Dual Enrollment V. Advanced Placement

Though not for everyone, high school students may create a “head start” for themselves by taking rigorous college-level courses. There are two prospective programs that one may desire to complete coursework in: Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement.

Dual Enrollment is enrollment in two separate facilities for college credit, as depicted by Wikipedia. It is often opposed by parents and officials because it does not constitute for upright competition. These oppositions stand on the basis of claiming one can not measure the rigor of the courses. Unfortunately, many students can not participate in Dual Enrollment because of a lack of transportation, often leaving parents and students to feel as if they have received the short end of the stick, or so to speak.

As for the light of the matter, if transportation does not stifle one’s education, it is a good experience to receive automatic college credit for passing the class. Considering it is an actual college class, it is good for both two year universities as well as four year universities. Another wonderful thing that one may have accessibility to is that, in some cases, such as some public schools, schools will provide dual enrollment at their facility.

Collegeboard’s Advanced Placement program is often regarded as the more acceptable program of the two. In high school, the courses offered follow a college syllabus and are often quite time-consuming and rigorous. It is more acceptable due to the credibility and competition offered. It gives students honorable preparations for universities through preparations for the amount of strenuous activity given during one’s college lifespan.

To receive college credit for an Advanced Placement class, one must hit the books hard! (Photo by Amanda Munoz.)

Not only are these courses offered at many public schools, but many people opt for the virtual opportunity. Many virtual institutions hold and allow for Advanced Placement classes to be taken. However, one must be aware that in Advanced Placement courses, colleges are not required to accept the credits one may earn. Thus, students must keep this in mind when looking for prospective colleges. Also keep in mind that this is not to say that if one’s college does not accept their credit, that it is worthless, as one gains a work ethic and knowledge regarding the subjects taken.

Even if a college accepted all of the Advanced Placement credits, ¬†one may still not be entitled to the credit. Because of the rigor of the courses, one must, at the end of the school year, pass an exam to receive qualifications for that credit. The scores range from one to five on any AP exam, five being “extremely qualified,” and one being unqualified.

Often times it is quoted by college students as being more difficult than college classes because of the time constraints associated with going to class everyday. Of course, if one was a student of a school that implemented block scheduling, it would be less constraining and pressurizing.

Regardless of one’s preference, if one is contemplating entering either of these programs, one must be prepared to invest time in their coursework as well as stay on top of production. Anything but dedication will lead to an academic downfall.

With that being said, both are great opportunities and should be regarded as such. They are different in theory, however both lead to the same goal: greater education.

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