Author Topic: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?  (Read 483 times)

Trifele

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Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« on: January 11, 2019, 05:36:33 AM »
Hello fellow mustachians

Our DD is a high school sophomore, and is considering taking advantage of our state's program to pay for two years of community college in lieu of her last two years of high school.  Under this program during those two years you cover your bachelor's degree gen-ed requirements, and then transfer to any state school as a junior to finish your degree.

Has anyone been through a similar program either as a parent or a student?  Pluses and minuses?  Words of wisdom?  We're in North Carolina, fwiw.  I believe there are similar programs in other states.

Thanks!

Cranky

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 06:04:28 AM »
I know lots of people whose kids have done it... the caveat is that you have to be sure that you want to go to an in state school.

Louisville

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 06:11:11 AM »
My kids did it. Great way to save a ton of money.

skp

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2019, 06:26:47 AM »
My children did not do it.  But the neighbor girl did.  In her case it saved her a semester.  She graduated in 3 years and a summer.  That will save you some  money but don't expect it will take a whole 2 years off your tuition bills.  It will probably be at least 3 to 3 1/2 years depending on your major.  That is because while you don't have to take the general ed requirements,  you still have to take major requirements and there are often pre reqs.  Even with AP classes- if you pass an AP class  you still have to either pay for the credits or take the next level up.

Also a coworkers child did it, and while she did fine at the community college, she had major social issues.  Then when she went to the 4 years school she didn't adjust well and flunked out.  She took some time off and restarted. It ended up taking her 5 1/2 years.  She was super bright and got her act together after she grew up a bit.   This may or may not have anything to do with starting college early.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 06:36:05 AM by skp »

Trifele

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2019, 06:52:01 AM »
My children did not do it.  But the neighbor girl did.  In her case it saved her a semester.  She graduated in 3 years and a summer.  That will save you some  money but don't expect it will take a whole 2 years off your tuition bills. 

Thanks -- I see that now, that depending on which 'track' you choose, it may cover less, or a lot less, than two years. 

Great comments everyone, thanks. 

Steeze

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2019, 07:02:05 AM »
I did this in MA. Went to community college a year early and it counted for my last year of high school. I was dual enrolled in both college and high school, and graduated with my class.

Pros ... more time off, more time to work, snowboard, and party. I wasnít engaged in high school classes and most of my friends dropped out. I was able to get a head start on college which eventually lead to me graduating and making something of myself. It sounds good when you tell people about finishing high school in only 3 years.

Cons, wasnít involved in my high school senior year, no prom, no year book, etc. Took classes I didnít end up using for my degree. Didnít see my friends and girlfriend as much.

The reality, didnít save me time or money. I graduated college late with many extra credits from transferring twice. I would do it again, high school wasnít for me. I wasnít really ready for college though. It took me a couple more  years of trial and error to figure out how to study and apply myself in academics.

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2019, 07:35:34 AM »
I have worked at a university with students who transfer from early college programs, and there are several issues I have seen. One is that they come into the university with 60+ hours of credit, so they are instantly thrown into junior level classes, but they are still 18 and may not have the maturity or a rigorous enough background at the community college to do well. Of course there are exceptions, but quite a few of them end up in academic trouble. They often come into the university with the expectation that they will easily finish in two years, but that is almost never the case. With some majors it can work, but many of these students want to do STEM, and it just doesn't work well for those majors because of prereq issues and lack of preparation for the rigor of university-level science and math courses. It also seems like the early college schools are really insular and students are in a small cohort together for several years which I think is probably not good for their social development (but in our state, early college programs vary widely, so this may not always be true). In short, many of them seem to struggle socially and academically when they get to university. It's so different from CC/EC, and it just seems to be a tough transition for them.

I think the sweet spot is to get up to 30 hours of dual enrollment credit, which, if planned well, could knock off a semester or two of time to degree but doesn't put a student so out of sync with other university students (in terms of age and credits earned) that they feel they are a fish out of water. What I really wish more students would do is take a gap year and grow up, have some experiences, gain a little insight into who they are and what they want to do. I don't understand the rush to get through college (except for concerns about cost; I get that, but in the long run, most students need at least 3 years to finish, so it doesn't save that much $$ anyway). It can work for students who are really focused and academically strong, but it's not a good route for every student in my opinion.

Trifele

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2019, 09:14:59 AM »
Thanks @Duchess of Stratosphear  -- great insights.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 10:36:32 AM »
A lot of good stuff has been covered. It should transfer for in-state. Depending on the degree (i.e. engineering), even if you have the credits, it won't equate to a full 2 years. There's just too many actual major classes that would need to be taken. If the likely school and program has been selected, you can get a better idea by looking at what actual courses are required if there's flexibility in what to take in the 2-year program. It's nice to have the credits because it can give advantages like scheduling early to give a pick of the classes before other people of that level in school.

AMandM

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2019, 05:43:54 PM »
I have an acquaintance whose kids did this and she is very enthusiastic about it.  Her kids all graduated early (one had an MSW at the age of 21, I think), though I don't know if it saved them a full two years.  AFAIK (we're not super close) none of them suffered socially; they have a large and tight-knit family, so I expect the kids weren't looking to their classmates for most of their social needs.

