• Independent. One of my goals in teaching General Chemistry is to help freshman students accept responsibility for their own learning. I provide instruction, feedback, and encouragement, but most of the learning occurs outside of my classroom. Independence is also a critical component of success, because college work is solely the student's responsibility. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 governs the release of educational records beyond the high school level; the student, regardless of age, must give written permission for grade release to parents.


In the end, you need to ask yourself, Has my student demonstrated sufficient wisdom (skill in living), perseverance (determined action), and maturity (earned independence) to thrive in dual enrollment? Many students will be ready, and the rewards can be wonderful for those who work hard. Choose dual-enrollment courses with the same care that you choose your homeschool curricula. Don't compromise your educational philosophy to save a few dollars.


Mark McClain is husband to Jill and a homeschooling dad to five school-aged children. He is Professor of Chemistry at Cedarville University and directs dual enrollment for Cedarville Academy (www.cedarvilleacademy.com) in his role as Associate Dean, Lifelong Learning and International Programs. You may reach Mark at mcclain@cedarville.edu.


1. You may request a copy of this report (download a PDF) at the following website address: http://www.tomorrow.org/speakup/learning21Report_2010_Update.html.

2. Hughes, Katherine. L. 2010. "Dual Enrollment: Postsecondary/Secondary Partnerships to Prepare Students," Journal of College Science Teaching 39(6):12-13, http://inpathways.net/postsecondary_secondary_dual.pdf.

3. http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

Copyright 2010. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, Fall 2010. Used with permission. Visit them at http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.

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February 11, 2011