Better Online Options for High School Students

July 30, 2020

In this year of pandemic, the world of education has turned upside down from Kindergarten all the way through colleges and universities. Right now, school systems all over the United States are trying to decide whether to have classes in person or to go online again. Some parents are trying to decide whether to school their children at home until they can return to the face-to-face classroom.

Creative options for high school students

Into this void, Houghton University has decided to offer two year-long opportunities aimed especially at capable high school students, although they can be taken by college students as well.

This school year we will be offering a full year Biology class and a full year Calculus class that integrates significant amounts of pre-calculus into it. These are college level classes, so they present an opportunity for a student both to make progress toward high school graduation and to earn genuine college credit that are easily transferable. We are also making our Calculus II course available to high school students online. This one semester course covers the material a high school student might take in high school Calculus BC.

College math and science courses are very compressed. They typically do in a semester what takes a full year to do in high school. By stretching these courses out over the whole year, Houghton is offering high school students a soft transition to college math and science that is genuinely on the college level. They are available to college students as well.

MATH 170 and MATH 171 Calculus I with Pre-Calculus (8 credit hours total)

These two courses, one in the fall and the other in the spring, cover the equivalent of a senior high school year Calculus I class with important pre-calculus topics interwoven. Because the courses use a problem-based approach, it will be necessary to participate online on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 10:05-11:10am ET. These courses are a great opportunity to review material in areas like trigonometry that you have studied previously while moving forward with calculus.

Why should I take this course?

  • It is an opportunity for private and public schools to fill in an online gap they may have this year because of the pandemic, by substituting these classes for their usual high school classes.
  • It provides a rare opportunity for homeschoolers to get math credit that often is not available to them.
  • It is an opportunity to move through calculus with a review of previous material built in.

BIOL 151 General Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems (4 credit hours total)

This is one course stretched out over two semesters. It even has labs that you can do at home! A significant number of students each year enter college thinking they want to become a doctor only to crash and burn in a highly compressed first semester biology class.

Why should I take this course?

  • Here is an opportunity for a high school student to get college level biology stretched out over the whole school year, just like high school.
  • It is a chance to move through biology at a slower pace .
  • Again, here is an opportunity for private and public schools to fill in a gap that may have been left by COVID-19.
  • It is another rare opportunity for home schoolers to get a course in STEM.
  • It is a second chance for those who want to go into a science related field but just don’t have the background to jump into a highly compressed college biology class.

MATH 182 Calculus II (4 credit hours total)

High school students who have already taken AP Calculus AB or a college Calculus I course as juniors may not have another option for a math course. These students are invited to continue their mathematical education by enrolling in Houghton’s Calculus II course, which explores the questions of what real life applications there are for integration, how we can integrate more complicated functions, and what it means to add infinitely many numbers. Students who take Calculus II will participate in the Houghton University course that will meet online on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12-1:05 ET. As the course is taught with active, inquiry-based methods that directly involve the students in their learning, students will need to participate online at those times.

Highly competitive rate

This is an incredible opportunity for high school students, given the competitive rate of $180 per credit hour. Private and public high schools can even register groups of students at a special group rate. Meanwhile, college students can take these courses at a rate much less expensive than typical college tuition.

To apply to take these courses as an individual, complete the special student application. If you are a high school administrator and wish to enroll multiple students from a high school, please email ken.schenck@houghton.edu.

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