Earning the Extra Edge
How one homeschool student completed an associate degree in high school using TEL courses
About Nathan Arnold
Began Taking Courses:
August 2019 as a Junior in High School
Number of TEL Courses Completed:
Introduction to Biology and Principles of Psychology
Meet Nathan Arnold
Nathan Arnold is motivated. He has goals for earning his bachelor’s degree, a potential military career, and when he expects to make his first million. After taking his first dual credit course through TEL, he set his goal-setting sights on how many courses he could complete before he graduated.
“At first, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get it all done or that it would become too challenging to the point where I was just stressed with everything else going on on top of school,” Nathan said. “But the workload was pretty fair. After taking the first and second college classes, I decided this is something I definitely wanted to push for and see how many credits I could get.”
He successfully completed 20 courses with TEL. In that time, he also finished four additional courses with an online university that accepted his TEL credits, and earned his associate degree from that university while in high school.
“There was a point where I was doing college and high school classes all at the same time and I was working like 40 hours a week,” Nathan said. “I could balance all that together because [TEL courses are] self-paced. Some weeks I could do a little bit more. And then some weeks, if I got ahead, I could slack off a bit. I just made sure I stayed on a steady course to get it done.”
— And Price Tag —
They Were Looking For
Nathan’s mother, Laure, wasn’t looking for dual credit when she found TEL. As a military family, the traditional path of having Nathan go to a college campus to take college courses wasn’t feasible. While at a homeschool fair looking for a math curriculum, Laure came across the TEL booth and learned about the College Algebra course TEL was about to launch.
“I could see how TEL could give us the experience we were looking for,” Laure said. “And the cost, $200 for three credit hours. I paid $1,000 for his high school Algebra 1 course. When we started talking about the time Nathan would save and the money we’d save, it was a no-brainer.”
Nathan is already thinking about the two years he’ll have while most of his peers will be finishing their degrees.
“Earning my associate degree also helped me get that extra edge,” Nathan said. “I want to get my bachelor’s degree. I can get it two years before everybody else. Right now, all my other buddies are just starting college. And by the time they go to get their associate degrees, I have my bachelor’s degree. I can get my career started two years earlier, which can set me up not just academically, but also financially.”
“I love the fact that it’s independent for the child. Mom doesn’t have to be behind them. It lets them shine. I think it escalates their maturity, too. They see they’ve done it. It builds confidence.”