In Texas, high school students may enroll in classes that offer high school credit as well as college credit under the Dual Credit Program. Dual credit classes meet college standards and are usually considered honors or Advanced Placement (AP) high school classes. High school juniors and seniors may take up to two dual credit classes per semester and pay only for the cost of books–tuition and fees are paid for by the school district or the community college district. As of 2001, tuition and fees have also been waived for private, parochial, and homeschooled students.
San Antonio Community College (SAC) is one of the leaders in this area and allows any high school student, ninth grade and up, to take one dual credit class per semester (two for upperclassmen). In order to qualify to take a dual credit class, the student must have a passing score on one of the following exams:
|English and Math||19 minimum|
|Must have at least a 26 on Math to take Calculus|
|Verbal and Math||500 minimum|
|Must have at least a 560 on Math to take Calculus|
|ACCUP||Reading Comprehension (RS)||78 of 120|
|Elementary Algebra (EAR)||76 of 120|
|Writing Skills (SS)||80 of 120|
|Essay||6 0f 6|
|Must have at least 109 (EAR) for college algebra|
Perhaps more importantly, SAC does not have a minimum age requirement. This means that any student classified as a ninth grader with passing test scores may enroll in a dual credit class. Student classification is, of course, up to the school administrator. Nor does the student have to pass all of the ACCUPLACER (ACCUP) test segments to enroll in a class depending on the class’s prerequisites. Furthermore, students are eligible to take the classes in any format, on campus, off campus, video/TV, or internet based. And the icing on the cake is that the dual credit staff will take care of class enrollment meaning you don’t have to stand in the wrong line for hours on end to register your student.
In summary, dual credit benefits are the following:
Free: The classes are free, up to two per semester for upperclassmen and one per semester for lower classmen. You pay only for books.
Choices: Many of the basic required classes are offered by video through PBS or cable or on the internet. These classes receive the same credit as on campus classes.
Inexpensive Testing: The ACCUP is an un-timed test and costs only $15 and your scores are immediately available.
Convenience: The dual credit staff will register you bypassing the regular registration process.
High School and College Transcripts: The student receives both college and high school credit–you have an official transcript.
Friendly People: The dual credit staff is very nice, very knowledgeable, and very homeschool friendly.
Naturally, there are some additional rules and requirements but ultimately, if you have a high school level student why haven’t you called for more information?
Mr. Fabian Cortez III
Dual Credit Coordinator