Society puts a lot of pressure on students to know what they want to do when they graduate high school. Instead of realizing that they can take a few months or a year to explore themselves and their interests, many students feel that they need to run down one path or another.
The chance to go to college or get a good job won’t disappear six months after they get their diploma. Your dual enrollment program can help support your students while they take some time to figure out their best next step.
TEL is known for providing flexible dual credit options for our partners. And that extends to independent learners with a high school diploma. While students will stop earning high school credit once they graduate, they don’t have to stop earning college credit during a gap year through TEL’s credit-granting partners.
Several of TEL’s credit-granting partners will let students earn college credit as independent students, including
- Oklahoma Christian University
- Salem University
- Iowa Wesleyan University
- Allen University
- Hannibal-LaGrange University
- Lane College
- University of Saint Katherine’s
- Mid-America Christian University
- Jacksonville University
- McMurry University
Instead of working through their high school to enroll in a dual credit course, students can go to TEL’s courses-on-demand site, www.tellearning.org. There they can choose where their credit will come from, pay for the course, and enroll.
Just like earning dual credit while in high school, students who successfully complete the course will get a transcript from the credit-granting partner they selected. If the student decides to go to a different college after their gap year, they can submit their transcript to their target institution for those credits to transfer. If they choose a different credit-granting partner as an independent student from their partner in high school, they will have two different transcripts to submit during the application process.
By taking courses as an independent student through TEL’s courses on demand, students will have the same platform that they are used to from dual credit courses, but they will have a full year to complete the course. So if they decide to pick up a full-time job or do volunteer work for three months on the other side of the world, students can still work through the course as they can make time.
College is the ultimate goal of three-fourths of high school students, but the semester after high school graduation isn’t always the best time to make that leap. If you are working with students who are undecided about what’s next or aren’t ready to jump into college right now, help them to use the momentum of senior year to knock out tasks and set goals to make it easier when they are ready.
As a junior and senior, there will be daily announcements about ACT and SAT test dates, college visits, and FAFSA help. Encourage your students to take advantage of all the resources now so the process will look familiar when they are ready. This is also a good time to help them think through the types of colleges they would like to attend. Not only will this help give them a goal through their gap year, but it also can help them evaluate new options as they fine-tune their interests.
Students take a break after high school for a number of reasons: they want to save money, they don’t know what they want to study, or it might not be a good time for their life situation. Whatever their reason, help them set goals and create a plan to track those goals. This way they will have a better idea of what needs to be true in order for it to be the right time. They will know how much money they need to save (and how many hours they need to work to get there). They will take steps to learn more about different interests through interviews, courses, and volunteering. With these goals, they will put down in writing what needs to be different with their life situation in order to make the jump to college.
High school juniors and seniors have a lot going on. Without the right support and guidance, they can wander down the wrong path or get burned out by moving too quickly. At TEL, we put together some ideas to help your students navigate a break in their learning journey, and how they can continue to earn college credit after graduation. Download the guide here.