Students Earn College Credit While in High School

October 19, 2021 / Upper School/All News

Students at Jackson Academy have options for accessing college-level courses while in high school. They can select from Advanced Placement (AP) courses or dual enrollment courses. 

JA has long offered AP courses as part of the curriculum. With AP courses, students receive high school course credit. Depending upon their final AP test score and the college they attend, they also earn college credit. With dual enrollment, students are enrolled in high school and college simultaneously and earn credit at both institutions. Students attend dual enrollment classes on the JA campus with JA instructors who have the academic credentials required to teach on the college level.

This semester, JA offered six dual enrollment courses in conjunction with Belhaven University: 

  • Advanced Math (6 hours college credit in College Algebra and Trigonometry), instructed by Amanda Smithers, B.S., MAT; 
  • Algebra 3 (3 hours college credit in College Algebra), instructed by Patricia Frazier, B.S., M.S.; 
  • Art Appreciation (3 hours college credit in art, instructed by Susan Ingram, B.F.A., M.Ed., M.F.A.; 
  • Advanced Chemistry (3 hours credit in General Chemistry with lab), instructed by Cori Ciaccio, B.S., M.S.; 
  • U.S. History (6 hours college credit in U.S. History I and II), instructed by Dennis Conklin, B.A., J.D., M.A., Ph.D.; and 
  • English 12 (6 hours college credit in English Composition and British Literature), instructed by Katharine Todd, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Participation in dual credit courses requires acceptance to and enrollment in Belhaven University. Director of Counseling Paula Pratt said the college credits transfer to other colleges. With dual enrollment, a student can complete required college core courses and move more quickly into their major area of study once in college, create time in their college schedule for higher-level courses, and potentially make a demanding course schedule more manageable by having completed some courses in advance. Many students can leave JA with a full semester of college credit.

Pratt says the counselors meet with Upper School students each year to help them map out a high school course of study, which may include AP and dual enrollment. While dual enrollment has many benefits, particular college and university degree programs like to see AP courses on a student’s high school transcript. Pratt and College Counselor Amy Bush encourage students to discuss their college major and career plans with a counselor as they make AP and dual enrollment choices.

“Our goal of dual is to help students be balanced with homework and receive college credit while in high school….saving our families money in the future,”  said Pratt. The cost for taking a dual enrollment class at JA is less than the cost of the class once in college.