college she attends.

 

Figuring out the math aspect has been much more difficult.

And my ingnorance coming in from out of state and looking at everything through public school colored glasses hasn't helped.  haha

 

I'd certainly appreciate any further suggestions you may have.

TTC uses Bittinger's Basic Math for their 031 and 032 classes with the MyMathLab site.







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