Frequently Asked Questions About Early College
Q: What is dual credit?
A: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education defines Dual Credit as: “postsecondary courses that are taught on the high school campus. These courses are taught by qualified instructors as defined by The Coordinating Board for Higher Education and are of the same quality and rigor as all other college courses available to regular college students.” Typically this means courses are being taught at the high school by a high school teacher on behalf of the college or university.
Q: What is dual enrollment and how is it different than dual credit?
A: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education defines Dual Enrollment as: “high school students taking postsecondary classes and who are physically present on the postsecondary education campus for those classes.” Typically, for students working with Truman, a dual enrollment class would be a course taken in the evening, on the weekend, or during the summer as a non-degree seeking student. However, Truman also offers several online and competency-based based courses that are considered dual enrollment. These include our Competency-Based Mathematics Program, which is offered in partnerships with schools, but uses a software platform supplemented by teacher instruction.
Q: What is competency-based credit?
A: In the Truman State University context, a competency-based course is a course in which students are given credit for demonstrating they have met the learning objectives of the course (fulfilled specific, measurable competencies) by completing one or more tests that demonstrate completion. Truman’s Competency-Based Mathematics Program is offered in partnership with several high schools to deliver this sort of experience in College Algebra, Plane Trigonometry, and Precalculus. From the perspective of DESE, “School districts may award high school credit to students upon demonstration of mastery of the competencies for a particular course. School districts wishing to award credit based on demonstration of a mastery of the course competencies must notify DESE. School districts must assure that the expected level of performance would demonstrate that a student has mastered the course competencies and may receive credit for the class.”
Q: Who is eligible for dual credit?
A: According to the Missouri Department of Higher Education: “The eligibility of high school students to participate in dual credit courses may vary in accordance with the admission standards of the college or university offering the courses in the high school. For all institutions, however, students must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or the equivalent and be recommended by the high school principal or his or her official designee. High school students must also meet the same requirements for admission to individual courses (e.g., English or mathematics) as those required of on-campus students (e.g., ACT, ASSET, or other placement test scores). Specific placement tests may not be required for admission to some college courses; however, if the high school administers a competency assessment in an area related to the dual credit course, high school juniors and seniors must score at proficient or above on the MAP or achieve an equivalent score on a comparable assessment. Performance on the MAP or a related assessment test should be verified in the high school principal’s or official designee’s recommendation that the student participate in a dual credit course. High school juniors and seniors who meet the above requirements will be eligible for dual credit courses. Under special circumstances, freshmen and sophomores with superior academic talents may take dual credit courses. Freshmen must demonstrate their competency by scoring at the 90th percentile or above on the ACT or SAT and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Both freshman and sophomores must secure the recommendation of a high school counselor, and have written parental permission, and the college academic department official must concur that a younger student can benefit from dual credit in the specific course and learn at the collegiate level.
Q: Who is eligible for dual enrollment?
A: Eligibility for dual enrollment is determined by several factors. Students are admitted like any non-degree seeking undergraduate student. Their application is evaluated to determine whether the student can succeed in the course(s) to which they have applied. Prior coursework in high school, high school GPA, and fulfillment of pre-requisites are considered. Generally speaking, students without at least a GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) will not be considered. The requirements may be more stringent in specific subjects. Exceptions may be made when a counselor or supervising teacher believes a student’s aptitude or preparation in a particular subject warrants such consideration. Under special circumstances, freshmen and sophomores with superior academic talents may take dual enrollment courses. Freshmen must demonstrate their competency by scoring at the 90th percentile or above on the ACT or SAT and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Both freshman and sophomores must secure the recommendation of a high school counselor, and have written parental permission, and the college academic department official must concur that a younger student can benefit from dual enrollment in the specific course and learn at the collegiate level.
Q: Can a student who is not yet in high school enroll in a dual enrollment course?
A: It is very rare for this to happen, though there can be exceptions. Generally speaking, we follow the guidelines mentioned in the question above when admitting students to our courses. On very rare occasions there may be students who have a high GPA and ACT (such as for a freshman, above) who have completed the necessary coursework to take something more advanced. We would very closely scrutinize such an application and talk directly to the Middle School counselor to determine whether the student can handle the work. There are significant advantages to waiting until high school has begun so that the course(s) selected can be coordinated with the student’s high school schedule and long-term plans.
Q: How much does it cost to take a dual credit or dual enrollment course?
