Earning College Credit In High School
November 2, 2016 By:Hunter Watson
Adam Patton – The Piper
College credit for $25, high school classes that teach college level skills and study habits. This year over 300 McNary students are jumping at the opportunity to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes. In an AP class, students learn college-level material and at the end of the course take a test to see if they qualify for college credit.
“AP classes help students first by giving them college credit for pennies on the dollar,” said Mr. Scott Gragg, Instructional Coach at McNary, “and second by allowing students to participate in a collegiate environment.”
“AP classes give students a taste for college and an opportunity for college credit,” Siri Scales, senior at McNary High School, said. Scales is currently enrolled in five AP classes. “The workload is heavier than a normal class,” said Scales, “the expectations are higher and the type of students in AP classes are more involved.” After high school, Scales plans on going to Chemeketa Community College for two years, then transfer to a four year college to get a degree in anthropology.
“I took AP to prepare for college by practicing having a crammed schedule,” Rafael Santana, another senior at McNary, said. “I also get to go into college with credits already done, plus it looks good on an application.”
“Allowing sophomores into AP classes is good because it’s getting kids ready for college at an early age,” Santana continued, “but some sophomores are struggling. If you’re able to handle AP, then that’s great but if you struggle, then maybe not.”
“It requires effort to do an AP class or an honors class, whereas some students could fly through regular classes.” Santana is currently enrolled in four AP classes. After high school Santana plans on going to a four year college to get his bachelor and then go to 6 years of law school to become a lawyer. “I wasn’t really afraid to take AP,” Santana explained, “I got mostly A’s and B’s, and I’ve been challenging myself since middle school.” Santana added, “I would definitely recommend AP to other students. It does take a lot but it’s worth it to take a college level course in high school.”
This year McNary has opened four new AP classes: AP Economics, AP Human Geography, AP Geography, and AP Physics, which makes a total of 15 AP teachers at McNary. Every three weeks, all 15 AP teachers, Ms. Stefani, and Principal Mr. Erik Jespersen gather to talk about successes and things that need improvement in the AP program. This way AP can continue to become something that everyone can succeed with. There are currently no requirements to join AP classes, but it’s heavily cautioned to freshmen and students struggling in normal classes.