Lesson Plan Guide: Earning College Credit

By Matt Andrews on December 26, 2013

TITLE: Earning College Credit and learning important things
GRADE LEVELS: 9 - 12
CONTENT AREAS: Choose Your Path



STUDENT PATHS OUTCOMES:

2-1: Students choose courses and activities that align with their interests and abilities.

IN THIS LESSON, STUDENTS WILL:


• Read article from Student Paths, “Getting Ahead: Earning College Credit in High School”
• Browse Internet catalogue of online courses
• Complete Activity Tasks for reading and research

 
STANDARDS ADDRESSED:

COMMON CORE STANDARDS ADDRESSED:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

http://www.corestandards.org/


ASCA STANDARDS ADDRESSED:
A:B1.7 Become a self-directed and independent learner
A:C1.2 Seek co-curricular and community experiences to enhance the school experience

http://static.pdesas.org/content/documents/ASCA_National_Standards_for_Students.pdf

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE:

Instructors will want to know two specific pieces of information before conducting this lesson:
First, know the specific course requirements for graduation at your high school. If there is a school handout of graduation requirements, this lesson is a perfect time to distribute this handout.
Second, know the specific options for Post-Secondary Enrollment where high school students earn college credit. Read the article for examples, and ask a counselor for a few options available for students at your school to explore.

MATERIALS:

Access to internet to browse online courses offered. This may be individual access or may be projected on a screen for the whole class.


Handout of Activity Task

School-Specific Handout of Graduation Requirements (optional): Instructors may hand out the graduation requirements at the end of the introduction of this lesson. This would be school-specific information for every requirement of a graduate, and may include specific courses, credit amounts, exit exams, and/or community service.

ASSESSMENT:

There is no formal assessment for this lesson at this time. A real-life assessment is earning college credit. A follow-up task would be for students to bring a certificate of completion for an online course, for credit or not.

LESSON PROCEDURE:

Introductory Class Discussion (10 minutes)
Begin the lesson by asking the class a series of questions that develop a common understanding of what kinds of things may be learned both inside and outside of school. Answers will vary; be sure to allow time to clarify confusion about specific school policies, and point out that sharing and explaining why we take courses helps us focus attention, but there is not one common, correct answer for everyone. Encourage each student to think of their own valuable lessons and reasons to take courses. Ask:

  • Has anyone taken a class outside of school? What do people learn in courses outside of school? Why do people take classes outside of school?
  • Why do people take classes at/inside school? What are the most important courses to take for graduation, college readiness, and life in general?
  • What is the difference between a course for credit and one not for credit?

At this point, check that students understand the difference between credits needed for high school graduation, credits earned toward college graduation, and lifelong learning courses. Ask students to take a minute to answer this question in their own minds:

  • What classes must you take before you graduate?

It is not expected that any student knows this information, but provide each student time to generate an answer in their own mind. Then, ask students to raise their hands to take a poll:

  • Who thinks they know some of the required classes?
  • Who thinks they know almost all of the classes?
  • Who thinks they don’t know any?

Start by asking a few of the students who say they don’t know any to take a guess at what is required. Then, build upon this knowledge so students understand these requirements. Instructors may assign a student to write answers on the board.

Handout of School’s Graduation Requirements (2 minutes, Optional):
Distribute the handout on graduation requirements for your school and encourage students to review these on their own after class and over the next few weeks.

Read Article (3 minutes):
Distribute and instruct students to read Student Paths article “Getting Ahead: Earning College Credit in High School.”

Complete Questions on Activity Task (15 minutes)

Distribute the Activity Task Handout and instruct students to use the reading to complete the first questions, and to use the internet to complete task 5 of the activity.
The instructor will either use a projector for the whole class to browse course catalogues of online courses or provide students individual access to browse for online courses.

Here are suggested answers to the Activity Task:
Don’t get overwhelmed by taking too many AP, PSEO, CIS, and IB courses!
1. Write a 5-10 word summary of each acronym. Second, write the skills you think it would take to complete each of the courses.
PSEO: Post-Secondary Enrollment Option is a program that lets high school students take college classes on a college campus, just like a regular college student.
AP: Advanced Plasement classes are college-level courses that you take at your high school if it offers the program.
CIS: College in the Schools or Dual Enrollment program allows you to take college-level classes at your high school during your junior and senior years.
IB:  International Baccalaureate is a two-year international diploma program at select high schools that allows you to earn college and high school credits at the same time.

2. Time-management skills and less time for interests.
List the time management skills you know:
The answer for this question is not in the article; students will need to brainstorm their own time-management skills, which could include:
Plan and schedule time for schoolwork, finding ways to manage stress throughout life.
Prepare work space, and develop habits to prepare mind and body for work.
Notice distractions and work on staying focused. (Everyone gets distracted; it takes hard work to develop the skill to manage your time and work productively.)
Schedule time for breaks, seeking help from mentors, teachers and peers, and persisting with independent work.
Vision and benchmark tasks to complete goals.
Set goals and steps of achievement along your student path.
Today, would you say you have too many interests or too few? What do you do to balance your school work and life?
Answer will be personal. Encourage sharing of strategies to manage stress, friends, school work.

3. Answer a trivial question from the text: What did Jordan Harper do about his online courses?
Answer quoted from text, “He worked with his school counselor to make sure that the courses he took awarded high school and college credits.”

4. Research the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options near you.  You may ask our teacher. Remember, this may not be the exact name, so look closely for places where high school students can earn college credit.
Instructor should have specific answer on where high school students can take college classes. The simple answer is online (with suggestions in the next question), but this is also time to promote courses at local colleges.

5. Browse the online catalogue of the courses at your favorite school. Here are two interesting places to begin:
http://online.stanford.edu/
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

Complete the lesson by having students log off computers. Remind students to review the high school graduation requirements and continue their searches for online classes that they find interesting.

 

 


 

 Activity Tasks

Don’t get overwhelmed by taking too many AP, PSEO, CIS, and IB courses!First, write a 5-10 word summary of each acronym. Second, write the skills you think it would take to complete each of the courses.
PSEO

AP
 
CIS
 
IB
 
2. Review skills for time-management and balancing time for interests.
List the time-management skills you know:











Today, would you say you have too many interests or too few? How are your interests related to school work? What do you do to balance your school work and interests in life?






3. Answer a trivial question from the text: What did Jordan Harper do about his online courses?



 

 



4. Research the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options near you.  You may ask your teacher. Remember, this may not be the exact name, so look closely for places where high school students can earn college credit.

5. Browse the online catalogue of the courses at your favorite school. Here are two interesting places to begin:

http://online.stanford.edu/

http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

 


About the Author

Matt Andrews

Matt Andrews

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