Q. What is PSEO?
A. According to the Minnesota Department of Education, “Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows public and nonpublic students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades to earn college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in and successful completion of college nonsectarian courses at eligible postsecondary institutions. Students generate both college credit and high school credit by successful completion of the course. . . . Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09.”
Q. How much does it cost?
A. Tuition and textbooks are free to the PSEO student. To participate in Mid-Metro Academy’s Pre-Planned PSEO, you must be a member of Mid-Metro Academy ($60 annual membership fee) and pay a per semester service fee of $75 per student. This fee helps pay for room rental and administrative costs for the program since Mid-Metro Academy does not receive any funds from the State of Minnesota.
Q. Do I have to take all the classes that are offered each semester?
A. Yes. Because this program is based on the cohort model, all students take all classes in the prescribed order for the two years (four semesters) of the program.
Q. Can I start as a senior?
A. Yes. Whether you have taken a year of PSEO already or this is your first year of PSEO, you may join Mid-Metro Academy’s program. Of course, if you start as a senior, you'll only benefit from a year of our program rather than two years, but that will still be worthwhile, and you’ll still make friends with your cohort.
Q. If I start as a junior, do I have to stay in the program for two years?
A. Yes and no. Certainly, we’d like you to, and that’s the idea behind the program. Students will gain the most benefit from taking the entire two-year package, so we ask that you agree to that concept when you register as a junior. However, you’ll register and pay for one year at a time. If your plans change, you are free to move on to another program for your senior year.
Q. Do I have to be accepted as a North Central University PSEO student before registering for Mid-Metro Academy’s Pre-Planned PSEO?
A. No. You may register for PSEO Cohort while your NCU PSEO application is in process, and we encourage you to do so in order to reserve your space in a cohort. When you receive your acceptance letter from NCU, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not accepted for PSEO by NCU, forward that information to Mid-Metro Academy, and your PSEO Cohort fee will be refunded (less nonrefundable PayPal fees).
Q. Why is the program starting in Year 2?
A. In order to make our program workable for incoming seniors who are currently taking PSEO through YEAH Academy, we built Year 2 from classes that most of those students haven’t taken already. However, the only thing that makes our Year 1 classes a better starting point than our Year 2 classes is that ENG124 Rhetoric and Research is in Year 1. NCU recommends that course be taken in the first year of college. To compensate for this, part of the Strategies for Success course will prepare students to submit college-level papers for the courses they take that year.
Q. Who are the PSEO professors?
A. PSEO courses will be taught by North Central University adjunct professors. The university ensures that each professor meets its qualifications for teaching at the college level, which includes holding a relevant advanced degree. Rebecca Hope will teach the English, Film Appreciation, and Strategies for Success courses. Other professors will be announced as the university approves them.
Q. Why is there so much English in Mid-Metro’s PSEO program?
A. Although there are three English courses, they focus on two separate core competencies, writing and reading. We require two writing courses because writing well is a skill that cuts across all disciplines and is necessary for success in college, the workplace, and life. Many colleges now require two or more writing classes for graduation. Both ENG124 and ENG215 stress written communication.
British Literature 2 builds the core competency of reading skills. Reading comprehension and vocabulary are fundamental skills that are critical for career success, and exposure to a wide range of quality literature is the best way to develop these skills. Literature courses often transfer easily as English credits, Humanities credits, or electives.
Q. Why is a health class included in the program?
A. The Lifetime Health and Wellness course fits our program goals because it builds the core competency of self-management. To be a successful human being, one needs to know how to manage stress, live a healthy lifestyle, and avoid health risks. Although health is not one of the MnTC Goal Areas, most colleges and universities do require a health/physical education course as part of their general education requirements. Even if you enter a college or university as a transfer student, that requirement will need to be met. It can be difficult to work a freshman-level class into an upperclassman’s schedule. In addition, when you’re paying for college, you’d no doubt rather pay for courses in your major than for basic courses. For those reasons, it’s helpful to “get this class out of the way” during the PSEO years.
Q. Will you be offering PSEO Biology?
A. We have no plans to offer PSEO Biology. Most colleges require two science courses as part of the general education requirements, one with a lab experience and one with a lab-like experience. For a biology class to transfer well, it should have a full lab experience. In most cases, a college lab meets for two to three hours per week and earns one credit. This type of lab experience doesn't fit with our once-a-week class schedule; students and professor would have to come back on a separate day for two hours. If your student needs a high school biology credit only, consider registering for Kay Kelly's High School Biology at Mid-Metro Academy on Mondays. If your student is able to handle more than the nine credits per semester in our program, he or she could take PSEO Biology with Lab somewhere else, such as on-campus at NCU. Community colleges offer many sections of Biology each semester, and Crown College offers an online biology with a full lab experience that can be done from home.
Q. Why did you choose Science, Technology, and Society as Mid-Metro Academy's science class?
A. Our PSEO students will have diverse aptitudes and interests when it comes to science. We don't want a science course that depends on specific prerequisites for math or chemistry that some students may not have met. This class covers a wide range of science and technology topics from astronomy to biology to technological applications of science in the everyday world, so it should touch on each student's favorite part of science at some point during the semester. By showing students how science relates to their daily lives, this course creates a practical understanding of science in our culture. The class also builds students' scientific literacy, helping them to evaluate what they hear about science in the news and on social media, which is essential for being informed citizens. Most importantly, it gives students a chance to gain experience in reasoned discourse as they debate the pros and cons of controversial scientific questions.
Q. Why are there no history courses offered, especially American history?
A. We have specifically chosen courses that lend themselves to reasoned discourse and critical thinking as well as those that are especially enhanced by a dynamic, face-to-face classroom environment. Although history can be interactive, general college history courses that qualify for PSEO can also be delivered effectively online or in hybrid formats. Some students choose to take a CLEP exam to meet the high school history requirements while earning potential college credit. Students who are looking for an American history high school course can take Dave Racer's American History and Government course on Mondays at Mid-Metro Academy.