AP Courses vs. Dual Credit: What's Best for High School Students?

By Bock, Jessica | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

AP Courses vs. Dual Credit: What's Best for High School Students?


Bock, Jessica, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Add up the credits for Advanced Placement and other college- level courses that Jaime Staengel took in high school, and the Rockwood Summit senior has quite a head start.

She'll probably begin her freshman year of college with as many credits as some sophomores.

The academic and financial benefits made the challenging classes worth it to Staengel, who says she's happy to save herself time in college by moving into more advanced classes sooner for a major in German. And she says her parents think it's great, too.

"It's saving them money in the long run," said Staengel, who is headed to Murray State University in Kentucky.

Thousands of students across the state took Advanced Placement exams this month. Proponents of the College Board-created program hope underclassmen see success like that of Staengel and sign up. But despite efforts by Missouri's education department and area districts to increase enrollment in the courses, the state's public school students still rank among the bottom in the nation for both participation and pass rates, even though both are up in recent years.

At the same time, area universities say the number of high school students taking what's known as dual credit courses is growing rapidly and argue that those classes may offer more benefits than AP for some students.

The two approaches dual credit and AP offer competing schools of thought on helping high school students earn college credits. AP prepares students to pass an exam to prove their mastery of college- level curriculum. Dual credit in effect enrolls students in college courses while they are still in high school, allowing them to earn credit for both.

Caught in the middle are students and parents who wonder which approach produces the best payoff.

Experts say both approaches can work. When done the right way, they say, many students are able to lop off an entire year or more of college before they even get there.

"It really depends on the individual student's circumstances," said Nicole Buesse, a high school counselor at Fort Zumwalt North High School. "Both (dual credit and AP) are very good options."

But there are pitfalls to both. And that can leave students who thought they did the work without the credits that count.

Students in AP classes, for example, may find that although they passed an exam, their score isn't high enough. At some elite colleges, even the highest mark doesn't count. And while dual credit offers students a transcript proving they completed a course, it may be a transcript some colleges do not accept.

Students and parents who want to shop for the best approach may find their options are limited based simply on the school they attend.

In Missouri, a push at least at the state level is building behind AP, after years of popularity for dual enrollment. For the first time this summer, the percentage of students passing an AP exam will factor into a district's report card from the state. Although dual credit courses also are considered, AP earns a district extra points.

Missouri officials regard AP courses as a mark of a school's quality, demonstrating that it is offering students challenging options to prepare them for college.

"There is a level of rigor that's established," said Margie Vandeven, a deputy commissioner for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Meanwhile, those national rankings that schools love to boast about by publications such as Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report use AP courses as a measure of excellence.

TWO APPROACHES

As education experts debate the quality of college credit courses, the issue for parents and students increasingly is controlling college costs.

"This is a huge asset to making college affordable," said Gayle Rogan, director of the 1818 Advanced College Credit program at St. Louis University.

The SLU program offers a dual credit approach. High schools that participate must have teachers who have been vetted and approved by SLU, which also oversees the curriculum. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

AP Courses vs. Dual Credit: What's Best for High School Students?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.