A: Truman dual credit and dual enrollment courses are $85 per credit hour. Students who are approved for free and reduced lunch programs at their high school may receive up to nine (9) credit hours at $0 tuition. Textbooks and materials cost extra and are not included in the discount.
Q: What if my child wants to take the high school course, but not the college course?
A: Under the policies of the State of Missouri, a student enrolled in a dual credit section at their high school must be afforded the same educational experience regardless of whether they elect to take the course for Truman credit or not.
Q: Is the dual credit transferable to colleges other than Truman?
A: In most cases, yes. Any course that is part of Core 42 (the Missouri 42-hour transfer system) is transferrable to any public university in Missouri. Many private colleges will accept these courses as well. Courses that are not part of Core 42 are frequently transferrable as well but are not guaranteed. Typically, if a course doesn’t count for a degree requirement it can count as an elective course. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to interact with the institution they plan to transfer credit to in order to assure its transferability.
Q: Does Truman accept dual credit transferred from other colleges and universities?
A: The State of Missouri encourages colleges and universities to accept dual credit beyond the equivalent of five courses, a standard with which Truman fully complies. There is no specified limit on the number of these courses that can be transferred, however, courses are compared to various Truman courses to establish equivalency for meeting graduation requirements. For a detailed explanation of Truman’s transfer policies pertaining to dual credit, as well as access to an equivalency table, visit Truman’s Dual Credit website.
Q: If my child takes a dual credit or dual enrollment course from Truman, do they have to attend class only when Truman is in session?
A: Dual credit and dual enrollment courses that are physically based at the high school, and guided by a high school teacher or software (such as Dual Credit Calculus, or the Competency-Based Mathematics program), meet on the high school’s schedule. Students are required to attend class when their high school is in session. When their high school is on break, the course will not convene. When Truman is on break, however, high school classes will still meet. While every effort is made to match the scheduling of content and assessments at the local school to those of the University, typically there are more hours of direct contact between the local teacher and students than there would be in a college course. Students who are enrolled in classes taught directly by Truman professors – online or on-campus – only meet when Truman is in session.
Q: Do Truman faculty/staff tuition discounts apply to dual credit?
A: No. Faculty and staff discounts only apply to regular Truman tuition. However, children of staff members who are eligible for free and reduced lunch programs at their school may exercise that benefit in place of their staff discount.
Q: What if my child starts the class and doesn’t like it? Can they get a refund? Can they quit without a penalty?
A: This varies a little based on the kind of course you take. If you are enrolled in a course online or on-campus that is taught by regular Truman faculty, the refund, drop and withdrawal dates follow those on campus. You can only get a 100% refund for these classes by dropping them before you begin. Refunds are pro-rated at various levels up to a certain point. You can find more details on our Refund webpage.
If you are enrolled in the Competency-Based mathematics program (CBM) no refunds are granted once you have enrolled because of the cost of the bundled software license that is issued when you enroll.
In dual credit classes, where the high school faculty are teaching, the high school calendar is factored-in to the process. Because school districts have different calendars than Truman’s we have adapted a calendar specific to dual credit that provides comparable opportunities to drop, withdraw, and get refunds. Normally, Truman students register months in advance of their classes and must drop their courses before the semester begins if they wish to get a refund. Since that option is not available to dual credit students, we have set a simple 100% refund date a few weeks into the course. Students who withdraw after that date will not be eligible for a refund, but may withdraw under certain circumstances.
Withdrawals typically result in a “W” being placed on the transcript. After a certain point in the term, students who are failing at the time they withdraw will receive a “WF” on their transcript. Consult the calendar page for more details.
Q: If my child is doing well in the dual credit section, but has not enrolled, can they later enroll for credit?
A: No. This is prohibited by state policies. Students must enroll like any other student in order to receive credit.
Q: Is a dual credit course more challenging?
A: Dual credit and dual enrollment courses are college-level learning experiences. Consequently, students should be prepared for these experiences and the work that these experiences entail. Typically, college students should spend at least two hours working outside of class for every one hour they spend in the classroom. Thus, for a three-credit class, students will probably spend at least six additional hours working outside of class on homework each week. In more challenging subjects, the number of hours required will vary. Truman is known for its academic rigor, and students should expect Truman dual credit and dual enrollment courses to reflect comparable rigor. Students engaged in dual credit courses should be students who are committed learners, performing at the top of their class, who are seriously interested in pursuing a college career.