College Courses - In Person

What are Liberal Arts?
  • Wikipedia answer, "Liberal arts education can refer to academic subjects such as literaturephilosophymathematics, and social and physical sciences,[4] or it can also refer to overall studies in a liberal arts degree program. For example, Yale University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree, which covers the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. For both interpretations, the term generally refers to matters not relating to the professionalvocational, or technical curriculum."
  • Iowa State University listing of Liberal Arts Programs (Majors for Bachelor and Graduate degrees) -
  • Forbes article explains how a Liberal Arts degree helped a theater major to have a fulfilling job in the technology industry (a sector of work that is not considered to be in the liberal arts area -
    DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) is our College Partner for college course delivery to PHS students - 
    College Courses While A Panorama HS Student.
    • College courses during HS school year are free to students because Iowa law has created programs to encourage this practice.
    • College courses taken during the summer are not facilitated by high schools financially, so families register courses and cover regular costs of student taking college courses in summers.
    • Our state regent universities (IOWA, ISU, UNI) have user friendly web tools for students to see how college courses transfer to the majors of the student’s choice (those tools help students when making college course selections – see section below pertaining to earning a bachelor degree).
      • Iowa State University accepts high schoolers' DMACC course credits, but those courses do not effect the ISU GPA.
      • University of Northern Iowa lists different GPA's on their student transcript: one GPA includes transferred courses from other colleges AND one GPA excludes courses taken from other colleges.
      • University of Iowa does include courses taken from other colleges in their GPA.
    ALEKS math test - required before being able to take any DMACC math course (other than Applied Math/MAT772 taught at Panorama HS); here is the webpage detailing the process to take this test free online at home -
    DMACC courses DELIVERED at PANORMA by school staff (no pre-DMACC registration needed because it happens during first week or two of the class) - 
    • When can students begin taking college courses with Panorama school staff?
      • Grades 10-12 may take non-core courses (vocational courses), including Grades 9-12 taking Intro to Engineering Design (IED)/PLTW course, with PHS math teacher, Mrs. Ploeger.
    • COM703 – Communication Skills, Mrs. Arganbright (any student who has passed English 11 at Panorama may take this vocational English course, 3 college credits, non-core/vocational, tradition for creation & presentation of year ending "Java Jazz Show" - variety show).
    • MAT772 – Applied Math, Mrs. Ploeger (any students who has passed Geometry at Panorama may take this non-core/vocational math course, 3 college credits, non-core, tradition for ACT math section prep).
    • EGT400 – Introduction to Engineering Design, Mrs. Ploeger (any student may take this course, but having good algebra skills is encouraged, 3 college credits, PLTW course counted as math at PHS, elective at college).
    • ADM221 - Career Development Skills, Mr. Hameister, 2 DMACC credits - learn how to pursue a career, 2 job shadow experiences (delivered in spring in last period of school day in conjunction with ADM936)
    • ADM936 - Occupational Experience, Mr. Hameister, opportunity for supervised work experience (120 required hours) related to the major academic intrests of students in an approved business setting.  Students are guided by coordinated efforts of the employer/supervisor and the instructor. May be accumulating work hours in coordination with instructor as part of taking School 2 Work (3 DMACC credts, non-core/vocational; delivered in spring in last period of school day in conjunction with ADM221)
    • AGH106 - Intro to Horticulture, Mr. Hameister, 3 college credits, This course introduces students to basic horticulture. Includes plant anatomy and physiology, plant classification and identification, and basic plant care.
    College calculus also:
    • MAT221 – Calculus I, Western Iowa Technical Community College, online course facilitated by Ms. Jenelle Jarnagin
    DMACC Campus Academies - Centers include Perry, Ankeny, West Des Moines, Waukee & others that deliver free college credits, up a typical full college semester, daily in 1.5-2 hours program taught for an entire high school school year.
    2018-19 DMACC Programs 
    • message shared 01-23-2018 to families of 2018-19 Juniors & Seniors through Infinite Campus email
    • Perry, Iowa DMACC VanKirk Academy 2018-19 Program Schedule/attachment - please see Mr. Webner by end of March 2018 to sign up for next school year participation -
      • Perry, Iowa 2018-19 VanKirk Academy Student Pre-Registration Form to complete, have parent sign, and give to Mr. Webner to have DMACC include you in their Career Academics or Academic, liberal arts, courses.
