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Concurrent Enrollment



There are several different types of opportunities for concurrent enrollment of high school students in college courses. This article will review some of the most popular options for concurrent enrollment to help you see which might fit your needs.


Concurrent Enrollment Through Summer Courses

A number of colleges and universities have opened up to the idea of high school students coming on campus. By offering opportunities in the summer, the colleges give students the opportunities to advance their learning without adding stress during the school year while they’re pursuing their high school curriculum. By focusing on  sophomores, juniors, and seniors, they give students the opportunities to sample a safe version of campus life while focusing on studies - a great boost for knowing in advance what the college experience is going to be like.

Ithaca College, for example, offers three-week courses and noncredit minicourses. The courses offer introductions to a variety of fields from business to media production, while the minicourses run the gamut, offering assistance for writing college application essays, on the one hand, and giving a sociological perspective on relationship, on the other, with a number of alternatives in between.

Boston University sponsors a High School Honors Program in which over 100 undergraduate courses are offered, allowing students to earn up to 8 college credits. Offerings include courses not typically offered in high schools:

  • Language classes in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Japanese
  • Management
  • Urban Affairs
  • African American Studies
  • Medical Anthropology

Concurrent Enrollment Through Distance Learning

Some colleges and universities provide specific distance learning opportunities for high school students. Courses may be offered in a variety of ways, of which online courses - which might be the first thing that comes to mind - is only one example. The wide variety of means for transmitting material when not on campus includes TV/Internet broadcasts, Blackboard courses, and other means, such as videotapes and DVDs.

Oregon State University’s Extended Campus is one program that focuses on allowing high school students to earn college credit. In this program, the largest number of classes is, predictably, in mathematics, but there are also classes in areas that one isn’t likely to find in high school:

  • Animal Sciences
  • Arabic
  • Forestry
  • Sociology

North Carolina offers a Learn & Earn Online program that is free to qualified public high school students, who simultaneously earn high school and college credit for their work. Courses are offered in Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mathematics, and Philosophy.

Concurrent Enrollment Through On-Campus Courses

Some students are so advanced in one or more particular fields that their high school or home school environment can no longer completely serve their needs. In some such cases, an on-campus enrollment at a local institution of higher education can fill the students needs. It’s probable that situations like this arise most often in math and related classes. If the high school offerings end with B/C Calculus, and the student completes that course before senior year, there’s - as they say - nowhere to go but up.

Accommodations for this type of undertaking may be arranged through the high school or by the parents, depending on the student. Talk to the college or university admissions office and the high school guidance office for more information.

Concurrent Enrollment Through Other Means

The State of Michigan has taken a very creative two-pronged approach to providing opportunities for high school students to take college courses:

• Colleges Courses Taught in the High School

Michigan has created a program called Early College High Schools. Through this program, students are given the opportunity to take college-level course that are usually taught right in their high schools, but by college faculty.

• High School and College Combined

Michigan’s second program, called Middle College High Schools, provides a non-traditional approach for students who could use more challenge than a typical high school experience provides. They enter a program in which, through a collaboration between a local school district and a community college, the student both receives a high school diploma as well as up to 60 college credits, which are accepted at most of the state’s colleges and universities.