Career Academies FAQ

It's common for students and parents to have questions about earning college credit in high school. Your best resource will be your high school counselor, as well as the contact at your nearest Kirkwood location.

Below are a few of our most frequently asked questions, but don't hesitate to reach out if you have others.

How do I qualify to participate in a concurrent enrollment class?
Meet with your high school counselor to determine if you meet Kirkwood’s enrollment requirements and that of the concurrent enrollment class you wish to take (age, any required prerequisite courses, and minimum performance measures on Iowa assessment and/or Kirkwood-recognized placement exams).


What does “concurrent” credit mean?
Concurrent credit means you receive both high school and college credit for your Kirkwood course, and the final grade is reported on both the high school and official college record.


What is a prerequisite? How do I know if my class has a prerequisite?
A prerequisite means there is a requirement students must meet prior to getting into a particular class or program. For example, the course Composition II has a prerequisite of Composition I. This means you must first take and successfully complete Composition I before you can start Composition II. Check with your high school counselor and Kirkwood staff to determine if the program you are interested in has any prerequisites.


 How does participating in a college class affect my athletic/activity eligibility?
College classes taken at Kirkwood are considered concurrent enrollment courses. This means you receive both high school and college credit for each course. If you fail your Kirkwood class, you will not be eligible for athletic and other extracurricular activities at your high school for a period of time. More information can be obtained from your high school counselor about this “no pass no play” guideline.


Does poor performance in a concurrent enrollment class affect future financial aid eligibility?
It may. Federal regulations require that students make reasonable academic progress in order to continue receiving financial aid. Progress is measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average, percentage of credit hours earned in relation to those attempted, and the length of the academic program. 

If I’m enrolled in a Career Academy, can I change programs mid-year?
Each academy is a yearlong commitment so changing programs is not possible after the completion of one semester. Some academies have prerequisites that follow a fall-to-spring sequence to meet requirements.


Can I drop my academy class?
It depends on a variety of factors; therefore, you should work directly with your high school counselor and Kirkwood staff.


Is there a maximum amount of college credit that can be earned in a school year?
A student can earn up to 23 post-secondary credit hours from Kirkwood in one academic year (during the fall and spring semesters), paid for by their high school. Students can self-pay for additional credits.


Do Career Academies include certifications?
Industry-recognized credentials/certification may be obtained after the successful completion of a few of our Career Academies. They differ by program and are discussed in greater detail at the mandatory student orientation.


What do I do when my course is over?
When the semester concludes you will need to return any textbook(s) that may have been provided to you by Kirkwood. Your final grade for each course can be found in MyHub and will be sent to your high school counselor.

More Frequently Asked Questions

What is the attendance policy?
Students are expected to attend all sessions of classes for which they are enrolled. Absences do not lessen student responsibility for meeting the requirements of any class. Students are expected to know the attendance policy of each of their instructors. Failure to abide by an instructor’s attendance policy may adversely impact their grade.

Kirkwood faculty use educational experiences to facilitate learning, and students learn by engaging in those experiences. Attendance and engagement in all scheduled classes is regarded as integral to learning and is expected of all students.

Kirkwood faculty members provide expectations for learning and attendance in their course syllabi. Students are accountable for the learning outcomes for each session, including sessions that have been missed. Assessments of learning that occur during an absence may or may not be made up, depending on the policies of the instructor and the nature of the absence.


If I’m taking a class at a Kirkwood location, do I have to attend class if my high school is scheduled to have the day off?
If your high school has a scheduled day off, check the Kirkwood Academic Calendar to see if classes are scheduled. If they are, then you are required to attend even if your high school does not have class. The exception would be if Kirkwood is closed due to bad weather.


Do I attend class when the weather is bad?
If your course is held at a Kirkwood location and Kirkwood is closed due to inclement weather, your class will be considered cancelled. Sign up to receive alerts – including weather related delays and cancellations from Kirkwood. If the “home” school district (the district the regional center is located in) or your school is closed due to weather, you should not travel to Kirkwood for class.


What if I’m sick or need to miss my Kirkwood class?
Absences need to be communicated in advance with your instructor. Authorization of an excuse is at the discretion of the individual faculty member and is subject to the standard appeal process.


What if my high school has a scheduled early out for something like professional development?
If your course is at a Kirkwood location, you will be required to attend class.


What happens if I’m disciplined or suspended from my high school?
Your high school has allowed you to participate in a concurrent enrollment class and they will determine, with input from Kirkwood staff, if you will be allowed to continue taking your concurrent enrollment class.


Is transportation provided?
Some school districts provide transportation between your high school and a Kirkwood location, but Kirkwood does not. To see if transportation is available at your high school, please contact your high school counselor.

How do I obtain my grades?
Your instructors are required to provide a midterm grade and a final grade in MyHub. If you want to know your grade at another time during the term, contact your instructor.


Can my parents see my grades or talk to someone at Kirkwood about my concurrent credit in high school courses?
If you are taking college credit classes, your parent(s)/guardian(s) may only have access to your grades, and speak with someone about your academic progress, if you have a student-signed FERPA Consent For Release of Education Record Form on file. If you would like a FERPA form to grant permission, they are available in each Kirkwood County/Regional Center office. Learn more about FERPA.


What is the Kirkwood grading scale?
Kirkwood uses a 4.0 grading system. Each course syllabus will have more detailed grading information.


What if my school uses standards-based grading?
For your Kirkwood classes, each instructor will outline their grading system in the class syllabus.


What if I’m doing poorly in my class?
Begin with a conversation with your instructor. They can help you assess what to do to improve your overall performance in the course. After that, a conversation with Kirkwood staff and your high school counselor would be helpful.


If I’m taking a yearlong course and I don’t pass my first semester, can I continue?
If you do not pass one or more classes, you may not be able to automatically move into the following semester. A meeting between you, your high school counselor and Kirkwood staff will be held to discuss next steps.

Do concurrent credit courses transfer?
Concurrent credit courses transfer the same as traditional college courses. There are hundreds of students each year that transfer their concurrent credit courses to two-and four-year institutions in Iowa and across the country. We would encourage you to meet with an advisor from the institution you plan to attend to ensure the credit(s) you earn will transfer.


How do I get my Kirkwood transcripts sent to another college?
Once final grades have been posted, you can request your official transcript at no cost. Request it online or contact the Enrollment Office at 319-398-7600.

What if I have an IEP or 504 Plan for a learning or physical disability?
If you have an IEP or 504 Plan, you are eligible for support services and can request reasonable accommodations to assist with your coursework. Examples of reasonable accommodations include tutoring, textbooks on CDs, alternative testing, taped lectures, and note-taking aids. If you require accommodations, complete the “Accommodations Request Form” application online.


Can I get a tutor for my class?
Tutoring is available through Kirkwood at no cost. All Kirkwood students can receive tutoring for two classes each semester, up to two hours per week for each class, if a tutor is available for your course.

How do I get my books?
Kirkwood or your high school will loan you textbooks to use (free of charge), while enrolled in concurrent enrollment courses. Textbooks must be returned at the end of the course.


What if I lose or damage my book(s)?
If you lose or damage your book(s), you will be charged the cost to replace it.

General Information About Kirkwood


MyHub is Kirkwood’s student information services portal. Students can access a variety of important information including class schedules, degree audits, financial aid information, grades, and more. Your K-number and student password are needed to log in. 


TALON is a suite of online tools that facilitate e-learning for Kirkwood students. Instructors in face-to-face courses often deliver materials and extend your learning with TALON. Most online courses take advantage of the organization and interaction the software delivers to create a positive and supportive learning environment.