Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
If your student is home schooling or in a virtual school, what do you do about science labs (e.g. for physics, chemistry, biology)? Do colleges have concerns about the lack of lab experience?

That is a HUGE concern.

We did not permit DD to take "Chemistry" via her virtual school because we both felt so strongly that the laboratory experience is so central-- and so difficult to replicate successfully at home-- that it made the class nothing more than theoretical. Most colleges seem to agree. UC, for example, will not accept most virtual school science coursework for their a-g prerequisites.

We did allow AP Physics, however-- because that one came with a Lab kit from escience labs (like LabPac) and could realistically be done at home.

AP versus college... hmm.
It just really depends. At our school it is probably six of one, half a dozen of the other. The classmates are likely a bit brighter in AP, but the instruction is not college level.

My personal opinion re: AP in general terms is that it isn't really the equal of the college course, and much of that has to do with instructional depth. The people teaching AP classes aren't PhD experts in those disciplines, by and large. They ought to be if those are truly the equal of a college course. IMO, of course.

Then again, your average adjunct teaching at the local community college isn't necessarily putting forth "better" instruction.

This choice would be between either (a mediocre) state flagship or the virtual school, so I think your argument would shift the choice towards the university. The virtual school may require students to take available classes at the virtual school, but hopefully that can be worked around.

There's the possibility of B&M school (with its hands on facilities) but these are not ideal for various reasons, and doing lab-based classes at the uni seems like the more ideal solution.

The regular or honors level high school classes would have to be done at the virtual school, but maybe the AP phys/chem/bio classes could be skipped in favor of the freshman college versions with professors doing the lecture halls and TAs doing the labs (and then maybe the AP exams could then still be taken once the material is learnt in the college class).