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1 connecting students to their future Lesson Plan Guide 1 TITLE: Earning College Credit and learning important things GRADE LEVELS: 9-12 CONTENT AREAS: Choose Your Path STUDENT PATHS OUTCOMES: 2-1: Students choose courses and activities that align with their interests and abilities. IN THIS LESSON, STUDENTS WILL: Read article from Student Paths, Getting Ahead: Earning College Credit in High School Browse Internet catalogue of online courses Complete Activity Tasks for reading and research COMMON CORE STANDARDS ADDRESSED: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9 10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. ASCA STANDARDS ADDRESSED: A:B1.7 Become a self-directed and independent learner A:C1.2 Seek co-curricular and community experiences to enhance the school experience PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Instructors will want to know two specific pieces of information before conducting this lesson: First, know the specific course requirements for graduation at your high school. If there is a school handout of graduation requirements, this lesson is a perfect time to distribute this handout. Second, know the specific options for Post-Secondary Enrollment where high school students earn college credit. Read the article for examples, and ask a counselor for a few options available for students at your school to explore. MATERIALS: Access to internet to browse online courses offered. This may be individual access or may be projected on a screen for the whole class. Handout of Activity Task School-Specific Handout of Graduation Requirements (optional): Instructors may hand out the graduation requirements at the end of the introduction of this lesson. This would be school-specific information for every requirement of a graduate, and may include specific courses, credit amounts, exit exams, and/or community service.

2 connecting students to their future Lesson Plan Guide 2 ASSESSMENT: There is no formal assessment for this lesson at this time. A real-life assessment is earning college credit. A follow-up task would be for students to bring a certificate of completion for an online course, for credit or not. LESSON PROCEDURE: Introductory Class Discussion (10 minutes) Begin the lesson by asking the class a series of questions that develop a common understanding of what kinds of things may be learned both inside and outside of school. Answers will vary; be sure to allow time to clarify confusion about specific school policies, and point out that sharing and explaining why we take courses helps us focus attention, but there is not one common, correct answer for everyone. Encourage each student to think of their own valuable lessons and reasons to take courses. Ask: Has anyone taken a class outside of school? What do people learn in courses outside of school? Why do people take classes outside of school? Why do people take classes at/inside school? What are the most important courses to take for graduation, college readiness, and life in general? What is the difference between a course for credit and one not for credit? At this point, check that students understand the difference between credits needed for high school graduation, credits earned toward college graduation, and lifelong learning courses. Ask students to take a minute to answer this question in their own minds: What classes must you take before you graduate? It is not expected that any student knows this information, but provide each student time to generate an answer in their own mind. Then, ask students to raise their hands to take a poll: Who thinks they know some of the required classes? Who thinks they know almost all of the classes? Who thinks they don t know any? Start by asking a few of the students who say they don t know any to take a guess at what is required. Then, build upon this knowledge so students understand these requirements. Instructors may assign a student to write answers on the board. Handout of School s Graduation Requirements (2 minutes) (Optional): Distribute the handout on graduation requirements for your school and encourage students to review these on their own after class and over the next few weeks. Read Article (3 minutes): Distribute and instruct students to read Student Paths article Getting Ahead: Earning College Credit in High School. Complete Questions on Activity Task (15 minutes) Distribute the Activity Task Handout and instruct students to use the reading to complete the first questions, and to use the internet to complete task 5 of the activity. The instructor will either use a projector for the whole class to browse course catalogues of online courses or provide students individual access to browse for online courses. Here are suggested answers to the Activity Task: Don t get overwhelmed by taking too many AP, PSEO, CIS, and IB courses! 1. Write a 5-10 word summary of each acronym. Second, write the skills you think it would take to complete each of the courses. PSEO: Post-Secondary Enrollment Option is a program that lets high school students take college classes on a college campus, just like a regular college student. AP: Advanced Plasement classes are college-level courses that you take at your high school if it offers the program. CIS: College in the Schools or Dual Enrollment program allows you to take college-level classes at your high school during your junior and senior years. IB: International Baccalaureate is a two-year international diploma program at select high schools that allows you to earn college and high school credits at the same time. 2. Time-management skills and less time for interests.