      • Fall VanKirk Center Semester Ends December 13, 2018, and Spring Semester Begins January 7
    • ALEKS math test is required to take a DMACC math or be admitted full-time as DMACC students
    • Waukee, Iowa (APEX) -  DMACC APEX 2018-19 Course Descriptions on their "Economic Sectors" page of  - please see Mr. Webner by end of March 2018 to sign up for next school year participation
    • Guthrie Center, Iowa - AC/GC HS and DMACC usually offer these programs:
      1. Health Occupations - PM (4 courses: Introduction to Health Careers/HSC109, 3 credits, Period 5 Term 1, Medical Terminology/GSC120, 3 credits, Period 5 Term 2, Certified Nursing Aide 75 hours/HSC172 - qualifies person to work in a nursing home, 3 credits, Period 5 Term 3, Advanced Nurse Aid/HSC182 - qualifies person to work in a hospital, 3 credits, Period 5 Term 4)
      2. Welding (Yr 1 & 2) - AM (8am - 9:40am daily for remainder of school year, will deliver 4 courses: Safety, Blueprint Reading, & Two Welding courses)
      3. Criminal Justice (Fall, not Spring) - PM; two courses
      4. Education - AM (2 courses for Teaching; Introduction to Education/EDU213, 3 credits, Period 1 Terms 1 & 2 followed by Initial Field Experience/EDU218, 2 credit, Period 1 Term 3)
    Perry, Iowa VanKirk Career Academy, explore college major & earn college semester worth of college courses by attending in Perry, Iowa 2 hours daily. 
    • Health Occupations description(2016) & Required Steps (may also preview bottom of page pdf for DMACC/VanKirk Health Career Prog Required Forms)
      • Health Occupations require more time to complete clinical hours of work in hospital for Certified Nursing Certificate.
        • Online Career Academy College Courses listed at
        • Authorization for Release/Exchange of Information Form – allows DMACC VanKirk Program Director, to speak face-to-face with parent of child’s performance in courses. Without a completed form DMACC cannot share information with parent. Panorama’s Guidance Counselor & Principal may share information between DMACC and parents without use of this form.
    DMACC Course Drop Dates Webpage -
    DMACC Academic Calendar Webpage - 
APEX of Waukee - DMACC courses are clustered by themes AND include an internship; (PHS students sign up with Mr. Webner in Spring and wait to see if given a seat (determined late May).

Waukee APEX is an entrepreneurial, innovative approach to education that is designed to give high school students hands-on, real world experience in a profession of their choice. Waukee APEX offers courses within five economic sectors that are industry-driven based on trends within our metro area and state. Courses are currently offered to those attaining junior/senior status: Financial & Insurance, or Business, Technology, & Communication, or Engineering, or Human Services, or Bioscience & Value Added Agriculture

  •  Transfer: What College Course Would Be Good to Take if I want to get a bachelor’s degree?
  • Community College Associate Degrees largely take the place of the first 2 years of a 4 year bachelor degree. Typically, many liberal arts courses are taken in the first 2 years of a bachelor degree program, so then liberal arts courses are what a Associate's Degree heavily consists of.
    • Our partner community college, DMACC, offers 4 different Associate degrees/link to alpha listing that are thought of as 2 year programs with slightly different credit requirements for each. See the following 2 associate degrees that  are often then transferred to 4 Yr colleges (typically accepted by universities as half of the courses needed for a Bachelor Degree):
  1. Associate of Arts (AA) degree/DMACC link - see pdf with handwritten notes of how this AA degree can be begun during HS by taking courses commonly completed by Panorama students for free.
  2. Associate in Applied Science Degree/DMACC link - see pdf with handwritten notes of how this AAS degree, which can be earned at VanKirk Center in Perry, Iowa, could be started while in high school through completion of courses Panorama students commonly take for free.
