Posted in HS4CC

Dual Enrollment Online vs Nothing? Take this quiz!

Summer and Fall dual enrollment registration is just around the corner and many colleges have presented two options:  Take dual enrollment online or nothing.

Parents considering dual enrollment have to weigh a lot of pros and cons under normal circumstances, and now with the added disruption many of us are facing with on-campus classes being temporarily suspended in most states, we have to decide whether or not our teen should consider dual enrollment online vs possibly losing a semester and not getting college credit. If you’re wrestling with this question, take this quiz!

QUESTION 1:  Has your teen taken an online course before? 

  • No, this would be our first online experience:  0 points
  • Yes, either a high school class or a self-paced class without a teacher: 1 point
  • Yes, my teen has taken dual enrollment classes online before: 2 points

QUESTION 2:  How well does your teen learn by reading a textbook?

  • Not well, he prefers verbal explanations or videos:  0 points
  • My teen can do this but might need my help:  1 point
  • My teen frequently completes homework independently without help: 2 points

QUESTION 3:  Can your teen express themselves well through writing?

Beyond a research paper, this includes emailing a professor, participating in written discussions with students, and answering free-response questions.

  • No, this is not a strength: 0 points
  • My teen can do this but might need my help: 1 point
  • My teen is comfortable with this: 2 points

QUESTION 4:  Is your teen comfortable with technology?

This includes owning a dedicated computer with reliable internet access (not a phone), uploading and downloading files, sending and receiving email, and using software like Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  • No, either we don’t have a computer, typing skills, or software: 0 points
  • My teen would be learning some of those things for the first time: 1 point
  • My teen is so proficient he could teach someone how to those things: 2 points

QUESTION 5:  How is the cost of dual enrollment covered for your teen?

  • We are responsible for tuition and might have to pay by credit card: 0 points
  • We are responsible for tuition, but it easily fits into our budget: 1 point
  • Tuition is free for my student: 2 points

QUESTION 6:  What grade in high school is your teen starting this coming semester?

  • Starting 10th grade or less: 0 points
  • Starting 11th grade:  1 point
  • Starting 12th grade: 2 points

QUESTION 7:  My teen loves to be on campus, participate in study groups, interact with classmates, and holds conversations with his professor.

  • Yes! Classes are a social experience: 0 points
  • Take it or leave it: 1 point
  • My teen prefers to focus on academics: 2 points


Add up your points.

5 or less:  Online dual enrollment will likely be a disaster for your teen, and dual enrollment grades are forever.  My recommendation is to avoid online dual enrollment.

6-8:  There are aspects of online learning that are going to present challenges for your teen. Unless you have a very compelling reason to enroll, my recommendation is to skip for now.

9-11:  This online experience may be outside your teen’s comfort zone, but with support and encouragement from the family, your teen can be successful.   My recommendation is to enroll in one class this semester.  Start slowly right now and build toward a heavier schedule next semester.

12 or more:  There is no question your teen will thrive in an online dual enrollment setting.


Choosing classes

  • Consider enrolling your student in just one online class for their first semester.
  • Skip foreign languages and science labs – most students find these the hardest subjects to learn remotely.
  • Weak writers should choose low-writing courses like math or computers.
  • Be aware that literature, psychology, sociology, and criminal justice courses generally include adult themes.

Supporting your teen

  • Be sure you have your teen’s login, username, and password written down.
  • Before Day 1, know the last allowable withdrawal date.
  • Read (and print) a copy of their course syllabus and calendar so you know what assignments are due and how much weight they carry.
  • Download the free writing tool Grammarly for your teen’s computer.
  • Never email your teen’s professor – all communication has to come from them.


  • If the material is confusing, consider looking for videos on youtube – thousands of explainer videos exist for every subject!
  • If your course shell has a discussion forum, check it first before emailing the professor. Sometimes others have already asked the same question.
  • Always email the professor if you have questions. Do not email student services, advising, or other staff with questions about the course or grades unless you can’t get your professor to reply after multiple attempts.
  • Keep a real-time log of your teen’s grades- if you notice that they start to slip, consider formally withdrawing. A “withdrawal” is always better than failing.
woman holding books
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Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit