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Policies vary on transfer credits

Colleges may or may not accept others’ credits

By Marge Eberts and Peggy Gisler

King Features Syndicate

Q: Our talented eighth-grader scored a 1,200 on the math and verbal section of the SAT. Last summer, he went to a university’s talent-identification program and loved it, both for the companionship of other gifted kids and the accelerated learning. A local college has its own high school program in which students take college classes and earn a high school diploma plus three years of college credit. Our son thinks this program would be great. However, the college is small, and he would miss high school experiences, from football games to clubs to prom. The other high school students would be scattered in classes around the college campus.

Our son has his post-high school sights set on a prestigious university or state university honors program. Recently, we were surprised to hear (possibly misinformation) that colleges frown on admitting students with a load of hours from another institution and little of the broadening experience of high school. What do you think of this? — Decision-Making Time

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A: Don’t depend on hearsay when deciding whether to enroll your son in this program. Call the admissions offices of schools that he might like to attend and get their official admissions policy. Schools have different policies. Some colleges, including well-known state universities, might require him to apply as a transfer student. This would mean that he would enter college as a junior or senior and graduate at a very young age. This could work out fine if he will have the maturity to enter college as an upperclassman or plans to go on and study for advanced degrees.

However, there are many other colleges, especially very selective schools, that would expect your son to apply as a freshman because he was technically enrolled in high school while attending the local college. Once he was admitted, he could petition for transfer credit; however, he might not receive any credits for the college courses taken to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

After you have done your research on college admissions policies, your son might find it helpful to talk to several current students in this program to learn about their experiences before making his decision. Another possibility is remaining at high school and taking a few courses at the college.

Q: Since homework doesn’t truly affect achievement in elementary school, I am wondering why teachers still want children to have nightly assignments? — Puzzled Parent

A: The value of homework is not limited to achievement. If your children can get just some of the following benefits that doing homework brings, it will make it so much easier for them to be top students at school:

• Additional practice of skills learned in the classroom.

• The acquisition of good study skills.

• The development of time-management skills.

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• Learning how to be organized.

• The development of traits such as initiative, independence and responsibility.

• The extension of learning beyond the classroom.

• Getting in the homework habit for later grades.

• Letting parents see how their children handle schoolwork.

Send questions to Dear Teacher, in care of the Post-Bulletin, Box 395, Carmel, IN 46082-0395; or e-mail: DearTeacher@excite.com.

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