PSEO (Postsecondary Enrollment Options) is a program allowed in select states (Ohio and Minnesota as far as I know) that allows students to take college level courses while in high school. By doing this they earn high school and college credit at the same time.
Since we don’t plan on moving again, this post is based on Minnesota PSEO requirements. 🙂
PSEO saves students time and cost. Their time spent in college is greatly decreased, and because the MN Dept. of Education pays for the for the cost of PSEO tuition, fees, and textbooks, they save some big moola. Just think about it. A 3-credit, college-level math class would cost you about $420 at a two-year college or about $580 at a state university. (And that’s not counting textbooks – eek!) Students from low-income families may be able to get mileage reimbursement too.
Students can take courses full or part-time, at more than one college at the same time, and either online or on-campus. Really – how many more options do you need!
If you’re a student interested in PSEO, follow these easy steps:
Step 1: Check with your institute. The PSEO program is eligible in the 32 Minnesota State Colleges, the University of Minnesota and its branches, and in some private colleges, universities, and trade schools. Click here for a complete list of institutes that participate in PSEO.
Step 2: Contact the college admissions office and sk about your institute’s PSEO requirements because they will vary somewhat from school to school. Ask about enrollment requirements, deadlines, and application forms.
Requirements are generally as such:
- For sophomores to be eligible, they must have taken the 8th grade MCA reading test and scored at ‘meets or exceeds’. They must enroll in one Career and Technical Education (CTE) course through PSEO and earn a ‘C’ or higher. If these requirements are met, they can enroll in additions CTE courses while in 10th grade.
- Juniors must rank in the upper one-third of their class or score at or above the 70th percentile on a nationally standardized, norm-referenced test (e.g. PLAN, ACT, SAT, PSAT).
- Seniors must rank in the upper one-half of their class or score at or above the 50th percentile on a nationally standardized, norm-referenced test (e.g. PLAN, ACT, SAT, PSAT).
- Many colleges also want students to score at a college level on the course placement test, ACCUPLACER.
Step 3: Study for the ACCUPLACER test if it’s required (see Step #2).
The ACCUPLACER test is a series of computerized tests that focus on your knowledge in math, reading, and writing. The test results are used by your college to determine if you’re ready for college-level courses.
These multiple choice tests are not timed (except for the written essay) and there is no ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ – just an assessment of your skills. Click here to see a description of each section.
- sample questions (free pdf download)
- practice tests – free
- Reading Comprehension Practice tests and flashcards – both free
- Question of the Day – free
- The Official ACCUPLACER Study App – $2.99
- The Official Web-Based Study App – $2.99
ACCUPLACER tests are typically given at the institution you’re planning to take your PSEO course(s). Contact the advisor office to schedule the test and ask about an alternative location if needed.
Step 4: Apply for PSEO
If you wish to participate in the fall semester, apply in the spring of the prior year. If you wish to start in the spring semester, apply in the fall of that year. For example, submit your PSEO application by April 1st to enroll in PSEO the following fall.
Step 5: Understand the MN Transfer Curriculum. Anyone who takes PSEO courses needs to know about the MN Transfer and how it works.
- check your college’s website for the guide to their specific courses.
PSEO Contact Info
MN Dept. of Education PSEO Coordinator Jessica Rowe
That wraps up our Planning High School as a Homeschooler series. I’ll leave you with a list of my favorite links and resources:
HSLDA (high school) – a great site with a plethora of helpful information. If you’re a member of HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association), which I recommend, you have access to consultants who can answer specific questions and provide general advice.
A Guide for Homeschooling Through High School – a concise 24-pg booklet (downloadable) that helps walk you through planning high school, giving credits and grading, keeping records, and exploring options for after high school. Includes sample forms.
HSLDA’s high school resource list – very broad and helpful
Credits Before College – Cheri Frame is a homeschooling mom of college students who teaches workshops about earning college credits in high school. You can also schedule a one-on-one appointment with her to create a personalized high school plan for your student. We’ve personally used her and highly recommend tapping into her knowledge. 🙂
HSLDA Transcript Service Giveaway!
We’re excited to wrap up our Homeschooling in High School series with a fantastic giveaway. HSLDA (Homeschool Legal Defense Association) has graciously offered to give away their Annual Transcript Service for one student.
This service helps you create a transcript, update it whenever you want, store it without worry, and send it to whomever your student wants! The winner of the giveaway will be given a special coupon code for free access for 12 months. Read more about this service here and enter the giveaway below.
Homeschooling in High School Series:
Part 1: Grading & Planning
Part 2: Explaining High School Credits
Part 3: Defining Fine Arts, Electives & Extra Curricular Activities
Part 4: How to Prepare A High School Transcript
Part 5: High School Testing
Part 6: Earn Credits with CLEP
Part 7: Earn Credits with DSST/DANTES
Part 8: Earn Credits with Advanced Placement (AP)
Part 9: Earn Credits with PSEO + HSLDA Transcript Service Giveaway!