Dual-enrollment: AP’s undisclosed rival

Emily Cosio, Staff Reporter

It is orientation day, an exciting time for incoming students to learn about new classes, electives, and the suitable level of class to take: standard, honors or AP.

But nowhere in the same old presentation does the school mention dual-enrollment classes. There should not be rising juniors or seniors who were never told about dual-enrollment, but there are. The school is so passionate about AP classes that dual-enrollment gets pushed to the side.

According to CollegeBoard, 41 percent of  Florida students get a three or higher on AP tests, while dual-enrollment students have a 95 percent success rate. Both earn college credit and give a one point GPA boost. Of course scores vary from schools, but if the majority of students are scoring that well, then the school needs to make dual enrollment classes a clearer option.

Perhaps the school means well, and does not give this information due to risks, such as failing the class and ruining your college GPA or struggling with transportation. Or maybe it is the fact that the school receives money for every student who passes an AP exam. AP teachers also receive a financial bonus for their students passing as well. After all, AP classes are  a great way for the school to get extra funds, hundreds of thousands of dollars, but this means that unprepared students are feeling pressured to take classes that they might not be ready for.

If administrators continue to “encourage” students to take AP classes, then too many students will end up taking classes that have too high of a workload. At what point do advanced placement classes become just another gifted/honors class? Teachers would have to slow down the fast-paced course for everyone to understand, which is not fair for the students who are ready for the AP level class. Dual-enrollment classes are actual college classes that only college-ready students can take.

AP and dual-enrollment heavily depend on individual students. AP could be the best option for some students, but so could dual-enrollment. Dual-enrollment is only available to juniors and seniors, so for freshman and sophomores AP might be the better option. But if students do not know their options, they will not be able to find what is best for them.

High schools all want the same thing: to be best in their county and have an A rating, the schools want a good reputation. But schools are so desperate to be the best, they will use their students to make sure they look the best. But 10 percent of a school’s grade comes from the percentage of students who earned a three or higher on their AP tests as well as a C or higher in dual-enrollment, they account equally for the school’s grade. Students should know all of their options from day one, not what the school decides to reveal or hide.