Home Schoolers and High School Transcripts ~
In the public school setting, those responsible for student transcripts are the teachers who educate them, the office personnel that keep track of records and school officials who are cognizant of graduation requirements. In the home school setting, it is the parents who educate, keep records and stay aware of state requirements. The following article gives helpful pointers on how to prepare the high school transcript.
What is the purpose of a transcript?
The transcript is a document that precedes your student’s acceptance to other schools. If your child was in a public school and transferring to another high school, the transcript would go along with him/her. It serves to introduce the student to the next school and also verifies that required courses have been successfully completed.
For home school students, the transcript is also required when applying to colleges or universities. Its purpose is to introduce your student to the school and verify that all required courses have been successfully completed. The transcript can be compared to a clear “snapshot” of your child’s high school educational experience.
What if my child isn’t planning on college?
You still need to have a transcript on file. Some employers, especially in government, require high school transcripts before hiring. If your child decides to go into the military, a transcript may also be required. Your student could also decide at some point in the future to pursue higher education, and a transcript will be required to enroll.
Good record keeping is a bit like insurance: It’s there when and if it’s needed. Even if your student isn’t applying to colleges now, keeping good records and preparing a transcript makes good sense. When your student graduates, make some extra copies of the transcript before you file it – just in case it’s ever needed.
What is included on the transcript?
The transcript includes all subjects in grades 9-12 and the grades and credits received for each subject. A “credit” is a unit of measure for each study course completed – typically one credit per course, though a few only earn a half credit. Depending on the college your children wish to attend, they most likely need to accrue 23-27 high school credits.
This includes any “elective” courses they complete, such as specialized art courses, debate, choir, woodworking, etc. Check your particular state’s requirements to see what electives are accepted. If your child is also dual-enrolled in college, be sure to keep a list of courses studied and grades earned. These will also be included on your transcript.
What particular courses are required for college entrance?
A typical college-prep course of study will include: 4 Language Arts credits, 3 Science credits, 3 or 4 Math credits, 3 or 4 Social Science credits, 2 Foreign Language credits, 1 Health Education credit, and 5-7 electives. If your student wishes to attend a particular university, check their requirements ahead of time.
How do I make a professional-looking transcript?
You can design your own transcript, order one from a home school website or find a template on the web. Be sure your transcript is neat, free of errors and typed in an easy-to-read standard font and size. The student’s name, birth date, address and phone, social security number, graduation date and accumulative grade-point-average (GPA) should be near the top of the transcript. This gives the reviewer quick access to pertinent information.
Do not let the word “transcript” give you nightmares. When your student is in junior high, begin your future-transcript research. Once you know which subjects/courses are required for graduation, plan your high school studies accordingly. If your child takes the PSAT or ACT, make copies of those results, along with any dual-enrollment credits and grades. If your student is involved in extra-curricular activities and volunteer work that could be considered educational, be sure to log that in your file.
Once high school begins, go the extra mile to keep accurate records – this is the first step in building an official transcript. If you keep hand-written records, photo copy them and file them in a safe place. Those kept on a computer should be downloaded onto a disk just in case you have a hard-drive crash.
When your child begins his/her senior year, everything seems to escalate and time flies by. Don’t get caught at the last minute rushing around to slap a transcript together. Work throughout the year to pull out those files you’ve kept so carefully – then start designing that all-important transcript!