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    Questions about high school credits

    I was wondering whether all year-long MPOA classes that can be taken in 9th grade do equal 1 high school credit. The class descriptions on the website are not always explicit: Classical Studies I mentions a credit, but Classical Studies II doesn't. That might obviously be an oversight, but it gets trickier with classes like Physical Science: it could be taken in 9th grade, but would a 9th grader earn 1 high school science credit with it, or should he supplement it with something else?
    And if a homeschooling parent was to compile a transcript on his own, would there be MPOA classes that would qualify as Honors? I have seen a HLS sample transcript with a class called Honors Physics: if kids took the MPOA Physics class, would the parent be justified in calling it Honors on a transcript? What's an Honors class to begin with... Is it like an AP class, but with no AP test taken, and no college credits attached? I am totally new to the US high school system, so I might ask "duh!" questions
    Thank you for your help!

    #2
    Not an official MPOA answer but personally I would be comfortable granting a full credit for any full year MPOA class or .5 credit for any one semester MPOA class. Physical Science is an 8th/9th grade class, typically much in the same way that Algebra 1 is. Many take it in 8th but 9th is also acceptable and can be called a high school credit.

    There really are no hard and fast "official" rules regarding high school transcripts. You want to follow your state laws. Looking at the requirements for your state universities is also a good guideline to what is acceptable.

    Our umbrella school won't grant two English credits in the same year. So in a year my son took High School Comp 1 and The Novel courses I just rolled them together and called it "English 10" for one credit even though he certainly did enough work for a credit in each. He didn't need the extra credits, though, so it wasn't worth arguing with my umbrella school. I mention that just to say there are multiple acceptable ways to construct a transcript.

    I also did not label MPOA courses as honors courses although I am certain they exceeded the standards for honors courses at our local high schools. While AP courses must be approved by The College Board to carry that designation, "honors" is a very vague term that high schools use in all different ways. In theory it means that work is at an accelerated pace and/or goes deeper than a typical high school class but there is no official standard to measure by. Again, I only mention that to illustrate that there are not necessarily hard and fast rules on all of this. Your personal goals, regional customs, and target colleges can all play a role in how you construct your transcript.

    If you are not with the MPOA diploma program then I would consider the credits assigned in the course descriptions to be a guideline or suggestion, not a final determination of how you should write your child's transcript.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by teachermom View Post
      Not an official MPOA answer but personally I would be comfortable granting a full credit for any full year MPOA class or .5 credit for any one semester MPOA class. Physical Science is an 8th/9th grade class, typically much in the same way that Algebra 1 is. Many take it in 8th but 9th is also acceptable and can be called a high school credit.

      There really are no hard and fast "official" rules regarding high school transcripts. You want to follow your state laws. Looking at the requirements for your state universities is also a good guideline to what is acceptable.

      Our umbrella school won't grant two English credits in the same year. So in a year my son took High School Comp 1 and The Novel courses I just rolled them together and called it "English 10" for one credit even though he certainly did enough work for a credit in each. He didn't need the extra credits, though, so it wasn't worth arguing with my umbrella school. I mention that just to say there are multiple acceptable ways to construct a transcript.

      I also did not label MPOA courses as honors courses although I am certain they exceeded the standards for honors courses at our local high schools. While AP courses must be approved by The College Board to carry that designation, "honors" is a very vague term that high schools use in all different ways. In theory it means that work is at an accelerated pace and/or goes deeper than a typical high school class but there is no official standard to measure by. Again, I only mention that to illustrate that there are not necessarily hard and fast rules on all of this. Your personal goals, regional customs, and target colleges can all play a role in how you construct your transcript.

      If you are not with the MPOA diploma program then I would consider the credits assigned in the course descriptions to be a guideline or suggestion, not a final determination of how you should write your child's transcript.
      Thank you for your reply. Yes, even though we're in 8th grade here, we've started looking at college requirements - but they sound pretty basic to me. One very good liberal art college near us doesn't even require a specific number of credits in anything. Even something like Notre Dame asks for, in their "preferred option", 4 credits in English, Math, Science, Foreign Language, and History/Social Science, with some specific requests depending on the intended major (e.g. 1 credit must be Physics if you mean to major in Engineering), but even so they have to be flexible because they do allow you to change majors.
      So I was just wondering what a credit really represents - I'm starting to feel like it's the equivalent of the proverbial medal you get for showing up.

