Navigating the World of High School Transcripts

The high school transcript is one of those things that may trigger anxiety at the thought of homeschooling high school. Fear not. All it takes is educating oneself about it, and seeking resources that can aid in navigating it, especially for college applications.

If your homeschooled high schooler is doing dual credit classes at the local community college, you should have 3 different transcripts; The Mommy Transcript, The Dual Credit Transcript, and The Official High School Transcript. Otherwise, you only have to deal with two transcripts; The Mommy Transcript and the Official High School Transcript.

Mommy Transcript

The Mommy Transcript is an unofficial running documentation of everything the student does, be it academic or extracurricular, including volunteering, internships, etc. You can write out the 4-year high school plan for your student. This then includes the classes your student plans to take but has not yet taken, or classes your students are taking but has not completed yet. Keep in mind, this is not set in stone, as homeschooling gives you that flexibility to change things up, or make disparate activities as one high school course.

As you can see in the Sample Mommy Transcript, the highlighted classes are classes that the student has not yet taken but plan to take. As you can also see, there is a running list of extracurricular of the student. For this, make sure you include the length of time she or he spends on it. You don’t have to be too detailed, but it’s important to have a general idea of the period of time of the activity.

As a back up plan, it would also help to keep a documentation of details of each class your student is taking. Some universities may ask for a document listing descriptions of all the classes a homeschooler has taken. In that case, from my recent experience, I was glad I kept these class by class documentation for each child, for each grade. One of my high schooler took a Botany class online, which I documented as such: StudentNameGR9Botany  and this StudentNameGR9English1 is her 9th grade English. This is one way you can document each class your high schooler is doing. As you can see, you don’t have to be too detailed in maintaining this as it can be unnecessarily tedious. Just make sure you have the

  1. syllabus of the course, list of books read (in case of English classes),
  2. resources used,
  3. and the duration of the course/class.

A glimpse of what part of this document would look like if a university asks for it:

Class Descriptions

 

English 1 – 1 English credit

Enrolled for both fall and spring semesters in Homeschool Book Study, which was an interactive online literature course. Met online weekly and learned literary elements through readings of Anne of Green Gables, Call of the Wild, Treasures of the Snow, The Mysterious Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Treasure Island, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Cricket in Times Square, and Sarah Bishop. Essays were assigned weekly based on the readings. Enrolled in four 6-week mastery-based writing classes through Home2Teach. Did vocabulary assignments using Worldly Wise 5.

English II – 1 Language Arts credit

Enrolled for both fall and spring semesters in Homeschool Book Study, which was an interactive online literature course. Met online weekly and went through literary elements through readings of Red Badge of Courage, The Grapes of Wrath, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Last of the Mohicans, All Quiet on the Western Front, 1984, Jane Eyre, and Kidnapped. Weekly essays were assigned throughout the semesters. Enrolled for one 6-week writing course through Home2Teach. Used Worldly Wise Book 5, 8 and 9 twice weekly for vocabulary assignments administered by parent. Assigned weekly essay prompts taken from Bedford Reader, with parent as writing instructor.

English Composition I 1301 – 1 English credit – Honors class – DE through community college

Intensive study of and practice in writing processes, from invention and researching to drafting, revising, and editing, both individually and collaboratively. Emphasis on effective rhetorical choices, including audience, purpose, arrangement, and style. Focus on writing the academic essay as a vehicle for learning, communicating, and critical analysis. Taken on campus with instructor at College Name College.

This Mommy transcript need not be notarized as it is only for self documentation, and will not be used officially.

Dual Credit Transcript

The Dual Credit transcript is only for the purposes of taking dual credit classes at a local community college. This transcript is not the transcript that will go towards college admission, nor is it the official high school transcript. Therefore, you have some liberty in what you put or not put in this transcript.

Since the objective of taking dual credit classes is to maximize the amount of college level classes taken during high school that will transfer to universities, you want your student to be able to take as many dual credit classes as they can while they are still in high school. So, it doesn’t do the student any good if you put everything they have done on this transcript. This is not the transcript where you want to show everything your student has done. If you do, then you have put your student at a disadvantage. Take it from me, I have learned this the hard way.