  • University of Iowa requirements to earn Bachelor Degree of Liberal Arts (used to guide thinking when students are selecting college courses to take when in HS): Requirements for a Bachelors Degree
  • Iowa State University web tool TRANSIT, details how courses from other colleges transfer to majors at ISU.
  • University of Northern Iowa web tool, details how courses from other colleges transfer to UNI.
  • Why Take College Courses during high school?
  • Panorama HS students have been completing college courses free of cost for over a decade. More than 90 percent of the graduating class of 2011 completed at least one college course while in high school and a growing number are completing a year of college coursework.
  • Historically many of our students dreamed of an easy course load their senior year, loading up on courses when they were underclassmen, trying to arrange their course schedules for shortened days, or meeting requirements early so they could “graduate early”. Educators heard things like, “I need less classes and homework so I can get more hours in my part-time job to earn money for college”, or “I have already been accepted to college and I don’t want to hurt my GPA so I can get scholarships”. But now, a majority of seniors see an obvious benefit for themselves and their families by taking maximizing their schedule to include free college courses with free use of materials like textbooks, online access, or technical tools.
  • Consider the savings in 2011 for a typical 3 credit college course: private college courses cost as much as $800 or more per credit ($2,400 per course), Iowa’s state universities cost over $300 per credit ($900), and community colleges cost over $110 per credit ($330), then add on the cost of textbooks, it adds up to $500-$2,500 for each course! A $2,500 course may deserve 1 hour of work each night over the course of 75 days, as most courses are 15 weeks long. Dividing the private college course value by the time students work on the course equates paying yourself $33.33 per hour (without taxes deducting one third). We see students decreasing their hours of leisure and part-time job hours and investing time and effort in their education.
  • Perhaps just as valuable as the monetary savings is the confidence earned by students when they complete college courses. Overcoming the fear of going to the next level, forcing themselves to responsible for their own learning, knowing they stepped up to accept the challenge, not giving up when they felt the toll of their assignments , and learning they are capable of being successful in a college experience.
  • Why did I get this letter from DMACC saying I am on Academic Warning?
  • Any DMACC course that is dropped after having submitted registration, even if the drop is done by given deadlines, it is counted in the DMACC college completion rate, resulting in an Academic Warning notification
  • Most severe cases result in denial of course delivery, financial aid from government for attendance at DMACC as full-time student.
  • DMACC’s Educational Services Procedures definition of academic progress
  • Why did I get this letter from DMACC saying I owe money for the course I am taking - you said these courses were free?
  • It is a computer system mistake that has unfortunately occurred for years...please throw the bill away.
  • Note: school systems cannot pay for summer college coursework, but families can.
  • College Courses While A Panorama HS Student
  • 9 out of 10 Panorama graduates take college courses while in HS and then go on to college after HS. If you want to see what college courses are like (with a “Panorama Professor”, travel to a college campus, or take a course over the internet) this page highlights college opportunities for your consideration.
  • College courses during HS school year are free to students because Iowa law has created programs to encourage this practice.
  • College courses taken during the summer are not facilitated by high schools financially, so families register courses and cover regular costs of student taking college courses in summers.
  • Panorama has agreements with Des Moines Area Community College (online courses, PHS staff delivered as professors, & courses at Career Academy in Perry, Ankeny, or Carroll), Graceland University (PHS staff delivered math: Elementary Function), and WITCC (online Calculus facilitated with local staff math teacher). The bulk of these college courses are arranged with DMACC because Panorama has entered into a consortium with other districts, to create sustainable college programs in nearby Perry, Iowa’ Vankirk Academy.
  • What courses should I take at college?
    • Dickinson College Dean (utube) of Admissions answers this question.
    • Take college courses taught by your PHS teachers for easiest transition into college level work; Ms.Jarnagin, Mr.Babcock, Mr.Hamiester, Mrs.Agranbright, Mrs.Ploeger, Mrs.Lindstrum (familiar setting and easier to get "professor's" extra help).
    • Most PHS students take college online social studies courses during HS because they are reading based, most similar to assignments they have experienced in regular HS courses. Also popular online are lower level college business courses (most occupations in U.S. are business related). Least common online are science courses due to college level sciences usually involving lab work.