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News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

News for the Carlsbad High School Community

The Lancer Link

Beyond the classroom: The advantages of college classes

Emma Collignon

As students navigate the different course selection options, they often have to make a difficult choice. The debate over taking honors classes, AP (advanced placement) classes or college classes for the upcoming school year can be a daunting decision.

In college courses, students receive direct interaction with professors who are experts in the field. They can see first-hand whether possible career paths or classes are worth it in the long run for them. College classes are the better choice for students to take in high school rather than AP classes.

According to The Nation Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP), “Students in majority-minority school districts that participated in dual/concurrent enrollment were 32-56% more likely to go on to college after high school than non-participating students in the same school district.”

When students can see what their experiences will be like in college, they will be more encouraged to pursue post-secondary education. While AP classes are similar to college classes they do not provide the same environment as college-level courses do.

Unlike AP courses, college courses do not have AP tests and you can receive full credit for the course with a passing grade. Appilfy explains that while AP classes count for high school credit, they may not count for college credit. Additionally, students must pass the AP test with a certain score to qualify for college credit.

By taking real college courses, students can ensure they receive reliable college credits. Overall the experience of AP classes is a rigorous environment that does not guarantee benefits in college in the way college courses do. Furthermore, AP tests are extremely difficult to pass depending on the course. For example, according to the College Board, only 47.5% of students who took the AP United States History and AP U.S. Government exams passed with a 3 or higher.

Moreover, students who participate in dual enrollment college classes during high school are more likely to continue their education. A study at Community College Research Center at Columbia University found that students are 88% more likely to continue onto a higher education such as college when they took dual enrollment in high school. The classes help motivate students to continue their education and overall have a long-lasting positive effect on students in high school.

An additional benefit of dual enrollment is the special types of classes available. There are a wide variety of AP classes available at Carlsbad High School, yet they are not as specialized as certain dual enrollment classes offered. According to the Mira Costa Dual Enrollment website, for the Carlsbad Unified School District, they offer courses such as “The History of Rock & Roll”, “Communications 101” and more. These courses can help students specialize and fine-tune their learning. This also provides students at CHS with more career pathways that they can explore. Students are able to explore their interests at a deeper level and eventually go into that career pathway.

Both AP and college classes encourage students to have critical, deep thinking and a growth mindset while learning. Taking college classes not only furthers a student’s critical thinking but also creates essential skills such as knowledge of the subject, communication and time management. These skills will help students in any education setting in high school or college.

As the college admissions processes become more competitive, the education system needs to ensure that students can pursue higher academic levels of classes. It creates an environment in which students can prosper. Carlsbad High School offers a variety of different courses that vary in levels. However, taking college courses is the best course of action.

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About the Contributor
Emma Collignon
Emma Collignon, Reporter
Emma is a freshman reporter and this is her first year on The Lancer Link staff. She enjoys horseback riding, swimming, and listening to music in her free time. She is very eager to be a part of this class and loves to write and take photos.

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