Before your high school student chooses which classes to take, it’s important to understand the differences between Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment classes. Although each course is designed to be rigorous and college-level, there are a few significant differences between the two formats. Here’s an introduction to college-level courses at The Tenney School:
Why Take a College-Level Course in High School?
Whether your child chooses advanced placement or dual enrollment courses, there are similar benefits to taking each kind of course.
It Builds Positive Work and Study Habits
When your child takes a college-level course in high school, it is going to provide them with valuable work and study habits that will benefit them in college. Academic demands increase in college-level courses, so your student should prepare in high school.
It Provides Students with a Rigorous Academic Experience
Traditional high school-level courses are still meaningful and challenging, but college-level courses are even more advanced. Therefore, if you’re trying to expand your child’s horizons, college-level courses will encourage your child to be a more critical thinker.
It Is Cost-effective
It’s cost-effective to get college credits out of the way in high school. As we know, college tuition is costly, so it’s smart to think ahead so that you can save a little bit of money in the future. As we will mention, the financial payoffs will depend on a few factors, but for the most part, you can save money by taking both advanced placement and dual enrollment courses.
Advanced Placement Versus Dual Enrollment
Advanced Placement Courses
Advanced placement courses (AP) are designed by the College Board. The curricula for AP classes are designed by college professors, and the goal of the program is for college-level courses to be available to high school students, regardless of their high school institution. That means each high school with AP course options is mandated to follow a certain curriculum, depending on which AP class is being taught.
At the end of the school year, AP students must take a test that assesses their proficiency in the course. Although AP students are also assigned a final grade in the course, the test is a standardized way to measure students’ progress, because it is administered to each AP student across the country. The AP test assigns students a score between 1 and 5—the highest score is five.
AP is an international program, and it is accepted at almost every college across the country. It is important to note that some colleges will only accept an AP class for credit if they get a certain score on the AP test. That is, a student might have to receive a 4 or a 5 on their AP test to get college credit.
Dual Enrollment Courses
Dual enrollment courses (DE) refer to a course where a student is enrolled in high school and enrolled in a local community college at the same time. Dual enrollment courses do not have a standardized test at the end of them, like AP courses do.
Although Dual Enrollment courses provide students with a college-level education in high school, sometimes, dual enrollment courses do not transfer to certain colleges. If your student chooses to take dual enrollment courses, it’s crucial that they check to see if their courses will transfer to whatever colleges they’re interested in applying to.
Take College-Level Courses at The Tenney School
The Tenney School believes that it is meaningful for high school students to take college-level courses. If you’re still unsure which option is best for your student, someone from our school can help. For more information about our dual enrollment and advanced placement options, contact us.