November 8, 2012
University High school students choose between AP and Dual Enrollment classes on a yearly basis. The AP pathway consists of classes that students can take at the high school that are advanced in their curriculum, even more so than the Honors curriculum. Dual Enrollment is a pathway where students are taking both high school and college classes in order to obtain their Associates of Arts degree (AA). The question most students must rest upon is: What are the pros and cons of each pathway?
AP classes are provided to students who want to learn at a much quicker pace than an Honors class. An Advanced Placement course, if passed with an A, is worth five credits towards your graduating credits, but passing the course is only half of it. By taking an Advanced Placement course you have an opportunity to earn a college credit for that specific class. Of course there is a catch, only students who have passed the final AP exam earn the college credit. Even if you pass the course with an A and you still fail the AP exam, you will not earn any college credits. Some agree that is just too big of a gamble. “What if you are not a good test taker?” asks Senior, Aubrianna Hall. This system of determining whether college credit should be earned for a class by the students score on the AP exam is perhaps the largest flaw with this method of advanced education.
Many are unsure of what exactly Dual Enrollment is. Dual Enrollment is a unique opportunity given to students. It is a great way to save money on college because students’ have the choice to take some of their college courses now instead of later! It is perfect for those few students who would rather speed along their education instead of going the traditional route by taking all four years at high school and then move on to college; and on top of that--the classes are completely free! Yet, like always, there is a downside to Dual Enrollment. Dual Enrollment classes take place off of campus. This outside school atmosphere cuts out a huge amount of high school life for students, and some argue that high school is the best and also the shortest time of your life. So why rush it?
So which course is better? The answer to this question is different for everyone. If you are a student who loves being involved in all that high school has to offer (which includes sports, dances, clubs, and other academic activities), then Dual Enrollment may put a damper on your high school experience. On the other hand, if you are the type of student who is very motivated educational wise, and you can’t wait to start your life and career, then Dual Enrollment might just be your perfect match. There may be many more factors for students when deciding between Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement courses. Either option has a set of pros and cons that the student should consider, but either option marks an exceptional student striving for a higher education. In the end, it is up to the student to decide.