Thursday, June 25, 2009

Into the right path.

We all do get lost at times. We think we know how to accomplish a goal or objective, and we discover that we don't. We were very much off the right path to help Tim get into college, and it took far too long to find the right path again. We have learned more from his college entrance than we expected and that has had some unexpected outcomes. More on that next week; for now, here's Tim's admission story, part 2.

Because Tim's real desire was to study science, math or engineering, we knew he would need to establish some measurable level of success in those areas to be considered as a student. Writing diploma exams would have worked, but it is difficult to write a formal exam on material that was completed two or three years before the need for the test arose. (If we could back up, we would have had him write diplomas as he completed the course work that would have prepared him for them. In Tim's case, he probably should have been writing diploma exams when he was fifteen or sixteen.)

We considered enrolling him in distance courses through Athabasca University, but many of their course offerings are not similar enough to other first year college courses, or even to high school courses, to be considered as suitable substitutes for the prerequisites for acceptance. MacEwan college suggested their upgrading courses which require that the student complete the 10 and 20 levels in each course before enrolling in the 30 level programs that he needed.

Then we discovered that there are also college preparation courses available through NAIT that allow you to enroll in courses that are the equivalent to the 30 levels, and have absolutely no prerequisistes. Tim signed up for Algebra and Chemistry last summer. he achieved grades of over 95%, and earned back part of his tuition by tutoring a classmate in chemistry. In the fall, he took Physics and Calculus, again earning A+ grades. Those four courses, plus his college English credit, and he had everything he needed to be accepted into Engineering. He will take year one at MacEwan and then transfer to the University of Alberta to complete his degree.

So even though the path was longer than it ought to have been, we now have a third child enrolled in college. We're excited to see what the future holds for him.

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