High School Transcripts — Frequently Asked Questions
Creating a high school transcript is easier than it looks, but there are a few transcript questions that tend to recur like dandelions in springtime. The beginning of the spring semester seems a good time to review a couple of the questions that are most frequently asked.
The winner of the most FAQ (frequently asked question) contest would have to be some variation of the following:
Q- My 10-year-old is doing Saxon Calculus this year. Can we count it on his high school transcript?
A- High school work is high school work. When your student completes a high-school level class, it will usually go on the transcript and counts toward the total number of units required for graduation. If the student in this example needs four high school math credits to graduate, he is well on his way, as he most likely completed high school algebra before beginning calculus.
The exception to this general principle occurs when a college specifies that all work on the transcript must be completed during the four years of high school. I would go ahead and record the credit on a master transcript that you keep. For each transcript you send out, check the college website and see what the admissions department requires or prefers. Once you have created the master transcript, it’s easy to tweak it if necessary.
Another question that has recently cropped up reflects a bit of confusion over the difference between high school units and college credits. Here’s the question:
Q- My daughter took some college classes this year, and since we are considering her dual-enrolled, I have given her 3 credits per class on her high-school transcript. Is this correct?
A- For the high school transcript, you may grant only high school “units.” Only the college can grant “credits.” This is explained in detail in the ‘How to Grade and Grant Credit” chapter in Transcripts Made Easy.
A high school unit is granted when a student completes the equivalent of a course of study designed to be covered in a standard school year (120+ hours). Because college classes cover more ground more quickly than the average high school class, dual-credit students can often earn one full high school unit for a one-semester class that covers a subject that would normally take an entire high school year. A student who takes biology with lab at a college, for example, earns a full high school unit plus weighted grade points for his or her transcript. (The whole topic of earning college credits while in high school is covered in more depth in Get a Jump Start on College! A Practical Guide for Teens.)
Remember, Transcripts Made Easy comes with free e-mail support, so you can ask me transcript questions any time you need to. I know that transcript-making can seem intimidating, but please — don’t let it keep you from doing high school at home. It’s really not that hard!