      In our state we don't need an umbrella school, so it's entirely our choice to do something like the Diploma or to stay on our own, and we're trying to understand what would make the MPOA Diploma the best choice for us (besides making *my* workload lighter, though I have a younger student too! )

      Question: if you had had to compile the transcript yourself, would you have given your son 2 credits in English that year? It seems there's a fine line to walk here, caught between what can be an insanely competitive admission process (so you want to give a fair picture of the type of work done), and the fear of being seen as a soft mom for whom all her children are little Einsteins. The HLS transcript lists the books read/studied for most classes, so that helps. And I guess there are always the various standardized tests, although they seem to be looked at with a more skeptical eye than in the past.

      A lot to think about!

      Comment


        #4
        ETA: "So I was just wondering what a credit really represents - I'm starting to feel like it's the equivalent of the proverbial medal you get for showing up." In the sense that the GPA is the real stuff.

        Comment


          #5
          Personally, I probably would not have given my son two credits in that particular situation but only because he already has a large number of credits. He is a strong student and works quickly and he does not have a demanding extracurricular schedule. He also does dual enrollment classes which add up quickly. So, I am more conservative about awarding credits just to keep his transcript cleaner and not have so many credits that it looks like it is padded. However, if he needed the credit for whatever reason, I would have had no qualms awarding it. I know that is as clear as mud.

          On a similar note, it is acceptable to list high school credits earned in middle school on the high school transcript. I don't think I will do this for my current high school junior because he just doesn't need them. If he takes calculus in high school I don't see how a line on the transcript showing Algebra 1 in 8th grade is necessary. But it would be fine to list it and many schools do it that way. So there is no one way it has to be done. Colleges receive applications from all over the world and transcripts that look all different ways.

          Hopefully you will get some other opinions but I am not super rigid about how we list things on our transcript. I want the transcript to look pretty standard and to reflect his work but my primary objective is for him to take the courses I most want him to take to be an educated individual and prepared for college. In our situation our children have exceeded state guidelines significantly and they have had strong test scores so I never found myself overly concerned with how the specific credits were broken down.

          You will have the opportunity in most college applications to submit course descriptions/booklists that can flesh out a bit of what exactly made up each course.

          I know other people will have much stronger opinions about how a transcript should look and what counts as a credit and I hope they chime in and give you some more to think about. I bet if you google search something like "sample homeschool transcripts" you will see all kinds of possibilities and likely most of them are perfectly acceptable. You could also seek out a sample MPOA transcript and see how that compares. There is flexibility and room for personal preferences in how you reflect the work your student has done in high school.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Mrs. Bee,

            Thanks for the message, glad to help.

            I was wondering whether all year-long MPOA classes that can be taken in 9th grade do equal 1 high school credit. The class descriptions on the website are not always explicit: Classical Studies I mentions a credit, but Classical Studies II doesn't. That might obviously be an oversight, but it gets trickier with classes like Physical Science: it could be taken in 9th grade, but would a 9th grader earn 1 high school science credit with it, or should he supplement it with something else?

            Yes, all MPOA classes that can be taken in the 9th year and are a year long can be 1 high school credit. Physical Science included. I'll double-check the descriptions to make sure this is clear.


            And if a homeschooling parent was to compile a transcript on his own, would there be MPOA classes that would qualify as Honors? I have seen a HLS sample transcript with a class called Honors Physics: if kids took the MPOA Physics class, would the parent be justified in calling it Honors on a transcript? What's an Honors class to begin with... Is it like an AP class, but with no AP test taken, and no college credits attached? I am totally new to the US high school system, so I might ask "duh!" questions

            No, you have great questions, so no worries. "Honors" is normally an ambiguous term, except in a few cases where a state defines what they think an "honors" course entails from their perspective. An AP class is one nationally recognized way to obtain some form of dual credit. Honors is not this clear. If someone needs honors on their transcript then we take a look at this on a case-by-case basis, look at the course load, and then go from there. Many classes of ours could probably objectively be called "honors" but we've steered away from this because of the ambiguity across all 50 states as to what this term means.

            If you'd like to talk more about the diploma please feel free to give me a call.

            I hope this helps!

