What Is Senior Year Plus? Enacted by the legislature in 2008, SYP was created to provide increased and more equal access to college credit and advanced placement courses. Courses delivered through SYP provide students the opportunity to take a rigorous college curriculum and receive, in many cases, both high school and college credit concurrently.
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 through CPI form filing for SYP programs, except for concurrent enrollment courses, which can be access by IPI students, too. Eligibility Requirements
What Programs Are Available? • PSEO: Individual Student enrollment in eligible college course, with tuition reimbursed by school • ConcurrentEnrollment and CareerAcademies: Student enrollment in college courses contracted by school to offer to resident students • AdvancedPlacement: Student enrollment in high school classes providing preparation for AP college credit exams
Start SYP Preparations Early for a Successful Experience
Begin your efforts during the schoolyearbefore you want your student to access SYP programs(s)
Contact the guidancecounselor in your school district to introduce yourself & your student and to provide notice of your intentions
Identify SYPprogram(s) in which you are interested and start searching the course offerings
Determine whichoption you will use to demonstrate your student's eligibility to participate in SYP 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 SYP courses right away in the fall (enrollment deadlines come early and arrangements often need to be made well before the public school year commences)
If you are accessing SYP via dual enrollment through CPI, and your student is age 16 or older, make sure you file an abbreviated CPIForm with the dual enrollment option selected and "Senior Year Plus" 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 SYP approval.
Be aware you must provide any transportationneeds and, if your student fails to complete PSEO course(s) or doen't receive passing grades, you are responsible for the cost of the course(s) and textbooks.
The Iowa Department of Education released a new document in March of 2016 providing clarification and guidance for school districts regarding dual enrolled students under Competent Private Instruction (CPI) accessing Senior Year Plus programs.
While no specified protocol is offered by the Iowa Department of Education to guide parents of students under Independent Private Instruction (IPI) who desire access to concurrent enrollment courses, we recommend the same procedures outlined above, without the filing of a CPI form with dual enrollment request, of course.
Also, please note that legislation passed in 2016 now makes community college courses ineligible to be offered as PSEO options if the resident school district has a contractual agreement with the community college to deliver those courses via concurrent enrollment. In those cases, students must access those courses via concurrent enrollment -- not PSEO.
A Brief History of Iowa Homeschool Students and the PSEO Option (later expanded into the current SYP programs) ~ 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 (SYP) 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 SYP.