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Can you decline dual enrollment credit?

SammoJSammoJ 66 replies1 threads Junior Member
Our very small school might not be able to offer physics next year - there has been a prof there teaching it for eons, she is retiring, not sure what the outlook is for a replacement. S21 plans to major in engineering and wants to apply to the likes of Duke, Clemson, and Georgia Tech, and engineering applicants are strongly encouraged/required to have high school physics. We have a regional branch of our state U in town. He could take first-year physics there dual enrollment, but I have heard (from professors at the local college) that it is simply not as rigorous as first-year physics at his hoped-for universities (the regional branch is just a step up from community college in STEM). This could make follow-on courses difficult.

Can he take the physics course at the local college then retake first-year physics for credit at his chosen university? I can't seem to find this specific issue addressed on the college websites (they all assume the opposite, that you will be arguing to get credit), I have gotten mixed answers from folks around here, and our guidance counselor doesn't seem to understand my question.

An unfavorable answer might require an online high school physics class, which sounds unsatisfying to my S21.
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Replies to: Can you decline dual enrollment credit?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    Beginning college physics courses come in several varieties:

    A. "Physics for poets" -- for general education only.
    B. Physics for biology majors and pre-meds. No calculus or light use of calculus. AP physics 1 and 2 or B approximates this kind of course with no calculus.
    C. Physics for physics and engineering majors. Requires calculus and usually multivariable calculus concurrent with the second semester with E&M. May recommend high school physics as a prerequisite.
    D. Preparatory physics. Like high school physics; may be offered at community colleges for those who need preparation for college physics that recommends high school physics as a prerequisite.

    Only C above may possibly be given subject credit and advanced placement when transferred for a student studying engineering. If he does take such a course, he may want to let the college he matriculates to make the call on whether it can substitute for its own courses. He may also want to check his knowledge using the college's old final exams.

    For any of the other types of physics courses, they will not give advanced placement for an engineering student, but B or D will help if the physics for engineering majors course recommends high school physics as a prerequisite.
    edited October 20
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 29738 replies176 threads Senior Member
    Whether the course transfers for credit, or can be used for advanced placement, is up to the college/university that your child ultimately ends up attending. If that institution doesn't deem it to be fully equivalent to their own first course in that subject for your child's major, it won't be used to replace that course.

    Your child should keep all graded homework and laboratory reports (if there is a lab section), any returned graded quizzes and exams, the course syllabus, and textbook(s). Those can be used by the receiving institution to help determine appropriate course equivalents.
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  • racereerracereer 222 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Honestly I would let the school he ends up going to decide if it is not rigorous or equivalent enough. If it did not cover something they do in their class they wont award the credits. My S19 is going to GT and he transferred in over 50 credits and ~30 of them were dual enrolled at a local CC but taken at his Governor's STEM school. This included Physics, Chemistry, MV/LA and others. One they did not take was DiffEQ as the class he took was only 3 credits and GT's was 4, so he is retaking it again. So far no issues with his more advanced classes.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34514 replies383 threads Senior Member
    edited October 20
    "it is simply not as rigorous as first-year physics at his hoped-for universities." And AP physics isn't always, either.

    First, he needs to be admitted. Taking physics DE and having it credited on his hs transcript (or a grade report from the local college) beats not having it on record, for an engineering wannabe applicant.

    He can always take the class as a freshman, as said.
    edited October 20
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  • tdy123tdy123 816 replies15 threads Member
    edited October 21
    DE generally means that for a single given class, a student gets a grade on a HS transcript and a grade on a college transcript.

    Whether or not that DE college transcript grade will be considered by any individual college the student eventually enrolls in as worthy of transfer credit, and/or qualify the student for advanced coursework that might otherwise require a prerequisite is up to the individual college. Generally speaking, the more selective the college, the less likely they are to grant credit and/or placement.

    One exception is in Law school admissions where grades from college transcripts earned as part of HS dual enrollment classes will be counted as part of the undergraduate GPA regardless of whether or not credit is granted by the students undergraduate institution.

    Overall, absent any consideration for future law school admissions, don't worry about it. No selective school that I'm aware of would require a student to take a more advanced course against their will based on a DE class.




    edited October 21
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  • mikemacmikemac 10361 replies150 threads Senior Member
    edited October 21
    The answer depends on the college. At UCLA, for example, they say
    AP examinations, IB examinations, and college courses taken prior to or after enrolling at UCLA may be duplicative. In these cases we will award credit for only one.
    http://www.admission.ucla.edu/Prospect/APCreditEN.htm
    And they don't say if there is a process to waive the credit for the one you've taken thru DE, which is what you are asking. For sure you can't do it by declining to send in the transcript; colleges require transcripts from every college prior attended.

    Why not see you can roll your own hybrid? Is there is a teacher willing to sponsor a self-study class geared towards the AP test? With a son bright enough to apply to strong engineering schools like the ones you mentioned he should be able to do this mostly on his own, perhaps taking a class such as http://online.rice.edu/courses/ap-physics-1/ or https://www.khanacademy.org/science/physics/ap-physics-1 and then meeting with the sponsoring teacher for an hour every week. Maybe even less; a real college physics class is 3 hours listening to the guy drone on in front of the class plus office hours (that most frosh don't go to anyway).

