Course Numbers and Transcript Details
by Shirley Minster
As an educational consultant and director of a private school,
I have read and prepared hundreds of high school transcripts
over the past 23 years and have seen a wide range of notations,
as one would imagine. There are some important pieces that should
always be included when preparing a transcript for a college.
Include the specific name of the course, not the text title:
for instance, English 9 or Algebra I. The place
for the text title(s) would be in a portfolio, not on the transcript.
Course numbers are not necessary for high school courses.
In fact, they may cause confusion for the college admissions
people. Instead, use AP (Advanced Placement) if such a course
was taken or Coll (College Prep) is the course was that level.
If your child took an actual college course, use the course number
ALONG WITH the actual title from the college, the grade achieved,
and the credit(s) the college awarded.
College admissions folks appreciate reading straightforward
transcripts, not ones that are composed to look official.
By that I mean, don't use numbers just because someone else came
up with them. Colleges use numbers to keep things straight in
their course catalogs and timeline for their students.
Another suggestion is to include the words with Labs
if the science course included a full complement of labs. This
way, admissions will know labs were done. If they don't see it,
they may assume no labs were done.
As for those unique courses, such as ditch digging, that
falls under the category Construction. Try to determine
what category a unique courses would fall in. For instance,
beekeeping is Apiology, not Animal Sciences.
The use of correct terminology is important and both
the student and parent need to know what each term on the transcript
means. When the student goes for an interview with a college
admissions officer, s/he must have a handle on each term so that
if explanations are needed, s/he can give it graciously. Saying,
"Gee, I don't know," doesn't go over very well. A teen
college applicant should be able to say something similar to:
"Apiology is the focused study on beekeeping. I took
a full year course taught by the Maine Apiology Association and
received my license. Now I have ten sets of hives and sell my
produce in five local grocery stores. I'm thinking about expanding
and selling to Maine and New Hampshire in the next year."
Now, THAT will make them sit up and take notice! Of course,
that's also not an unusual statement for a homeschooler, as we
all know. :-)
Shirley Minster, Director
& Family Services / Royal Academy