The other downside I see, besides those mentioned already, is that because the CC replaces (theoretically) two years of high school and two years of college, you get forced into a pretty utilitarian two years, so you lose the chance to take offbeat courses, improve your general level of culture, explore other possible interests, etc. For a kid whose approach to college is already pragmatic and utilitarian, that might not matter.  For others, it could be a real drawback.

CopperTex

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2019, 07:27:03 PM »
I have been transitioning through a mid-life career change. I never got a college degree and the career field I want to enter (accounting) requires it. I decided to go the route of community college to save money on the first two years. I'm 11 classes in and let me tell you, the classes have been a complete JOKE. Most classes I've learned nothing and have gotten high As. The teachers will give you 200 questions to study for the final and 40 of those are on the exam. So you just need to memorize those questions and BAM ... A+. I'm not sure if all community colleges are like this, but this is a school that is in a major American city and has been around close to 100 years.

This has worked for me because I've been able to breeze through classes that don't matter to me, and I can put more time & energy into classes that are relevant to my degree, but I have the discipline to do this. Would an 18 year old? I guess that depends on the kid. I used to think I would go this route with my 15 year old son, but now that I see the quality of education ... no way.

Trifele

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 04:06:15 AM »
Thank you all for the comments!  Much appreciated.

chasesfish

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 06:18:13 AM »
There is ton of good stuff in this thread!   I'll chime in even though we've been out of high school for nearly 20 years but I have a much younger sister going through similar questions.

- I took half a semester in between dual enrollment and AP classes.  No effect to my high school situation
- My wife took 45 credit hours into college between AP and Dual Enrollment without effecting her high school social experience and it helped her tremendously.  She got to start vet school a year early and had a semester break to work and save some money between undergrad/grad school.

If someone isn't enjoying their high school experience and might be mature enough to go off to college at 18, its an awesome choice.  I knew a few people who did this.

As others have said, it works *really* well if they decide their major/profession is something that would require a masters piggybacked on to their undergrad.   Teaching, Professional Counseling, Accounting come to mind really quickly. 

Its pretty easy and normal to whack one year off college with high school/dual enrollment/community college.  Its more difficult (but not impossible) to pull off a full two years.

From a financial standpoint, its an incredible choice


Trifele

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 06:30:48 AM »
There is ton of good stuff in this thread!   I'll chime in even though we've been out of high school for nearly 20 years but I have a much younger sister going through similar questions.

- I took half a semester in between dual enrollment and AP classes.  No effect to my high school situation
- My wife took 45 credit hours into college between AP and Dual Enrollment without effecting her high school social experience and it helped her tremendously.  She got to start vet school a year early and had a semester break to work and save some money between undergrad/grad school.

If someone isn't enjoying their high school experience and might be mature enough to go off to college at 18, its an awesome choice.  I knew a few people who did this.

As others have said, it works *really* well if they decide their major/profession is something that would require a masters piggybacked on to their undergrad.   Teaching, Professional Counseling, Accounting come to mind really quickly. 

Its pretty easy and normal to whack one year off college with high school/dual enrollment/community college.  Its more difficult (but not impossible) to pull off a full two years.

From a financial standpoint, its an incredible choice

Thanks for this!  In our DD's situation, she doesn't yet know what she wants to do career-wise, but does know she's bored in high school and would like more.  I think she will probably dual-enroll and just think of it as a more challenging substitute to high school classes -- see where it leads.  We'd be happy with a year's worth of gen-ed credits.  That would still give her three full years in college, which is right in line with the 'sweet spot' mentioned by @Duchess of Stratosphear above . . .   

And yes, @chasesfish, I can see how this would work really well for students who know ahead of time they're going on for more schooling.  Right you are.   
   
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 06:41:27 AM by Trifele »

Duchess of Stratosphear

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Re: Early college/two-year transfer program -- Anyone done it?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2019, 09:13:00 AM »

If someone isn't enjoying their high school experience and might be mature enough to go off to college at 18, its an awesome choice.  I knew a few people who did this.


I think there's something to this. Especially when the EC programs were newer, I observed (totally anecdotally) that it seemed like there were more minorities and LGBTQ students among the EC students I dealt with than among the general student population (again, I have no actual data to support this--it just seemed that way to me). Overall, these students were goal-oriented and pretty focused on academics (although often unprepared for the rigor of university courses), so I think EC programs are an alternative to normal high school bullshit for students who may feel out of place or who just take academics more seriously than the average high schooler. I don't want to poo poo EC too much because I think it can serve an important function in giving some students a different way to do high school. I just wish they got better career/major planning advice while they are in those programs and that those programs were more like actual college classes so that students aren't blindsided when they get into a university classroom. These programs also need to stop telling students and their parents that they can graduate after two years at a four-year school, because that hardly ever happens.

I still think they should take a gap year before going to university! I'm super old now and still don't know what I want to do with my life. How are 18-year-olds supposed to know? To finish university in two years after an EC program, you have to hit the ground running and get into the hard major courses right away and not have any academic stumbles. That's a tall order.