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HELP! Homeschooler...Need ideas for a Computer Engineering Degree
#1
Hello!

My son is 16 and we home school.  He is not very motivated in general...doesn't really know what he wants to do... but has shown interest recently in engineering (programming code that tells electrical components what to do).  

So, I'm trying to take that and run with it for now.  Finances are a HUGE issue though.  We won't be able to help him with college $, so I'm trying to do what I can now to interject college credit into high school.  I was initially hoping to have him go to one of the BIG 3.  But, it doesn't look like there's an engineering program at any of those three (unless i missed it??).  TSEU has a 'Electrical Stystems Engineering Technology' degree but, my brother (also an EE) says a technology degree is different and it would be best for him to go to a school with an 'engineering program.'  

UGH...so, I'd love some advice.  I just need a direction to start heading in and know that the college credit he's earning in HS won't be for nothing! 

Thanks so much!  Heart
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#2
(10-13-2019, 08:20 PM)ACI Wrote: Hello!

My son is 16 and we home school.  He is not very motivated in general...doesn't really know what he wants to do... but has shown interest recently in engineering (programming code that tells electrical components what to do).  

So, I'm trying to take that and run with it for now.  Finances are a HUGE issue though.  We won't be able to help him with college $, so I'm trying to do what I can now to interject college credit into high school.  I was initially hoping to have him go to one of the BIG 3.  But, it doesn't look like there's an engineering program at any of those three (unless i missed it??).  TSEU has a 'Electrical Stystems Engineering Technology' degree but, my brother (also an EE) says a technology degree is different and it would be best for him to go to a school with an 'engineering program.'  

UGH...so, I'd love some advice.  I just need a direction to start heading in and know that the college credit he's earning in HS won't be for nothing! 

Thanks so much!  Heart

Most technology and engineering degrees are different. Suggestion, start with https://modernstates.org/ (free vouchers to take CLEP exams, college credit). Engineering degrees require a certain level of math, if he enjoys math, start with several math courses at ModernStates.
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#3
Thank you for the reply. Yes, we are working toward some more CLEP classes now and will use the Modern States voucher. He just doesn't do well with taking a single 'big test.' I was hoping to try some of the other options (Sophia etc.). But, since those would not likely be accepted in any other school, I'm not sure what else to do.

The math classes for Engineering Programs are generally Calculus 1 & 2 I think...and I definitely don't think he'd be able to CLEP those. I was going to have him CLEP College Mathematics this year...although I don't even know if that would end up being helpful??
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#4
(10-13-2019, 08:20 PM)ACI Wrote: Hello!

My son is 16 and we home school.  He is not very motivated in general...doesn't really know what he wants to do... but has shown interest recently in engineering (programming code that tells electrical components what to do).  

So, I'm trying to take that and run with it for now.  Finances are a HUGE issue though.  We won't be able to help him with college $, so I'm trying to do what I can now to interject college credit into high school.  I was initially hoping to have him go to one of the BIG 3.  But, it doesn't look like there's an engineering program at any of those three (unless i missed it??).  TSEU has a 'Electrical Stystems Engineering Technology' degree but, my brother (also an EE) says a technology degree is different and it would be best for him to go to a school with an 'engineering program.'  

UGH...so, I'd love some advice.  I just need a direction to start heading in and know that the college credit he's earning in HS won't be for nothing! 

Thanks so much!  Heart
If you haven’t done so already, I would highly recommend you check out Homeschooling for College Credit .com and her FB page with the same name as well as buy her book from Amazon. I bet that will really help you get the big picture and where to start.
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#5
(10-13-2019, 09:48 PM)TwinMom Wrote:
(10-13-2019, 08:20 PM)ACI Wrote: Hello!

My son is 16 and we home school.  He is not very motivated in general...doesn't really know what he wants to do... but has shown interest recently in engineering (programming code that tells electrical components what to do).  

So, I'm trying to take that and run with it for now.  Finances are a HUGE issue though.  We won't be able to help him with college $, so I'm trying to do what I can now to interject college credit into high school.  I was initially hoping to have him go to one of the BIG 3.  But, it doesn't look like there's an engineering program at any of those three (unless i missed it??).  TSEU has a 'Electrical Stystems Engineering Technology' degree but, my brother (also an EE) says a technology degree is different and it would be best for him to go to a school with an 'engineering program.'  

UGH...so, I'd love some advice.  I just need a direction to start heading in and know that the college credit he's earning in HS won't be for nothing! 

Thanks so much!  Heart
If you haven’t done so already, I would highly recommend you check out Homeschooling for College Credit .com and her FB page with the same name as well as buy her book from Amazon. I bet that will really help you get the big picture and where to start.

Yes, I have read through the book twice and follow her FB page regularly!  I thought I had the big picture.  Undecided  I was planning on finding a degree that he was interested in at one of the Big 3 schools, and then having him take the college credit classes that would fit. 

But, now that I'm looking at an Engineering field and those schools don't offer that, I'm not sure what is the best direction to go (as far as getting college credit that will be most likely to transfer)
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#6
(10-13-2019, 09:39 PM)ACI Wrote: Thank you for the reply.  Yes, we are working toward some more CLEP classes now and will use the Modern States voucher.  He just doesn't do well with taking a single 'big test.'  I was hoping to try some of the other options (Sophia etc.).  But, since those would not likely be accepted in any other school, I'm not sure what else to do.

The math classes for Engineering Programs are generally Calculus 1 & 2 I think...and I definitely don't think he'd be able to CLEP those.  I was going to have him CLEP College Mathematics this year...although I don't even know if that would end up being helpful??
It sounds like you are on the right track working on CLEPs right now with Modern States.  

