How does it work?
Students need to meet the requirements in order to take college courses. These requirements differ from college to college, so if a student doesn’t have a high enough PLAN or PSAT test score for one college, she might still qualify for entrance at another college that doesn’t require test scores. And the requirements for taking online courses for PSEO are even different yet.
Pros and Cons to this Education Option
These are college courses, of course, which means they will, in most cases, move twice as fast as high school courses. For example, a Western Civilization class in high school is a year-long course while a course by the same name in college is just one semester and taught at a higher level.
Another factor to consider is that if the high school student is taking classes on a college campus, the majority of the other students in the classroom are on average 1 to 3 years older. This can be a negative or a positive arrangement, depending on the environment and depending on the student.
A positive factor is that students can earn a large amount of college credits in the PSEO program, which takes the financial burden off of their college debt since all the tuition, fees, and books are covered. These credits, however, may negate the student’s freshman status at the university to which she transfers, which might mean she cannot participate in freshman orientation or live in a freshman dorm. Her early graduation also means she will be launching into the workforce at an earlier age than her peers.
Another advantage to the PSEO program is that a student can discover more about her interests and even narrow down her college major while still in high school by taking a variety of college classes that wouldn’t otherwise be available in the high school setting—or at home.
My philosophy on PSEO in high school
I aimed for PSEO in 11th grade for my four children. That meant developing a plan for 7th through 10th grade and trying to keep them on pace so they would be prepared for rigorous college classes in 11th and 12th.
Some days I thought we wouldn’t make it, like with the child who couldn’t write a complete sentence or read a science textbook with any comprehension level in 7th grade. I am happy to report that he has since gone on to get his Master’s degree in electrical engineering and wrote a 100-page thesis, but while sitting on the couch with him taking turns reading the biology textbook aloud in 9th grade (and looking down at his unmatched socks!!), I truly wondered if he would ever make it.
If your student doesn’t seem ready to jump into the PSEO program in a secular setting full-time, consider some of these alternative options:
- Retake the PLAN test after some tutoring sessions to try for a qualifying score.
- Start with one lighter course the first semester to become familiar with the system.
- Apply to a different community college with lighter requirements.
- Apply to a technical college with even lighter requirements.
- Try some online PSEO classes that allow more leeway on timing and have a Christian worldview.
- Utilize the tutoring sessions for homeschool students through Yeah Academy in Roseville.
- Consider PSEO classes at a Christian college.
One caution regarding online PSEO courses: these work well for some students, but others find this method of learning frustrating. In many cases, online courses end up being more work than the classroom courses because the students are required to learn the material by reading rather than through lecture and discussion. Online courses are a “last resort” at our house.
If you would like help navigating through this option and maximizing this benefit, call or text me for a one-hour session ($40) targeting the specific situation of your student. 952-220-3161