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College Experience in High School?

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College Experience in High School?

Michael Her, Photographer

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Michael Her

Throughout my high school career, I took a total of five and a half Advanced Placement (AP) classes, four College Now classes, and two online classes through Johnson County Community College (JCCC). With those classes, I experienced different levels of teachings. AP, College Now, and JCCC classes each have their own personal strengths. What I found in taking those classes and what worked for me were two things.

College Credit and Transferability

With AP classes, students have to take a yearlong class learning their specific subject and test. At the end of the year, they can take their AP test for a fee of $94. AP tests are scored from one to five, most colleges require a five to receive some form of credit. You can check what scores specific colleges and universities required here. I took my one and only AP test my sophomore year, which was the AP European History, after that test I found that AP tests were not for me.

The AP teachers and classes are proficient in preparing students for college. AP teachers are required to be certified to teach AP by going to summer certification classes. With AP classes, they can also be College Now classes. To teach College Now classes, teachers are required to have a higher degree to teach, they are essentially college professors. College Now is a program that JCCC provides that allows concurrent class. A concurrent class is where the grade received in the high school class is the grade in the college class. College Now credits begin your college transcript at JCCC, at the time I did not know exactly the importance of starting a good transcript. If you were to take a College Now class, you have to be prepared to ace the class.

Compared to a final test for college credit, and a grade in a class, concurrent classes were fitted for me. The work I’ve done throughout the semester or year would amount to the grade, rather what I learned would only amount to a score on a $94 test. Credits are guaranteed through College Now are easily transferable throughout other Kansas colleges.

Rigor

Having experienced AP/College Now classes, I only had a taste of college-level classes. Teachers would say college is like this or that, but I didn’t believe them. So, I decided to take actual college classes through JCCC. I took two online classes, Composition II and Intro to Business. These classes were a different level of rigor compared to the college emulated high school classes. Deadlines had to be met, the overall work was more, and the quality had to be of college level. As I pushed through the learning curve, I have to give credit to the AP/College Now class for preparing me. I learned the very basics through AP/College Now and that allowed me to have an easier transition. As I end my senior year, I will have twenty college credits, making me a semester ahead of my peers.

I encourage high school students to take College Now classes and actually college classes to begin their college transcript. It provides an easier transition to college and frees up space for interesting electives or major centered classes.

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College Experience in High School?