I would encourage you to stay flexible because a lot can change in 2 years.  Work on completing the Gen Ed credits.  Does your state have a dual enrollment program at a local community college or state university?  

Concurrent enrollment is a good way to complete higher math. My homeschooled students preferred the in-class time with an instructor who *really* understood the material, had office hours and referrals to the tutoring lab.  Even dad, an engineer who loves math, was not able to work with them due to time constraints.

My one kid who is interested in engineering is also required to take a 3rd calculus course, finite math, and discrete math.  But it really just depends on the school and their program.  

But, in general, maybe take a look at your local community college’s course offerings and pathways to an AA too.  It can provide some guidance in case your son would rather be on a campus.
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#7
If he is interested in programming, have him look into the BA in Computer Science at TESU or a similar program at WGU.
Boston University: MS in Software Development (16/32 SH - 1 Course IP) | GPA: 3.85
Thomas Edison State University: BA in Liberal Studies GPA: 4.00 | AS in Natural Science and Mathematics (Computer Science, Mathematics) | Certificate in Electronics
Excelsior College: AAS in Technical Studies (Electronic/Instrumentation Technologies) - High Honors GPA: 3.79
Community College: AAS in Applied Science and Engineering Technology - Highest Honors GPA: 3.91 | AAS in Technical Studies (Computer Technology)

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#8
(10-13-2019, 11:00 PM)MrBossmanJr Wrote: If he is interested in programming, have him look into the BA in Computer Science at TESU or a similar program at WGU.

Thank you!  
Also, sorry -a newbie question  - I'm not familiar with most of the acronyms in the first half of that...?
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#9
get a computer science degree from WGU Western Governors University
https://www.wgu.edu/online-it-degrees/co...ience.html

or something from TESU
https://www.tesu.edu/heavin/undergrad-ce...er-science

https://www.tesu.edu/heavin/asnsm/computer-science

https://www.tesu.edu/heavin/ba/computer-science

take some courses at study dot com and then apply to the schools
https://study.com/academy/goal/transfera...redit.html

study dot com courses are ACE accredited
http://www2.acenet.edu/credit/?fuseactio...CE=1008350

I suggest these because they seem like ones that are closest to his interest (thought not all of these wll be accepted by WGU)

Math 107: Quantitative Literacy (ACE accredited until 11/30/2019)

Math 108: Discrete Mathematics

Physics 101: Introduction to Physics

Computer Science 111: Programming in C

Computer Science 112: Programming in C++

Computer Science 113: Programming in Python

Computer Science 105: Introduction to Operating Systems

Computer Science 106: Introduction to Linux

Computer Science 108: Introduction to Networking

Computer Science 110: Introduction to Cybersecurity

Computer Science 201: Data Structures & Algorithms

Computer Science 202: Network and System Security

Computer Science 305: Operating Systems

Computer Science 306: Computer Architecture

Computer Science 321: Ethical Hacking

Computer Science 323: Wireless & Mobile Networking

here's a couple of youtube videos that explain assembly language

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75gBFiFtAb8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FXhjErUz58
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#10
(10-13-2019, 08:20 PM)ACI Wrote: Hello!

My son is 16 and we home school.  He is not very motivated in general...doesn't really know what he wants to do... but has shown interest recently in engineering (programming code that tells electrical components what to do).  

...

Thanks so much!  Heart

I work in this field, called "embedded software" which basically means instead of writing software for people to use on a general purpose computer, you're writing software to control devices. Everything from your microwave oven, to the entertainment system in your car, to the radar and avionics in aircraft require embedded software to work.

There are three main degrees people who work in this field have:

Electrical Engineering: You study electrical circuits and learn to design everything from the electrical service for large building or the design of computer circuit boards, or even semiconductor design. It's a "hardware" degree rather than a "software" degree although a EE will also learn enough programming to write software, especially for directly controlling hardware. A significant number of embedded software engineers have this degree.

Computer Science: You study the science of writing computer programs. This includes algorithms, computer architecture, computer languages, systems analysis, etc... I'd say most embedded software engineers will have this degree.

Computer Engineering: This degree integrates parts of both of the above. It would be a solid choice for someone who wanted to enter embedded software, although it's less common simply because it isn't offered as widely.

The general ed credits for all three (I'm speaking generally) are going to be much the same. Math through Calculus (how much calculus varies), Linear Algebra, or Discrete Math. He'll also need science with labs for most schools. Personally, I wouldn't tie a 16 yo down to the Big3 for this field. I would instead try to get real college credits from a community college. I would have him aim at getting good grades, applying to a good school, and trying to score a good aid and scholarship package. WGU and the Big3 will always be there, but a degree from a decent engineering program will make a significant difference.

In the meantime, in the name of developing his interest further, I'd suggest he start experimenting and teaching himself a bit. The Arduino Starter Kit is a cheap and simple way to get his feet wet in both hardware and software. It comes with a how to book of interesting projects. 

https://store.arduino.cc/usa/arduino-starter-kit
NanoDegree: Intro to Self-Driving Cars (2019)
Coursera: Stanford Machine Learning (2019)
TESU: BA in Comp Sci (2016)
TECEP:Env Ethics (2015); TESU PLA:Software Eng, Computer Arch, C++, Advanced C++, Data Struct (2015); TESU Courses:Capstone, Database Mngmnt Sys, Op Sys, Artificial Intel, Discrete Math, Intro to Portfolio Dev, Intro PLA (2014-16); DSST:Anthro, Pers Fin, Astronomy (2014); CLEP:Intro to Soc (2014); Saylor.org:Intro to Computers (2014); CC: 69 units (1980-88)

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