PSEO is a dual credit program that allows 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to earn high school and college credit tuition free, through enrollment in and successful completion of college courses taught by college instructors. With traditional PSEO, these courses are generally offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college and university setting their own requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses and programs.
High school students may attend PSEO courses either part-time or full-time during the fall and spring academic school year; the PSEO program is not available during the summer, unless the student is enrolled in a State-Approved Alternative Program (SAAP). Tuition, fees and textbooks related to the course are provided at no cost to the student.
For more information about PSEO, visit the PSEO Program Page for Students and Families. If you have specific questions about the PSEO Program, contact email@example.com.
Benefits of the Program
PSEO courses are a great way for high school students to challenge themselves academically, earn college credit, and save time and money. Many Minnesota colleges accept credit transfers of these courses in the same manner they would accept credits from another college. Students should check that the college they plan to attend after high school will apply these credits toward their chosen college degree. Participation in college-level courses is helpful determining factor for college admissions after high school.
Choosing to Participate
The decision to participate in PSEO is an important one, and students should start planning early. The student will be expected to be a responsible, self-starting independent learner. Students and parents should seek out additional information and counseling at the high school and at the postsecondary institution to ensure that they are making the best choice for themselves and their educational future.
NOTE: Students attending nonpublic schools are encouraged to discuss the school’s PSEO policy with a counselor or program advisor well in advance of participation in this program.
Students and parents should consider the following:
· High School Graduation Requirements: Students should meet with their high school guidance counselor and review the courses needed to graduate. Enrollment in an incorrect PSEO class or failing a PSEO course could result in delayed high school graduation, so careful planning and communication with the high school is very important.
· Academic Ability: Is the student ready for college-level course work? It is important to remember that a student is generating a permanent college transcript. Courses and grades earned through PSEO cannot be expunged or re-taken for a higher grade.
· Maturity: Is the student mature, responsible and self-disciplined enough to be successful in a college setting? This includes navigating the campus and student learning system as well as time-management skills and self-advocacy. Postsecondary institutions do not communicate directly with parents. Most of the time, college instructors are unaware which students in their classes are current high school students.
· Scheduling and Transportation: Will the student be able to manage schedules at two locations and have the transportation means to get to each location?
How to Apply
Talk to the high school counselor.
Students should consult with their high school counselor about their interest in postsecondary courses and which requirements are still needed for graduation. Counselors can help students come up with a plan.
PSEO law requires public students notify their district or charter school of their intent to enroll in PSEO courses during the following school year by May 30.
Be aware of postsecondary admissions requirements and deadlines.
It is the postsecondary institution that determines admissions requirements into their postsecondary courses – not the high school. Postsecondary institutions also set their own application deadlines and timelines for admission. For example, fall semester application deadlines range from April-June the previous academic year, while spring semester application deadlines range from October-December.
Many postsecondary institutions create admissions guidelines for PSEO students based on class rank, GPA and/or specific score minimum on a nationally standardized, norm-referenced test (like the ACT, PSAT or SAT).
Most schools allow an appellate process for students who do not meet those criteria; in general, students must provide documentation or proof of their readiness and ability to perform college-level work, as determined by the postsecondary institution. In addition to program admissions requirements, students need to meet the college course prerequisites.
Discuss and determine transportation options.
Districts are not obligated to provide transportation for PSEO students between the high school and the postsecondary institution. However, funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for PSEO students whose families are at or below the poverty level, as determined by the federal government, to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decide where to enroll – and which courses to take.
There is no list of available PSEO courses available across the state. Students should locate the list of PSEO courses offered by the postsecondary institution where they would like to enroll. Refer to the list of PSEO Participating Institutions approved to offer PSEO in Minnesota; most of these institutions have their own PSEO webpage and contact information for PSEO coordinators on the college campus. These contacts can help families navigate the admissions process, find or explain classes and schedules, and provide general information. Many colleges offer PSEO orientation nights or informational sessions. Participation in PSEO is based on space availability in the desired course.
Other Ways to Earn College Credit in High School
If the PSEO program is not the right fit for you, ask your high school counselor if there are other options in your high school to earn college credit and/or enroll in rigorous high school courses with the potential to earn college credit by exam.