Dual Enrollment in Community College Classes: The New AP?

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Many school systems partner with their local community college to offer discounted courses that 1) appear on high-school transcripts as advanced classes and 2) count for college credit. Sometimes, these programs allow you to modify your schedule by spending a portion of your time in school, and a portion of your time out of school.  

How to Enroll

  • Talk to your guidance counselor. Make an appointment and ask them. They have the vital forms and information that you’ll need to enroll. 
    • Even if your school doesn’t offer a dual enrollment program, chances are counselors will do the best they can to transfer community college credits to your transcript. 
    • Also, be sure to pay attention during class presentations guidance counselors give. Take notes for planning purposes.
  • Some community colleges will require you to go on-campus to register. Others have Internet portals. Either way, you’ll have to register as a student of the community college (thus, dual enrollment).
  • The community college website will likely offer information about dual enrollment. Take the time to explore their page if you need more information

Benefits of Dual Enrollment

  • You’ll be showing the colleges you wish to attend that you can handle college-level work.
  • College classes can boost your QPA, because they’re often considered courses on an advanced level. Some students opt to take standard-level courses, such as health and physical education, at a community
  • College to beef up their QPA and increase their class rank—given that they earn As. 
  • Community college classes are often easier than corresponding in-school classes. While difficulty can vary, these classes won’t pose much of a challenge for driven, studious person.

Online Learning

  • Some classes are offered online only. These most often require you to sit in a designated testing hall for exams, but complete lessons almost at your own pace.
    • For example, you might have a chapter test at the end of each chapter, and set dates for unit tests. It would be up to you to space out your chapters before the unit test. 
    • Carefully follow the instructions for setting up an exam location. Don’t let your hard work—and cash—go to waste.
  • This style of class would be ideal for students who are interested in supplementing their schedule, not replacing a core class with a community college class.

Dual Enrollment vs. AP Classes

  • While only some colleges accept Advanced Placement credits, many more colleges accept community college credit transfers.  
  • Generally, it’s easier to earn As in community college classes than AP classes, but do your research and figure out which would be best for you. 

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