3 connecting students to their future Lesson Plan Guide 3 List the time management skills you know: The answer for this question is not in the article, students will need to brainstorm their own time-management skills and could include: Plan and schedule time for schoolwork, finding ways to manage stress throughout life. Prepare work space, and develop habits to prepare mind and body for work. Notice distractions and work on staying focused. (Everyone gets distracted; it takes hard work to develop the skill to manage your time and work productively.) Schedule time for breaks, seeking help from mentors, teachers and peers, and persisting with independent work. Vision and benchmark tasks to complete goals. Set goals and steps of achievement along your student path. Today, would you say you have too many interests or too few? What do you do to balance your school work and life? Answer will be personal. Encourage sharing of strategies to manage stress, friends, school work. 3. Answer a trivial question from the text: What did Jordan Harper do about his online courses? Answer quoted from text, He worked with his school counselor to make sure that the courses he took awarded high school and college credits. 4. Research the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options near you. You may ask our teacher. Remember, this may not be the exact name, so look closely for places where high school students can earn college credit. Instructor should have specific answer on where high school students can take college classes. The simple answer is online (with suggestions in the next question), but this is also time to promote courses at local colleges. 5. Browse the online catalogue of the courses at your favorite school. Here are two interesting places to begin: Complete the lesson by having students log off computers. Remind students to review the high school graduation requirements and continue their searches for online classes that they find interesting.

4 connecting students to their future HANDOUT A Lesson Plan Guide 4 Activity Tasks Don t get overwhelmed by taking too many AP, PSEO, CIS, and IB courses! First, write a 5-10 word summary of each acronym. Second, write the skills you think it would take to complete each of the courses. PSEO AP CIS IB 2. Review skills for time-management and balancing time for interests. List the time-management skills you know: Today, would you say you have too many interests or too few? How are your interests related to school work? What do you do to balance your school work and interests in life? 3. Answer a trivial question from the text: What did Jordan Harper do about his online courses? 4. Research the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options near you. You may ask your teacher. Remember, this may not be the exact name, so look closely for places where high school students can earn college credit. 5. Browse the online catalogue of the courses at your favorite school. Here are two interesting places to begin:

5 connecting students to their future HANDOUT A Lesson Plan Guide 4 Getting Ahead Earning college credits while in high school by Flora Richards-Gustafson How does going to college for only two or three years after high school to earn a bachelor s degree sound? Like a fantasy? Well, it s a reality for many teens, thanks to programs offered at high schools and colleges around the nation. There are several ways to earn college credits as a high school student. Talk to your school counselor to learn about the options available at your school and determine if a credit-earning program is a good fit. The most common ways high school students earn college credits include: Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) Program PSEO is a program that lets high school students take college classes on a college campus, just like a regular college student. In this type of program, you earn college credits and high school credits at the same time. As a bonus, PSEO programs are generally free, and you don t have to pay for the college text books. Hayley Mattila participated in a full-time PSEO program through her Minnesota charter school during her junior and senior years. When she graduated high school, Mattila had earned enough college credits to receive an associate s degree. Advanced Placement (AP) Classes AP classes are college-level courses that you take at your high school, if it offers the program. The credits you earn can count toward high school and college graduation. While there are over 30 AP courses, your school may offer many or only a handful. Depending on your school, you may need to meet the minimum GPA requirements to earn college credits for the AP classes you complete. Individual colleges and universities determine the credit and placement granted, based on qualifying AP test scores, so you should get your chosen institution s policy in writing. Unless your family meets income requirements, there may be a fee for you to take the AP exams that follow the classes. You can learn more about AP classes at College in the Schools (CIS) or Dual Enrollment A CIS or Dual Enrollment program allows you to take college-level classes at your high school during your junior and senior years. The classes that you pass award high school and college credits. The cost to participate in this type of program varies by school. A participating high school, for example, may offer the courses free of charge, but might charge for the textbooks. International Baccalaureate (IB) An IB is a two-year international diploma program at select high schools that allows you to earn college and high school credits at the same time. In some cases, you may need to maintain a minimum GPA to earn college credits. Because IB is an international program, you may be able to use the college credits that you earn at a foreign university. The cost to participate in an IB program varies by high school. Online Classes Some community colleges and universities offer online classes that award college credits to high school students. If you follow this route, talk to your school counselor to see if you can earn high school credits for the classes that you complete and to learn if your school district will help pay for the cost of tuition and books. Keep in mind that college programs in high schools may go by different names and may even have a different format. Jordan Harper, for example, participated in a Share-Time program at the Berrien County Math and Science Center in Michigan. He worked with his school counselor to make sure that the courses he took awarded high school and college credits, and fit into his busy schedule. By the time Harper graduated high school, it only took him one year to earn a bachelor s degree. At age 19, Harper is enrolled in a graduate program at the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. If you re interested in taking college classes while in high school, but aren t sure if they re right for you, consider taking a free e-course from a college or a massive open online course (MOOC). Universities like Yale, MIT, Stanford and Harvard offer free online college courses. While most of the classes don t award any credits, some have started to do so. Whether for credit or not, they give you a taste of the difficulty, time commitment and workload you can expect in college.

