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Dual Credit: Is your teen ready?

June 9, 2007
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CHS now offers many dual credit courses through Northlake College. When considering these courses, decide first whether your teenager’s maturity, organizational skills, motivation, and drive to stay on top of things are strong enough to ensure a successful experience.  College teaching goals significantly differ from the high school teacher’s objectives. The college professor’s job is to teach the subject – in which he/she is often a post college degreed expert vs. a generalist of education. So learning the material is entirely the student’s responsibility. A core high school teacher is responsible for seeing that his/her students pass a TAKS test – a shared learning responsibility.

Dual credit differs from high school in a number of ways:

  • Just 2 or 3 cumulative tests per semester.  Don’t expect a review sheet or list of potential test questions. Anything in the text and anything covered in a lecture that semester could be on the test.
  • Major papers and tests determine your grade. Homework counts little, if at all.
  • Homework may not be checked or graded. But if you don’t do it, you probably won’t be ready for the test.
  • Lectures assume you have already read the text.
  • Good note taking skills are critical. Professors may lecture nonstop. Don’t expect the professor to point out the important points and don’t assume that what he writes on the board is the most important stuff.
  • No tardies or absences reported. It’s up to you to get notes from a classmate, not the teacher.
  • Makeup tests are seldom an option, so don’t skip on test days.
  • Read the course syllabus to know what is expected of you and when it is due. Don’t expect the professor to remind you of due dates or test dates.
  • Less time in class, but more time reading, writing and studying on your own. Expect to spend 2-3 hours studying for each hour in class.
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