Friday, December 7, 2007
AP, Concurrent, or CLEP?
Students at Goodhue High School are fortunate enough to have access to many college prep courses. These classes provide students with the opportunity to earn college credit without leaving the building. Goodhue offers three different ways to earn college credit: AP test, concurrent classes, and CLEP tests. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Concurrent Classes are the most popular way to earn college credit at Goodhue. A concurrent class is basically a college course taught by a high school teacher. If a student taking the class passes with a C or better, that student will recieve both high school and college credit. The instructors receive guidelines on how to teach the class from the college, making sure that the class is a great deal tougher than the average high school class. The concurrent courses at Goodhue are offered through the College in the High Schools program at the University of Minnesota - Crookston. Those courses are english composition, english literature, algebra, and physics.
AP tests are another way to earn college credit. Students usually take an advanced placement course to prepare themselves for the test. However, just passing the course with a high grade is not enough to receive college credit. After the students complete the course, there is a single high-stakes test that measures their knowledge of the subject. The tests are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. A score of 3 is usually enough to earn college credit from most colleges. Goodhue currently offers four AP classes: American History, Calculus, Psychology, and Physics.
CLEP tests are least popular type of college class. In fact, students don't even need to take a special prep class to take a CLEP test. If a student feels like he or she has taken advanced classes in a specific subject and is very comfortable with that subject, that student can take a CLEP test. With a passing grade on the CLEP exam, the student would earn college credit. This is very similar to an AP test, except the exams are pass/fail, not graded 1-5.
Each of the three ways to earn college credit has it's own advantages and disadvantages. But, all three offer students the chance to earn that credit for free. Taking these classes can save you thousands of dollars in college expenses. I encourage everyone with a strong academic record to take these rigorous courses.