Earn college credit during high school


Arnold Angelo Aureo, Staff Writer

It’s possible to graduate from high school with college credits. Many students take advantage of this opportunity by taking Advanced Placement (AP) and Advanced Placement: Dual Credit classes (APDC). There are at least 25 AP classes and at least eight APDC classes available for any students who are willing to work harder.

AP and APDC courses are designed to prepare students for more advanced classes. Both types of classes are challenging and can provide college credits to students; although APDC credits are limited to Texas colleges and universities.

For AP classes, students are required to earn a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP exam to potentially earn college credit. Colleges set the required scores they will accept for different AP tests. The scores vary based on the course and on the university or college. Students can check specific college requirements on the AP Score Policy section of the CollegeBoard website.

Junior Katiana Porter has taken 10 AP classes. She said she prefers AP classes because preparing for the AP exam keeps her motivated throughout the course. She also said AP classes are better for students who are prepared to work much harder to have more flexibility in the future.

“AP classes tend to be more strictly scheduled, while APDC classes are more individually guided,” Porter said. “Because AP credits are more widespread, you have more and better opportunities.”

APDC courses are college level classes that can be taken in high school. Passing the class guarantees college credits, and the students’ grades are recorded in a college gradebook, thus allowing students to start their college careers early.

Junior Nicholas Newkirk took two APDC classes this year to take advantage of his junior year and earn college credits as early as possible.

“I like APDC more because it feels like it’s based and focused more around the course, unlike AP classes that focus on the AP exam,” Newkirk said. “The teachers are pretty chill as well, they treat us like college students.”

Counselor Dr. Erica Jordan said AP and APDC classes are similar in the way that they are challenging yet helpful classes. She advises students who want to take AP or APDC classes to make sure they are ready to put additional time and effort into their studies. She noted that students with other extra-curricular activities might not have the additional time needed to study for these courses.

“If you are willing to put in an hour a day for 4-5 days a week, then you should definitely take an AP or APDC class,” Jordan said. “Among the biggest benefits of taking challenging courses is that it prepares you to be a better person by enhancing your learning skills.”