6 connecting students to their future HANDOUT A2 Lesson Plan Guide 5 Weighing the pros and cons Like everything else in life, deciding whether or not (or how much) to pursue college credit while you re in high school is a matter of figuring out if the benefits outweigh the costs, whether in terms of time, money or other opportunities. Here are a few things to consider. PROS Save money: College credit programs offered through high schools are usually free or significantly less expensive than college tuition. Hayley Mattila s and Jordan Harper s high schools covered the cost of classes and books. Prepare for college: Taking college classes while in high school is a lower-risk way to see if you re ready for the big campus. Because you ll know what to expect, you may do better academically when you enroll as a traditional college student after graduating from high school. Feel challenged: Harper felt that some of his high school classes weren t difficult enough. He, like other high school students, found that college courses allowed him to expand his knowledge in areas of interest. Fast-track your career: Whether you earn a few college credits or 65, you ll be ready to enter the job market that much sooner. CONS Big responsibilities: You have to assume a higher level of responsibility for your education than you normally would. College professors don t constantly remind you to do your homework or to study; it s all up to you to get the work done. Less time for your interests: If your college classes are on a college campus instead of at your high school, you may find that you can t be with your friends as much, especially if they aren t in the same program. It may also be harder to participate in extracurricular activities. Problems transferring college credits: College credits don t always transfer from one undergraduate school to another, whether you earn them in high school or not. If you don t plan to continue your college career at the same school that offered the courses for your high school program, you ll need to do some research to find which universities accept the credits. Jordan Harper: Pursuing his master s at 19 There are all kinds of opportunities out there, take advantage of whatever is available. Jordan Harper Jordan Harper already has a bachelor s degree in Integrative Studies and is studying for his Master of Divinity degree. Because he racked up a lot of college credit while still in high school, he has been able to steam ahead toward his advanced degree, and has saved a lot of money as well. A former Student Paths contributor, Harper shares some of his experiences and advice. Student Paths (SP): When did you start earning college credits? Jordan Harper (JH): The summer after my freshman year of high school. SP: Why did you choose this route? JH: I began taking college classes mainly for two reasons. I wanted to take more difficult classes than were being offered at my high school, and I knew there were many prerequisite courses for any degree I could pursue that I could knock out early. SP: Did you think the workload was too heavy during the school year? JH: The course load is something you have to get used to, but honestly, it can be done. While taking college courses during the school year (on top of my high school classes and the math science center), I also played multiple sports, was very involved with my church, did a lot of volunteer work and was active with different groups in my high school. You will certainly have to get a grip on your time-management skills, and it took a while for me to do so, but it can be done. Trust me when I say you can do it all. SP: What advantages did you find to earning college credit in high school? JH: (Your) high school may pay for most of the courses and/or books (as mine did). It can pave the way for a lighter load once you get to college. It helps you prepare your time-management skills, and it helps you get used to what college is going to look like. SP: How many college credits did you earn during high school? JH: I had 64 college credits going into Ferris State University, where I graduated after one year with a bachelor s degree in Integrative Studies. Now I am enrolled at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, working on a Master of Divinity degree; I am 19 years old.

7 connecting students to their future HANDOUT A3 Lesson Plan Guide 6 SP: What advice can you give other students? JH: I recommend taking college classes. For me, the route I took to where I am now was perfect. The opportunities that came up were perfect and they fit exactly what I was trying to do. I would recommend taking college courses in high school for several reasons. However, if you are looking for an occupation in which you need a lot of technical training and know that you will be in college for a long time anyway, there is no rush. Everybody is involved with many things in high school, so do what fits you. I would also suggest taking some initiative when you have decided you want to do something like take college classes. There are many people who will help you, but (especially when you start things so young) there are many people who just haven t dealt with someone your age trying to do these kinds of things. You need to be the one who takes responsibility for where you want to be at the end of your high school career. VIDEOS Student contributors share advice on taking college-credit classes Alyssa McComb: You ll save money and time, but probably miss some high school experiences. ly/182qcpi Martin Medrano: Pay attention and be prepared to study on your own. ly/1j1wmcr Drew Bierwirth: AP and other such courses are not necessarily for everyone. Sydney Nolan: Study the credit policies of the colleges you might attend. ly/1dlmjqx Popular classes to take for college credit Many college-credit classes offered to high school students are those that fulfill general education requirements. Courses may include: abiology ageneral chemistry acommunications aintroduction to literature awriting aelementary algebra ageneral psychology aspanish ahistory of Western civilization If you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, are responsible and self-motivated, college-level courses may be a great fit for you. Talk to your school counselor and parents to review the options available so you can get a head start on your college career. Facts about high school students who earn college credits 1.3 million high school students earned college credits between 2010 and Students enrolled in a college-credit program are more likely to succeed in high school and attend college after graduation. 92 percent of U.S. colleges and universities accept college credits earned in high school; 91 percent accept credits earned by completing AP classes. High school students taking college-level classes graduate with an average of 36 credits, about one-third of the credits needed to earn a bachelor s degree. One-quarter of the students graduate with an associate s degree. 63 percent of high school students who earn college credits enroll in college by graduation. Only 23 percent of high school students who don t earn college credits enroll in college by graduation.

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