Creating a High School Transcript
The very thought of producing a transcript can strike fear into homeschooling parent’s hearts. We’re here to help! The process takes a bit of effort, but it’s not impossible. Your end goal should be to present an accurate representation of what your high school student has accomplished.
Homeschool Transcripts: Whose Responsibility?
In Iowa, homeschooling parents are responsible for creating their secondary students' high school transcripts. Because the State of Iowa does not certify homeschool diplomas, it does not specify course content or credit requirements for a homeschooled high school student.
It may help you to view the State Department of Education's guidelines for public school students. However, you, as the homeschooling parent, will set the graduation requirements for your homeschool.
Homeschool Transcripts: When to Start?
Ideally, homeschooling parents and their students should sit down together before the start of high school to form a 4-year plan. Sample 4-year plans can be found on our Homeschooling High School webpage.
Even if your student has already progressed into the high school years, you can still complete the needed steps to gather the information you'll need for your student's transcript.
• Step 1
Make a list of all of the coursework your student has completed each year. Include the curricula used. This list should include extracurriculars and independent study as well.
If your student completed high school level work before reaching 9th grade, you may include that in a special section on your list.
This list can be organized by year or by subject.
• Step 2
Assign or create course names for the work your student has completed.
In most instances, this will be determined by the curricula you used.
• Step 3
Assign credits for your student's completed courses.
In general, a full-year course is worth one-credit and a half-year course is worth ½ credit.
Because homeschool instruction can occur outside of the traditional, you might assign credit for a specific amount of time devoted to a course. For example, the Carnegie Unit (one-credit) is defined as 120 hours of instruction.
If your daughter spent at least 60 hours in, a yoga class, you might list that as ½ credit of physical education. If your son completed a semester-long study of insects (including about 60 hours of observation, collection, and research), you might list that as ½ credit of entomology (and count it toward required science credits).
Participating in a robotics club for at least 60 hours could be listed as ½ credit of robotics, and singing in a homeschool choir for that same amount of time could be listed as ½ credit of choir. These would be considered electives and would count toward the total credit requirement.
You can list Driver Education as a ½ credit course on your student's transcript as well.
A homeschool high school transcript should contain all of the basic information about your student that a college admissions department or potential employer would want to know.
- Student name, name of homeschool, address, and contact information
- Titles and descriptions of secondary and post-secondary level courses completed
- Credits awarded per course
- Grades for each listed course and overall Grade Point Average (GPA)
- Extracurricular activities
- Volunteer experiences
- Leadership positions
- Awards and honors
- Expected graduation date
- Parent signature with date
A transcript should be organized, easy-to-read, and arranged in format familiar to college admissions staff or potential employers. Many colleges now require a “syllabus” section, with descriptions of each core course. We advise you to write these descriptions while your student is taking each course. If you are using a packaged curricula or a textbook with accompanying quiz/test materials, a brief description of those materials will usually suffice.
NICHE Transcript Templates
NICHE has created two high school transcript template forms, one organized by school years and the other organized by subject. These fillable (type-in) transcript template forms – along with samples to show you to fill them out – are available on our member portal page. Not a member?