Earning college credit in high school is tough. When I was in high school I fought for every hour of college credit I could obtain through taking Advanced Placement classes available at my high school. But during my senior year of high school I branched out and decided to earn college credit a different way, through dual enrollment at a local college. If you are looking for a way to obtain college credit during high school then dual enrollment might be for you. Dual enrollment may be of particular importance to you if you find AP classes to be outside your interests.
This is how it works, as a high school student you become involved in the classes of a nearby college. Dual enrollment gives you the chance to go to high school while also attending college classes for a high school grade, high school credit, and college credit too. For example, I dual enrolled at my local college and participated in ENC 1102, English Literature. Thanks to passing the class I received both high school credit and college hours for an English class.
The grades you earn in the dual enrollment class determine whether or not you receive college hours as compensation. If you pass the course then you will earn credit for the class. Earning college credit through an overall course grade is different than earning college hours through AP classes where your chance to obtain as many hours as possible comes down to a make or break moment on the AP exam at the end of the year. Therefore, some people may find dual enrollment preferable to AP classes.
Like any other college student you will obtain a college GPA for the grades you earn and will develop a college transcript that can be transferred to other institutions of your choice. When I finished my senior year of high school I had completed four dual enrollment courses, General Psychology, English Literature, Speech Communications, and World Religions. I passed each class with an A and was able to transfer that 4.0 GPA and 12 hours of college credit to my current university. The enhanced college GPA made it possible to enter my university as a freshman with an established GPA.
The GPA benefit may also translate to your high school GPA. In my school district, college courses were weighted more heavily than other classes, which allowed me to boost my high school Grade Point Average to higher levels. Through more heavily weighted classes I managed to graduate as the Salutatorian of my class. Therefore, dual enrollment classes can earn you college credit while also making your college application more competitive thanks to increased high school GPA.
Dual enrollment can be an incredible opportunity, though it requires hard work and added effort on your own time. If you are interested in this option, talking to your high school guidance counselor may be your next step towards learning more. Good luck in your studies!