High School Courses for College Credit
Take College Classes as a Lubbock ISD Student
As students work toward high school graduation, they can also be earning college credits. Lubbock ISD academic programs offer middle and high school students several college credit programs. These programs are Advanced Placement (AP), Dual Credit, Dual Enrollment, CTE Articulated and Dual Credit, Estacado High School Early College High School (ECHS), and Lubbock High School International Baccalaureate (IB). These opportunities provide a pathway toward both high school and college credits.
Benefits of College-Level Study in High School
Taking college-level classes in high school can introduce students to new academic passions and the excitement of exploring interesting subjects in depth. It can also help them:
- Learn the time-management skills, study skills, and discipline they will need in college.
- Improve their chances of getting into the college of their choice.
- Improve their chances of qualifying for scholarships.
- Free up enough time in college for them to double major or take part in programs like study abroad.
- Graduate from college on time or early, which will save them money.
- The program students take to earn college credit will depend on a number of factors, including their academic abilities; their areas of interest; their economic situation; their career aspirations and college choice; their graduation plan; and their ability to engage, connect and leverage the options before them.
Whether students are looking to get an early start on college credits or are looking to enhance their high school transcript, one or more of these programs may be for them.
Students should talk to their alpha counselor, principal, or teachers to find out which options for earning college credit may work for them. Also, students should investigate how these credits will transfer at the college and the program of study they plan to pursue.
Hereafter is a brief explanation of each program and a consideration of its benefits and challenges. Use this information to take a leap forward, and ultimately make the college experience more affordable, efficient, and enriching.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses and Exams
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses and Exams
The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) offers college-level study in a wide range of subjects and allows you to earn college credit if you score high enough on AP Exams. AP courses stress deep learning, critical thinking and the application of knowledge. The Lubbock ISD offers middle and high school students access to many Advanced Placement courses in English, Science, Mathematics, History, World Languages and the Arts. Students have the opportunity to take these courses in the comfortable confines of their own high school classrooms. According to College Board more than 2600 colleges around the world accept these courses for college credits.
Depending on the subject and chosen university, an AP course may also qualify as a prerequisite for more advanced college-level classes. A prerequisite (for those students who are new to university parlance) is a course that must have completed in order to move on to the next level of study in a chosen discipline. So for instance, many schools will require students to have completed an English 100 level course before they can move into any of the more advanced literature or creative writing courses.
As students go through the admissions process, their AP test scores can help them stand out from the crowd. They tell admissions officers that the student has both the academic wherewithal and the work ethic to complete college-level courses and perform well on exams. This is a nice reassurance for a college that might be preparing to add them to its roster.
College credit is earned through student's performance on the subject AP exam. AP test scores range from 1 to 5. Universities will generally look for a minimum score of 3 or higher before granting accelerated placement or accrued credits. Keep in mind that every college sets its own policy about AP credit. Some schools only give credit for scores of 4 or 5. While others may limit AP credits regardless of the score.
In conclusion, AP courses are challenging and the exams rigorous. Before you invest in an AP course or test, students should be sure that they are up to the challenge. They should choose subjects that truly matter to them and take preparation seriously. The College Board notes that an AP course is only reserved for top excelling students, nonetheless, students do need to choose wisely. They should seek the support of their counselor or a teacher in the subject that interests them. Students should ask for recommendations and explore all of their options first.
Please note that course offerings vary per Lubbock ISD middle and high school campuses.
Dual Enrollment, Dual Credit, CTE Articulated and Dual Credit, Early College High School
Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit
Dual Enrollment (DEP), including OnRamps, and Dual Credit (DC) Programs allow high school students to take introductory college-level courses while simultaneously advancing toward high school graduation. Through partnerships with area community colleges, state universities, and in some instances, private universities, high schools may be in a position to grant students access to college courses, the credits that go with them, and perhaps even a window into the campus experience where you can expect students to take college classes for a minimal fee or for free.
