Is Your High School Student Ready To Take College Classes?

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4 questions parents should ask themselves before enrolling their high school student in college classes.

Today, students have more opportunities than ever before. Including taking college courses while they are still in high school. This could be a great option for many students, especially those who are interested in earning college credits or those students who are already excelling in their high school courses. If you’re considering enrolling your high school student in college courses you might be wondering if they’re ready for the academic rigor of a college-level class. How can you tell? Unfortunately, there is no way to KNOW your child will be successful, but there are definite indicators that your child is probably ready to give it a try. 

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself to help assess whether your son or daughter is equipped to take college-level courses while still in high school:

  1. Is your child comfortable communicating with others in different environments?

If enrolled in a college-level course, your child will need to feel comfortable communicating with adults and classmates of varying ages. Is your child capable of communicating his/her needs with other adults and professors without your involvement? Your child’s level of emotional intelligence and social intelligence will usually outweigh his/her actual IQ when it comes to being successful in a college class.

  1. Does your child love to learn and pursue academic knowledge?

Is your child longing for more enrichment in an academic environment? There is a good chance that your child may be ready for college classes if he/she is the one asking you to enroll him/her. Your child should have a natural inquisitiveness that seeks knowledge and understanding at higher levels. 

  1. What drives your child to succeed?

Is your student intrinsically motivated? Meaning, can they be self-motivated. This may not be a trait that they already possess, but is one that they will have to learn to be successful in any college course (now or later). The reality is, students will need to take responsibility for themselves to learn and be successful. Is your child currently excelling academically and self-motivated? If so, they will likely already be successful at the next level. If they don’t yet, don’t be discouraged. Trying a college course now is a great way to introduce them to this idea before they have to dive in after high school graduation. Studies show that, students who take college courses while they are still in high school actually perform better in college. 

  1. Has your child established his/her own academic goals?

When considering early enrollment in college, it is important to determine academic goals. Of course, as a high school student, your child may not have chosen a major yet. But, like anything else in life, it always helps to set a specific intention. For example, talk to them about “why” they want to take a college course. What is their end-goal? Perhaps its to earn credits to help save time and money in their first year of college? Or to boost their GPA or even to graduate high school early? The rigors of college curriculum can take a toll when a student has no goal, but having a purpose in mind can help keep them focused. Remember, college classes will likely require more study time than high school level classes. The sacrifice of their time now will be worth it later, but they should feel that way too. 

Taking college classes while still in high school can be a great option for all different types of students. As a parent, it’s important that you can support your student along the way. 

Do you have more questions about taking college courses in high school? Check out a few more of our blog posts, like this one on the difference between concurrent enrollment and dual enrollment