Many homeschool teens benefit from the dual enrollment/dual credit opportunities at community colleges. Students in our area may choose between Illinois Central College or Heartland Community College based upon their residency. Below is a compilation of information as presented by Candace Brownlee of HCC's Student Services. Details regarding ICC's program can be found at their website.
Dual Enrollment vs. Dual Credit
- Dual enrollment classes cannot be listed on a high school transcript, while dual credit classes count toward both high school and college credit. The same special application form must be completed for either; however, to receive high school credit, one must only answer "yes" to the appropriate question on the form.
Who can participate?
- Students must be sixteen years old, complete assessment testing, and have the approval of the school counselor (parent for home school students).
How do I apply?
- Complete the special application form
- Participate in SOAR online orientation
- Report ACT and/or assessment test scores
- See advisor to choose classes
- Pay tuition
What are the assessment tests?
- The purpose of the tests is to determine the appropriate level of classes a student should take. Tests are required for reading, English and math. Though ACT subscores of 21 or higher in the areas of reading and English allow a student to waive those tests, everyone is required to take the math assessment. Students who do not score in appropriate ranges may take "0"-level courses which are not eligible for college credit. Tests are taken on a computer at HCC under no time limit, and results are immediate. Tests may be taken two times. Although the English test may be taken twice, the second attempt is a 300-400 word essay.
What classes can I take?
- College courses offered at HCC either on campus or online for which they have qualified through the assessment process. Online classes may require occasional campus attendance, but students are provided free tutoring and a computer preparation session.
- Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) classes available at HCC but also at participating high schools such as Pontiac, Central Catholic, Calvary Baptist Academy, Tri-Valley, Lexington and Prairie Central.
Are there tuition breaks
for high school students?
- High school students are not eligible for financial aid; however HCC offers a partial reimbursement to students with a "C" or better average at midterm. This tuition credit is only available for up to three classes per semester during the spring or fall-not summer. The credit varies per year, as does tuition; however an example from the 2005-2006 school year showed tuition for a three-hour course at $210 (not including books & fees). The reimbursement was $50.
- High school graduates can apply for scholarships such as the Community Scholar which covers full tuition costs for students who participate in a one hour per week class and volunteer in the community.
How do credits transfer?
- Students should consult the college or university to which they are considering a transfer. Some universities (i.e. University of Illinois) will not award college credit for courses taken as dual credit.
- The Illinois Articulation Initiative has made transferring from school to school much easier. Consult the IAI website for more information.
Other important points to note:
- HCC does not mail grades or "report cards" to students; these are available only online. Students must sign the statement on the back of the application allowing access of grades to others in order for parents to be informed.
- Students should carefully consider the number of courses which they take as high schoolers. If a student takes enough classes for dual credit they can reach "sophomore" standing and become ineligible for scholarships that would be available only to an incoming freshman.