For example, your student has done American History and American Government before taking dual credit classes in the local community college. And you put this on the dual credit transcript. There are American History and American Government classes offered as dual credit in the local community college that your student can take, but because they are already on her transcript, she won’t be allowed to take them. As a result, when she enters a 4-year university as a freshman, she will have to take American History and American Government there as these are usually part of the core courses that everyone has to take. If these courses were not placed on her dual credit transcript, she would have then been allowed to take these classes as dual credit classes at her local community college and reap the gains of fulfilling her high school US History and American Government class AND the 4-year university’s US History and American Government core course requirement. Those credits would have then transferred (assuming that the 4-year university accepts them) and she would have saved money and time in the 4-year university.

This is a Sample Dual Credit Transcript. This sample transcript has updates made after student has taken dual credit classes. The highlighted ones are the dual credit classes taken.

  • Note that you would put them as Honors classes, as these dual credit classes are college level classes. On the high school level, these would be considered Honors classes.
  • Note that you are not putting these dual credit classes in their college format such as MATH 1314(Honors Algebra) or CHEM 1411 (Honors Chemistry). Rather, you are naming them as general a way as possible. The reason for this is that sometimes you may count two dual credit classes as one high school class. For example, you may count ENG 1301 and ENG 1302 together as 11th grade English. As for why, well, it depends on individual circumstances such as if a student wants to take more dual credit English classes than needed, and the only way to be able to do that is to group two of those classes as one high school English class.
  • You can put IP (In Progress) for a class that a student is still taking and has not yet completed. Cases where this might happen is if a student is taking HIST 1301 in Spring 2017 and HIST 1302 in Fall 2018, and you have to send in an updated dual credit transcript to the dual credit office in the beginning of Fall 2018. In this case, you would put US History on the student’s transcript as IP, because you are counting HIST 1301 and HIST 1302 together as one high school US History course.
  • YOU have the authority to decide how many credits you want to award a class, be it 1 credit or 1/2 credit
  • Dual Credit Transcripts should generally be notarized

Disclaimer:

  • Different community colleges may have different policies regarding dual credit classes, so the explanation above is based on a specific city. Please check your local community colleges’ policies.
  • There are more technicalities in navigating the dual credit transcript that is not easy to convey in this post, so please check with local homeschoolers who have gone through this in your own locality

 

Official High School Transcript

The official high school transcript is THE transcript. This is the official high school transcript that will remain with your high schooler forever. It is considered an official document, and may be summoned by future employers or even banks. This is the transcript that will be submitted in college applications.

This Sample Official Transcript was optimized by Kathe Lee, a local Academic advisor who is also a veteran homeschooler offering consultation services and transcript optimization to homeschoolers. She owns the copyright of this particular transcript. The transcript was optimized based on the student’s ACT and SAT scores, CGPA, and the universities he wants to apply to. So it’s very important to be aware that each student’s transcript will be customized in its optimization process. This is just a sample.

This Sample Home Official Transcript is an example of a transcript made by a homeschooling parent. If you are doing it on your own, and wish to seek optimization services, you may also look up HECOA for paid service.

Official High School Transcripts should generally be notarized.

 

Juli Herman is a homeschooling mother of four children, two of which are now in college. While pursuing her BSc. in Computer Science, she had her first two children.  By the time she completed her final year, she was 100% certain of two things; stay home with her children, and rekindle her love of learning. As a bibliophile, Juli naturally instilled the love of reading to her children from a young age. Homeschooling became an obvious choice of education for her children as she read more about it. Through living a homeschooling lifestyle where love of learning is placed on a pedestal, she witnessed her children blossom into their respective areas of strength. Now that she has been homeschooling for over 19 years, she is glad she documented the journey on her homeschooling blog, which went through its own growth. Blogging has served as a great reminder of both the blessings and challenges of homeschooling to keep her going with the youngest child. Through it all, homeschooling has taught her a lot about the true meaning of tawakkul.

 

 

Related posts

One Thought to “Navigating the World of High School Transcripts”

  1. […] matter how insignificant you might consider them, for you never know, they might have a place on the official high school transcript, or the […]

Leave a Comment