    As a HS student I wouldn't make a DE class my first choice. There is the disruption in the HS day of getting to another campus and back. And there's the permanence. If you take a HS or even AP class it essentially disappears once you start college, nobody will ever ask about it again. But you need to list every college attended & supply transcripts when applying to grad school. A kid biting off more than they anticipated will have those grades pull down their college gpa.

    edited October 21
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1126 replies16 threads Senior Member
    The above mostly focus on how to get credit/placement. I believe the question is the opposite.

    I have never run into a college that will force you to take credit for a class and enroll in one for which you do not feel prepared.

    None of my D and two friends who took Calc BC placed out of Calc 1 at their T10 engineering school (and for good reason: B, B+, A-. “Just like first year college courses” is a big myth, IMHO).

    My D also got credit from Pitt for Physics for Engineers through their College in High School program (she had to take their actual exams) and stuck with Physics 1 as a Freshman also. No one said she couldn’t.
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  • SammoJSammoJ 66 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Thanks everyone. @Richinpitt, yes, my question is the opposite of the one usually asked, which is why it throws people.

    I know AP credit doesn't require placing out of college courses, nor are AP courses truly equivalent to college courses in many cases. (S19 got a 5 on Calc AB and is taking Calc 1 now at college - he already says the Calc 1 has more depth than Calc AB). I have the same concern about DE courses.

    @ucbalumnus, thanks for bringing up the variety of physics courses. We got more info, and there are two physics sequences at the local college, one that is non-calc based and one that is calc based. Since engineering programs require calc based and S21 doesn't care if he is awarded any credit for the DE, taking the lower level sequence should serve the purpose of providing an elementary background in physics.

    @mikemac, I know he will need to need to send transcript, and I was equally concerned about Physics 1 being the first DE class. However, his current Calc AB/AP Chem teacher is also a chem professor at the local university and she knows him well from prior math competition work. She is the one who suggested the DE option, knows the professor who teaches it, and believes that he will be able to handle it easily, in part because his peers in the class just won't be solid STEM students. (Right there is the reason this class is really not up to engineering student standards.)

    And all, no S21 isn't counting on Duke or Georgia Tech, although Clemson should be a slam dunk (just went through this process w S19 who was accepted into Clemson Honors - S21 has even better scores and stats.) But S21 wears his Duke tee shirt almost every day and hopes...
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  • mikemacmikemac 10361 replies150 threads Senior Member
    edited October 22
    BTW what I had in mind above was having the HS list the class on the transcript as HS physics, not independent study. I know someone that did this with an algebra class they wanted to take their school didn't offer; they set it up with an accomodating teacher and it showed up on the transcript as a regular class.
    edited October 22
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  • SammoJSammoJ 66 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @mikemac A sponsoring teacher would be doable - that is what S21 is doing this year for AP Stats. I'm a bit stymied for the physics, though - it should include a strong lab component, and doing that independently might be hard. As an engineer myself, I'm personally opposed to the "watch some else do a lab online."
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  • PrdMomto1PrdMomto1 155 replies5 threads Junior Member
    My daughter is a freshman STEM major at a top 20 school. Most of her classmates took AP Chem, AP Physics and various Calc classes (some dual enrollment) and most are either taking the equivalent course as freshman or the honors version of the same class. Very few took the credit and moved onto the next course (if available - depends on major) and most of those who did regret it.

    My dd took Calc BC as a junior and then Calc 3 dual enrollment at a local university. She is taking Multivariable Calc as a freshman, even though it's the same concepts she learned in Calc 3. She is REALLY happy with that decision. The adjustment to college in general and especially with the increased rigor in her STEM courses over what she experienced previously is not something she is taking lightly. And she wants to make sure she has a very strong foundation in these areas before moving on. There are a lot of kids who did well in AP classes at her school who are struggling in the college version of the same course.

    I think it's unlikely most schools would "insist" your son move past the equivalent course as a freshman and many STEM programs will want him to take their physics class, especially if his isn't calc based (as the poster above explained).
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78600 replies697 threads Senior Member
    Although it is commonly advised here for college students to repeat all of their AP (or IB or college) credit from high school, that can be a waste of time and tuition for schedule space that could instead by used to learn something new, if the student knows the material well.

    The student can check his/her knowledge of the courses that the college allows skipping with AP (or IB or college) credit by trying the college's old final exams for those courses. How well s/he handles those old final exams will allow him/her to make a more informed placement decision rather than unconditionally repeating (or taking advanced placement). Some colleges have their own mandatory or advisory placement testing for this purpose.
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  • SammoJSammoJ 66 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited October 23
    @PrdMomto1 That is just the feedback I needed - taking a DE course but still taking the equivalent at once enrolled in college. Your comment about "strong foundation" is our focus. Thanks.

    @usbalumnus, I hear what you are saying, but I am more inclined to think that the classes and peer group at a very good engineering school are going to be more rigorous than anything S21 is able to get in our small town. We will keep your thoughts in mind, though!
    edited October 23
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