            Scott Piland
            Director
            Memoria Press Online Academy
            onlineacademy@memoriapress.com
            (877) 745-8866

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by spiland View Post
              Hi Mrs. Bee,

              Thanks for the message, glad to help.

              I was wondering whether all year-long MPOA classes that can be taken in 9th grade do equal 1 high school credit. The class descriptions on the website are not always explicit: Classical Studies I mentions a credit, but Classical Studies II doesn't. That might obviously be an oversight, but it gets trickier with classes like Physical Science: it could be taken in 9th grade, but would a 9th grader earn 1 high school science credit with it, or should he supplement it with something else?

              Yes, all MPOA classes that can be taken in the 9th year and are a year long can be 1 high school credit. Physical Science included. I'll double-check the descriptions to make sure this is clear.


              And if a homeschooling parent was to compile a transcript on his own, would there be MPOA classes that would qualify as Honors? I have seen a HLS sample transcript with a class called Honors Physics: if kids took the MPOA Physics class, would the parent be justified in calling it Honors on a transcript? What's an Honors class to begin with... Is it like an AP class, but with no AP test taken, and no college credits attached? I am totally new to the US high school system, so I might ask "duh!" questions

              No, you have great questions, so no worries. "Honors" is normally an ambiguous term, except in a few cases where a state defines what they think an "honors" course entails from their perspective. An AP class is one nationally recognized way to obtain some form of dual credit. Honors is not this clear. If someone needs honors on their transcript then we take a look at this on a case-by-case basis, look at the course load, and then go from there. Many classes of ours could probably objectively be called "honors" but we've steered away from this because of the ambiguity across all 50 states as to what this term means.

              If you'd like to talk more about the diploma please feel free to give me a call.

              I hope this helps!

              Scott Piland
              Director
              Memoria Press Online Academy
              onlineacademy@memoriapress.com
              (877) 745-8866
              Thank you! Yes, we need a phone call... or more! We've been toying with the idea of the diploma for a good while, but we can't figure out yet our own thinking. I think my husband and I need to write down a list of questions we have for you, things we don't understand from the pdf about the diploma: I have a few ideas about what I want the kids to study in high school and I need to see if the diploma helps us along this path or not. I've started putting my ideas together in a spreadsheet, but my husband thinks no one can have a high school like that
              A quick diploma question for the time being: do semester classes like Logic I count as a half class towards the 5 to be taken with MPOA?
              Thank you again!

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Mrs. Bee,

                Call anytime! Semester classes like Logic I would count as a half a class. The 5 class requirement is the equivalent of 5 year-long classes. So, for example a five class schedule could look like this:

                Classical Studies II
                AP U.S. History
                Algebra I
                Logic I (Fall) and Logic II (Spring)
                Political Philosophy (Fall) and Economics (Spring)

                I hope this helps

                Scott Piland
                Director
                Memoria Press Online Academy
                onlineacademy@memoriapress.com
                (877) 745-8866

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by spiland View Post
                  Hi Mrs. Bee,

                  Call anytime! Semester classes like Logic I would count as a half a class. The 5 class requirement is the equivalent of 5 year-long classes. So, for example a five class schedule could look like this:

                  Classical Studies II
                  AP U.S. History
                  Algebra I
                  Logic I (Fall) and Logic II (Spring)
                  Political Philosophy (Fall) and Economics (Spring)

                  I hope this helps

                  Scott Piland
                  Director
                  Memoria Press Online Academy
                  onlineacademy@memoriapress.com
                  (877) 745-8866
                  I can tell you even now that the diploma's mandatory Logic classes are one major stumbling block for me: after Logic I and II, I'd like to move on to a history of philosophical thought, studying the Peter Kreeft series "Socrates' Children". I guess I could see Material Logic in 10th, combined with Fundamentals of the Faith to earn a full credit, but it would rob me of time to work on Kreeft. And in 11th and 12th grade my semester classes of choice would be Senior Thesis, Government, Economics, and Political Philosophy. Yes, some of these could be taken outside the diploma, but it would still mean making room for Rhetoric somewhere, at a time when we'll likely be dealing with APs and dual enrollment.
                  By the way, I must say those semester classes look absolutely terrific: the idea of my kids working in classes that read Sowell, Kirk, Mansfield, Chesterton, and Lewis is wonderful!

                  Comment

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