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How to Know if Online Courses Are a Good Fit for Your High School Student

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How to Know if Online Courses Are a Good Fit for Your High School Student

November 11, 2015

College NowDual enrollment (also called concurrent credit, dual credit, or PSEO) programs allow high school students to take college-level courses and earn university and high school credits concurrently. These types of programs are growing as parents and students look for ways to save on total college costs.

Like many universities, Cedarville offers a College Now dual enrollment program with both online and on-campus college-level course options for high school students. But how do you know which is best for your student? Guest contributor Paula Kordic, Cedarville’s Dual Enrollment Coordinator, offers insights to help you evaluate that decision.


Dual credit programs have become an important part of offsetting the high cost of a college education. Typical courses taken for dual credit are general education courses that meet requirements for most any degree – literature, history, psychology, anthropology, or biology, to name a few. While it is true that students can take these kinds of courses at any liberal arts college, Christian parents recognize the importance of the general education core in shaping their student’s view of the world and their place in it. This is why Cedarville University offers many general education courses to high school students through its College Now program. Since many courses are offered online, students living anywhere in the country can benefit from Cedarville’s biblically integrated and rigorous general education courses

Parents often have questions about whether their student can be successful in an online course. Understanding the differences between learning in a face-to-face classroom versus learning in an online environment will help your student thrive in an online classroom. 

  1. Content delivery. Cedarville’s courses are asynchronous, meaning that the courses do not meet live. Since your student does not have to log in at a specific time each day, he or she can accomplish course work around high school and family commitments. This flexibility is one of the greatest advantages to learning online. The flip side of this flexibility is that students must be able to manage themselves and their time to complete required learning activities on schedule. If your student is an independent, self-directed learner, he or she will thrive in this kind of learning environment. 
  2. Learning community. The natural learning community that develops inside the four walls of a classroom must be intentionally created in the online classroom. Cedarville’s Center for Teaching and Learning employs experts in instructional design to analyze the content in our face-to-face courses, and the learning activities are adjusted for effective online learning. Important student-to-student interaction that reinforces learning and stimulates critical thinking happens as student groups meet through Google hangouts and threaded online discussions as well as participate in peer review of assignments. 
  3. Feedback. The very component in online learning that provides the greatest advantage – flexibility – can be a source of frustration if your student is unprepared for it. Interactions with the professor take place over email, which means a time lapse in receiving the response. The independent, self-directed learner will adapt well to this aspect of the online classroom, planning ahead to allow time for a response.

Cedarville’s College Now program offers high school students everywhere the opportunity to complete academically rigorous and biblically integrated general education courses online. Understanding the unique characteristics of an online classroom will help your student have a successful and enjoyable online learning experience. 

Our College Now site can provide you with more information, and we are always available to answer any questions you may have.

Posted in College Now