The benefits of DEP and DC enrollment are numerous. First, these programs allow students to transition from high school to college easily. Students can get a taste of what college is like without being completely overwhelmed with a whole new environment. They can ascertain how their high school classes compare to college courses and how college professors differ from high school teachers. These programs also provide high school students with a wider range of courses, so they have the opportunity to explore different fields before declaring a major. These classes also offer a chance for students who do not qualify to take AP or IB classes to demonstrate a more rigorous course load on their transcripts. Finally, one of the biggest benefits of dual enrollment or credit course is that it allows students to accumulate credits prior to entering college so they will be able to graduate from college early or on time.
Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit students attend college-level courses and earn college credits within the confines of their high school and under the instruction of a qualified high school teacher or college professors, allowing the student to balance the objectives of high school graduation and college advancement. Students who choose any dual academic program must learn to balance their responsibilities as full-time high school students with college-level work.
Keep in mind that every college/university sets its own policy regarding the transfer or acceptance of DEP and/or DC credits. Some college degree plans/pathways only give credit for certain DEP or DC courses. While others may limit the number of transferable college-level credits from DEP or DC courses. It is important to contact the college/university to determine the appropriate dual credit or dual enrollment class for the potential colligate degree plan or pathway.
Both programs are available to students in grades 9-12 who meet prerequisite criteria. To enroll, students and parents need to contact their high school counselor to review the available DEP and DC details and prerequisite requirements. Please note that course offerings vary per Lubbock ISD middle and high school campuses.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Articulated and Dual Credit
Technical course offerings through dual credit are a starting point for students wanting to enter the workforce upon completion of a Certificate or Associate of Applied Science. These degrees offer hands-on training that will help the student to be more marketable in the competitive world. View South Plains College CTE/Dual Articulated Course Crosswalk for a complete listing of courses. Please note that course offerings vary per Lubbock ISD high school campuses and ATC.
Early College High School
The Early College program is another prominent example of a dual academic program. The goal of the program is to provide support and access to underserved students as they work to seize higher learning opportunities. Starting in grade 9, students take college-prep classes and college-level classes through Texas Tech University, earning both college and high school credits. Tuition at Lubbock ISD Early College High School is free, which can lower the overall cost of a student's college education.
This program is exclusive to Estacado High School. Contact Tanna Rodriguez for application information.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
International Baccalaureate Diploma Program
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program offers college-level courses that provide students with an in-depth, culturally diverse, global education. Certain colleges offer credit to students who earn high enough scores on IB exams or who complete the IB diploma program.
The Diploma Program centers around six subject groups: studies in language and literature; language acquisition; individuals and societies; sciences; mathematics; and The Arts. Within the scope of each subject, a student will have the option of selecting between Higher Level (HL) and Standard Level (SL) courses. Each International Baccalaureate participant will take three or four HL subjects, amounting to 240 teaching hours, as well as an additional 150 teaching hours at the Standard Level.
Because many colleges recognize the IB program as academically more rigorous than the traditional high school education, this diploma may improve student's standing with an admissions board. Nonetheless students should choose their college wisely. In recognition of the extra vigor with which they completed their studies, some colleges will allow students to bypass certain prerequisite or introductory course requirements. Furthermore, depending on the test scores yielded from their IB experience, students could qualify for a transfer of credits.
With respect to earning college credits, the IBO notes that scores are not granted for performance in individual subject areas, but that a score between 1 and 7 is given for program-wide performance. Universities will generally look for a minimum score of 4 or 5 before granting accelerated placement or
Students can begin to earn college credits while still in high school through the IB Diploma Program. However, the opportunity to do so will depend first on their ability to gain entry into an IB program, next on their performance in the program, and finally on their ability to match up with a university that both meets their criteria and grants credits for high IB test marks.
This program is exclusively offered at Lubbock High School. Contact Erin Castle for application information.