Post Secondary Enrollment Option [PSEO] for Iowa Homeschooled Students
Your 11th or 12th grade homeschooled student can be eligible to take no-cost college classes through the Post Secondary Enrollment Option [PSEO]. This web page is offered by the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators to provide answers to homeschooling families on the how this option can be accessed.
What Is PSEO? The Post Secondary Enrollment Option is one of several educational options available to Iowa secondary students within the Senior Year Plus section of the Iowa Code. Eligible students can enroll in college or university courses if the courses are not offered at their resident public school district, and the school district pays for the cost of the course and textbooks.
Who is Eligible? 11th & 12th grade students as well as 9th & 10th grade students who are identified as gifted & talented by their local district are eligible. Homeschooled students must be dual-enrolled and provide one of the following: 1) recommendation of supervising teacher 2) annual CPI test score of at least 41%tile 3) PSAT score of at least 141 4) ACT score of at least 21, or 5) SAT score of at least 990 (math + verbal)
What Courses Can Be Taken? PSEO courses are limited to: - Nonsectarian courses - Courses that are not comparable to courses offered by the school district where the student is enrolled - Credit-bearing courses that lead to an educational degree. - Courses in the discipline areas of mathematics, science, social studies, humanities or vocational-technical. - Or community college career option courses
Start PSEO Preparations Early for a Successful Experience
Begin plans the schoolyearbefore you want your student to access PSEO course(s)
Contact the guidancecounselor in your school district to introduce yourself & your student and to inform them of your intentions
Identify the college/university in which you want your student to take PSEO classes and start searching the course offerings
Determine whichoption you will use to demonstrate that your student is eligible to participate in PSEO (see the five options listed above) and securedocumentation demonstrating that your student has completed that option satisfactorily
Keep the communicationschannels open with the resident school guidance counselor - especially if you want your student to take PSEO classes right away in the fall (enrollment deadlines come early and arrangements often need to be made immediately as soon as the public school year commences)
Make sure you file an abbreviated CPIForm with the dual enrollment option selected and "PSEO courses" written under that selection (only Items #1, #2, & #9 are required -- & no additional legal requirements apply)
Be prepared to presenteligibilitydocumentation [use this NICHE form, if desired] and a listofdesiredcourses to the school guidance counselor so that your student can be included in the list of students presented to the school district's school board for PSEO approval.
Be aware you must provide any transportationneeds and, if your student fails to complete the course(s) or doen't receive passing grades, you are responsible for the cost of the course(s) and textbooks.
Post Secondary Institutions Potentially Eligible to Provide PSEO Courses:
Regent Institutions Iowa State University, Ames University of Iowa, Iowa City University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls
Community Colleges Des Moines Area Community College, Des Moines Eastern Iowa Community College District, Clinton, Scott, Muscatine Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville Iowa Valley Community College, Ellsworth, Marshalltown Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar Northwest Iowa Community College, Sheldon Southeastern Community College, Burlington Southwestern Community College, Creston Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City
Distance learning, correspondence and/or evening classes from any of these regent institutions, community colleges and/or private colleges and universities are also eligible PSEO courses.
Private Colleges and Universities AIB College of Business, Des Moines Allen College, Waterloo Ashford University, Clinton Briar Cliff College, Sioux City Buena Vista University, Storm Lake Central College, Pella Clarke College, Dubuque Coe College, Cedar Rapids Cornell College, Mount Vernon Des Moines University, Des Moines Divine Word College, Epworth Dordt College, Sioux Center Drake University, Des Moines Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque Faith Baptist Bible College, Ankeny Graceland College, Lamoni Grand View College, Des Moines Grinnell College, Grinnell Hamilton College, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Mason City Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant Kaplan University, Davenport Loras College, Dubuque Luther College, Decorah Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield Mercy College of Health Sciences, Des Moines Morningside College, Sioux City Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids Northwestern College, Orange City Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport St. Ambrose University, Davenport St. Luke's College, Sioux City Simpson College, Indianola University of Dubuque, Dubuque Upper Iowa University, Fayette Waldorf College Forest City Wartburg College, Waverly William Penn College, Oskaloosa
A Brief History of Iowa Homeschool Students and the PSEO Option
~ 1987 ~ The Post Secondary Enrollment Option was established. ~ 1993 ~ The Iowa Department of Education issued "Ruling No. 44" declaring that homeschooled students were not allowed to participate in PSEO under any circumstances. ~ Spring of 2000 ~ Homeschooled Ankeny student Meggan Stone requested PSEO access for a music appreciation course & a human biology course at Des Moines Area Community College. The Ankeny school district received $4,100 for Meggan's dual enrollment and the PSEO courses would have cost the district $500, but nevertheless the superintendent denied her request claiming it cause the district financial hardship. Meggan's parents appealed to the school board, but their appeal was rejected due to "Ruling No. 44". ~ Fall 2000 ~ The Stone family, with the assistance of HSLDA, appealed to the State Board of Education. ~ December 10, 2000 ~ The State Board of Education overruled "Ruling No. 44". This action opened PSEO to Iowa homeschooled students. ~ Spring 2008 ~ HF 2679 was enacted into law which replaced the old PSEO section in the Iowa Code with a new section called Senior Year Plus which detailed a number of post secondary options for Iowa high school students. HF 2679 and the Department of Education's rules implementing it included new eligibility requirements for participating students. ~ 2009 ~ Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators petitioned the DE for added provisions to allow alternative proficiency demonstration tools for homeschooled students. These provisions became effective in November of 2009. ~ 2010 ~ Senator Herman Quirmbach filed SF 423 expanding eligibility tools for CPI students to include adequate ACT, SAT or PSAT scores. NICHE worked with Senator Quirmbach to also insert the alternative proficiency tools included in the updated 2009 DE rules into a new bill, HF 645. ~ July 27, 2011 ~ Governor Terry Branstad signed HF 645 into law allowing homeschooled students to use one of five methods to demonstrate academic proficiency for PSEO.