Meet Ella St. Laurent. She’s a seventeen-year-old Challenge IV student from central Massachusetts with a talent for the arts and a love of theater. She has participated in multiple musical productions for a local theater company, she currently works as a cashier, and she enjoys cliff diving and philosophical conversations. Ella St. Laurent is as busy as busy gets—and, all the while, she’s earning college credit for homeschool coursework.
Here’s Ella’s experience with CC Plus, the program that makes this possible.
How Do I Earn College Credit for Homeschool Coursework?
CC Plus allows me to earn college credit for coursework I’m already completing.
Here’s how the program works: you’ll submit your coursework to your parents for assessment at the high school level, and then you’ll submit the same coursework to a college professor at Southeastern University for assessment at the college level. You’ll meet the requirements for the Challenge program, and you’ll get a letter grade and college credit from the university.
The Benefits of Earning College Credit in Challenge
There are many benefits to CC Plus. Here are a few:
First, CC Plus allows you to take things at your own pace, preventing burnout while still being part of a concurrent enrollment program.
Second, most of the assignments that you need to turn in are already part of your original Challenge curriculum, and you’ll knock out the general education classes required by colleges. You’ll keep the extra work at a minimum.
Third, the program gives you the university experience and lets you test yourself against college-level expectations—the assignments, the teachers, practically everything. And this way, you won’t feel like someone is throwing you into a pool for the first time and telling you to swim. You’ll be prepared for college and life away from home further down the road.
Most of all, the program taught me accountability in a way I have never experienced before as a person who has almost always done homeschooling in one way or another. I’m responsible for producing college-level results, and I can measure my efforts with college-level assessment.
CC Plus also offers other unique benefits. The program immerses you in classical education, extends everything you’ve learned, and prepares you for life.
I have a confession. In the early years of Foundations, I would often find myself frustrated because I couldn’t understand the purpose of the different lessons I was learning in class. Honestly, I couldn’t see the whole picture.
However, now that I’ve nearly reached the end of the program, I can truly see its beauty—everything comes together at the end.
It’s like learning a language: you start with the grammar. First, you learn some very basic words, then you learn how to conjugate them, then you learn how to structure sentences, and eventually you develop your fluency.
Foundations and Essentials taught me what seemed at the time to be random words, but then my Challenge years taught me conjugation and structure. And progressively—and especially more and more throughout my later Challenge years—I’ve been developing my fluency. Everything fits together.
CC Plus simply takes that learning process a step further. The CC Plus program is like completely immersing yourself in a country whose natives speak that language you’ve been learning. You’ll submerge yourself in everything you’ve been learning and come out more capable and more confident. And everything is planned out and organized beautifully so that you’ll still feel right at home the entire time.
Personally, I don’t see how I could have gone through CC and not have partaken in CC Plus—the program seems like the most natural extension of the Challenge program.
Although there are moments when the teachers will require you to go a little further beyond what your Challenge syllabus asks of you, nothing comes out of the blue. Everything corresponds with what you are learning and your thoughts and discussions in class.
Furthermore, I’m blown away by the deep conversations I get to have on a weekly basis, and the CC Plus only enhances these conversations. I’ve been encouraged to think about the world around me in a rational manner, and I’ve developed the ability to put my thoughts to paper not only at a college level but even beyond that—as a reasoning adult. Each week, I feel like my knowledge is expanding in some capacity simply by doing what I’d normally do.
While no system of education is perfect, I really do believe that CC, and especially CC Plus, was the right choice for me. CC Plus has prepared me for the future.
In fact, the program brought to the table many skills that will benefit me for the rest of my life: the program forced me to analyze my thoughts, structure my arguments, and see the world through different points of view. These are abilities that I will actively apply to my daily life.
Now I understand how everything fits together. I’m prepared to meet college-level expectations. I’m no longer worried about the future and whether or not my education is truly preparing me for a degree. I feel confident in my abilities, and I’m excited for what is to come.
So when I say this, I mean it: give CC Plus a shot. Don’t give up when it gets hard. Keep going. Most of all, make your time count. Don’t waste this remarkable opportunity that’s standing right in front of you. It will be worth your effort. This program is set up to help you succeed in life. I know the program has been a gift to me, and I’m glad I accepted it.
And if you’d love to hear more from Classical Conversations students, check out Refining Rhetoric, as Robert will be interviewing current students and alumni throughout the month of August.