Do your homework – You want this to help you graduate from college.
All universities have different requirements for graduation. It is important to know the difference between general education credits, major credits, and elective credits. Often students take concurrent enrollment classes which sound good while they are in high school but do little to help them in college.
Your high school counselor should be a resource to help you navigate university catalogs. The BYU-Idaho catalog can be accessed online.
GENERAL EDUCATION (GE) - CALLED FOUNDATIONS AT BYU-IDAHO
Perhaps the most helpful college courses to take concurrently in high school are GE/Foundations courses. Most universities have requirements for English, math, science, humanities, etc. Even though these requirements are similar, there are differences. It is important for you to know what is required from the university you want to attend.
BYU-Idaho's Foundations (GE) courses are divided into five groups: Eternal Truths, Academic Fundamentals, Science, Cultural Awareness, and Connections. Many of these courses are available for online concurrent enrollment, or the requirement may be satisfied through another university and transferred to BYU-Idaho (see the transfer section below).
When taking concurrent enrollment GE courses in your high school that you want to transfer to BYU-Idaho, ensure they will actually fill Foundations requirements. For example, BYU-Idaho does not award Foundations credits for foreign languages. They may count as elective credit, but most students graduate with far too many elective credits.
Sometimes it is better to just take the high school course without paying for the college credit if it doesn't help you graduate college. Learn more about BYU-Idaho Foundations courses.
SELECTING A COLLEGE MAJOR
Not everyone in high school knows what they want to be when they grow up, but you probably know what you are interested in. Start there.
Once again, your high school counselor can be a big help in translating your career interests into a prospective college major. The university catalog can also help you learn what is required for each major. The sooner you decide on a major, the less time you spend in college searching. This searching costs time, effort, and money.
When you select a major to pursue, you can then look in the catalog to determine if any classes in that major are available for concurrent enrollment. Some may be available through BYU-Idaho's online concurrent courses and some may be available through your high school's concurrent program from a local university. The Transfer section discusses transferring credits from other universities to BYU-Idaho.
ELECTIVE CREDITS - GOOD OR BAD?
If they help you graduate, elective credits can be good. If you have too many elective credits that fall outside graduation requirements, you've wasted time, effort, and money. In fact, some majors don't require any elective credits at all to graduate.
As a high school student looking to maximize your time and efforts while graduating college in an efficient way, start your focus on GE/Foundations, then move to major courses and, lastly, to electives. Electives needed to graduate will generally find their own way during your college career. Generally, they are not the right place to start.
Will my classes transfer to BYU-Idaho?
BYU-Idaho has a liberal transfer policy. That said, not everything transfers, and not all transferred credits fill Foundations and GE major requirements.
To determine if your high school's concurrent enrollment provider offers courses that transfer to BYU-Idaho, please use this tool.
First, select your state and the university or college sponsoring your high school's concurrent enrollment. This will bring up a list of courses from the selected universities and colleges that have been evaluated by BYU-Idaho. It will also list the BYU-Idaho course that the other course will replace in your graduation requirements or list elective. In some cases it may not be transferable.
If you are focusing on concurrent courses that fill Foundations (GE) requirements at BYU-Idaho, look for courses under the BYU-Idaho course column that start with FD (Foundations), such as FDENG101 - Writing and Reasoning Foundations (English class) or FDMAT108 - Math for the Real World. A list of Foundations requirements is listed in the BYU-Idaho catalog.
If you are looking to fill major requirements, visit the catalog and search out your intended major. A list of required courses will be shown. Compare that list with the courses from your concurrent enrollment options to determine if any matching courses are available. Most major courses are not going to be available concurrently. However, some introduction to majors courses or prerequisites to major courses may be available.
If you need help, visit with your high school counselor, who should be able to assist you in navigating through this information.