Virtual School Resources: Dual Enrollment or A.P?   

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dual Enrollment or A.P?

Is your high school student dual enrolled? With nearly 70 % of our nation's high schools offering high school students the opportunity to dual enroll, it doesn't make sense to not take advantage of these early college courses.

Reported in a recent article in Education Week, Chris Tutje, a 2012 grad of East High School in Des Moines, IA, acquired 36 college credits through dual enrolling at his local community college. This also earned him his highest GPA of high school. In the year where many seniors get lazy and may even begin the celebration of graduating a bit too early, dual enrollment might just be the motivation your high school student needs.

I hear some of you asking, "What about A.P. classes?" I would suggest you pick up the book, Push Comes to Shove by Dr. Steve Perry, Principal and CNN Education Contributor. Here's what he thinks: 
"Even the best kids struggle in advanced placement (AP) courses. Hell, AP courses are meant to be hard. They’re like high school courses on steroids; their only contribution to kids’ high school experience is more zits and stress."

So, why would you put your student through that if you don't need to? Unless your child's college of choice is requiring A.P., I'm not sure of a good reason. Many students have taken A.P. classes and passed the course final only to get a C on the A.P. test, which means it does not qualify as college credit. 

I did a bit more research on this as I know there are people who disagree. Don't get me wrong, I know you can't please everyone! However, I just wanted to get some different opinions. I found The Student Doctor Network, a forum for students who are planning to become doctors. This is written by students, which is why I think it's pertinent information. One student said "dual enrollment classes are by far more likely to be accepted by medical schools." This was the second comment that also stated you may need to retake A.P. Science classes when you get to college. Another disadvantage, according to one of the students, is that the A.P. class may not be taught well. Remember, the same teacher is not giving the A.P. test. One student said he wishes he had known about dual enrollment in high school. Make sure your student understands this option.

My daughter, who won't even be 16 for a few more months, already has 4 college classes under her belt. She got A's in each one, and is on the Dean's List at our local community college. In my opinion, Dual Enrollment is the way to go. However, as I always recommend, do your own due diligence. 

Do you have high school students? What do you think?

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