Accelerated Learning

Overview

Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Accelerated learning options often provide students the opportunity to earn postsecondary credit while in high school, decreasing their costs and time in pursuits after they graduate. Options include dual enrollment and dual credit courses, early college, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and credit by exam. (Updated August, 2017)

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Alabama
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Career and Technical Education

Alabama’s career and technical education program is aligned with the National Career Clusters. The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), Division of Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Workforce Developments is the only state agency in the United States to earn an international certification for its CTE program quality management. It uses the Business/industry certification (BIC) tool to evaluate and improve CTE standards throughout the state.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Dual enrollment credit is available to students attending public, private, parochial or church/religious schools pursuant to 16-28-1 of Code of Alabama 1975, or who are receiving instruction from a home school/private tutor pursuant to 16-28-5 of the Code of Alabama. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors participating in dual enrollment must have a minimum unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.0 and meet admission test criteria set by the institutions. To maintain their dual enrollment status, students must achieve grades of C or better in all attempted college courses. Students must have written approval from high school officials to be eligible to enroll in the program.

The Early College Enrollment Program allows career and technical education students to earn dual credit under State Board of Education Policy 801.03 and 801.04. Scholarship opportunities may be available to students who meet the eligibility requirements to participate in the dual enrollment program.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The Alabama Community College Systems requires institutions to accept a score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement and award elective or general education credit toward an associate degree. The College Board contributes $32 towards an AP exam fee for students with financial need, while schools are expected to drop their $9 rebate for these students, reducing the testing fee to $53 per exam.

Early College High Schools

The Selma Early College High School allows high school students to take a combination of high school and college courses, graduating high school with up to 60 hours of college credit.

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Arkansas
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

State policy does not permit credit by examination or proficiency-based promotion in high school.

The College Level Exam Program (CLEP) allows students to receive college credit for successful completion of CLEP assessments. Postsecondary institutions determine the amount of credit awarded. 

Career and Technical Education

Arkansas Career and Technical Education (CTE) has partnered with Advance CTE to expand and improve its CTE program. Arkansas’ s CTE program aligns with the national 16 career cluster model. CTE completers are identified as students who have completed three credit units of CTE courses in high school. Arkansas public schools are required to offer nine units of career and technical education, and must provide students access to a minimum of one career focus program in three different occupational clusters.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

High school students may enroll in college courses and earn high school and college credit for their work. Students in grade 12 who possess at least an ACT sub-score of 17 in English, reading, or mathematics may enroll in remedial/developmental courses at a postsecondary institution. College-level concurrent enrollment students must meet the postsecondary institution’s admissions requirements as well as have a signed parent release to be able to enroll in classes. Some concurrent course offerings are blended with Advanced Placement courses, and require the completion of an AP exam. National school lunch program students are not required to pay any of the cost for such courses up to six credit hours. Students and families bear the cost of concurrent enrollment, unless the costs are paid by the district or a private foundation.

Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate

The Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program, created with the passing of Senate Bill 509 in 2013, provides state grant funding to support Advanced Placement initiatives already operating in the state. The program encourages the advancement of AP teachers and programs by providing mentorship, training, materials and resources while also increasing the number of students enrolling and performing well in AP programs.

Advanced Placement courses allow students to earn college credit and/or weighted credit in high school. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP exams receive the AP Capstone Diploma, while students who earn a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

Early High School Graduation

Arkansas Code 6-18-224 allows students to graduate early if they have earned the number of credits required by the district for graduation.

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Delaware
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Career and Technical Education

The Delaware Department of Education offers career and technical education courses aligned with the National Career Clusters Framework. Career Pathways are defined as three credits of planned and sequential courses, and pathway completion is a graduation requirement for high school students. 

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Delaware Department of Education rules require local school districts to develop articulation agreements with public and nonpublic state institutions to offer dual enrollment programs. The articulation agreements must include eligibility requirements, how and where students may take courses, and the funding sources used to offer dual enrollment. The rules clearly stipulate that no district can deny access to dual enrollment because of a student’s or family’s inability to pay tuition. Students who complete any course in the Delaware higher education credit matrix should receive both high school and college credit. For students to participate, dual enrollment and dual credit must be included in the Student Success Plan (SSP) as required in DE Admin. Code 505.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The state of Delaware does not provide requirements for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. Rather, requirements are set by the respective program authorizers. Credits awarded are at the discretion of each postsecondary institution.

Early High School Graduation

Delaware is currently in the process of developing its first Early College High School (ECHS) at Delaware State University in alignment with the EDWorks Fast Track concept.

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Florida
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

The Credit Acceleration Program allows students to take CLEP, AP or end-of-course exams in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, U.S. History or Biology I and earn credit for the course, even if students have not enrolled in or completed the course. The program can enable students to pursue other accelerated options, including dual credit, early admissions and early graduation.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

High school students may enroll in academic or career certificate courses and earn dual credit. The college dual enrollment option requires a GPA of 3.0 or higher and achievement on common college placement exams. Home schooled students are also eligible for dual enrollment if they can show that their home education program complies with s. 1002.41. To maintain eligibility, students must keep a 3.0 GPA as well as continue to meet the minimum postsecondary grade point average set by the institution in which they are dually enrolled. The career certificate option requires a GPA of 2.0 or higher. Students enrolled in dual enrollment programs are exempt from the payment of registration, tuition, and laboratory fees.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

High schools must offer at least four dual credit or AP courses—one each in English, math, science, and social studies. Florida districts are required to award credit to students who are able to pass AP examinations without enrolling in or completing AP courses.

The Florida League of International Baccalaureate Schools, Inc. (FLIBS) works to expand the IB program throughout the state. The Middle Years, Diploma, and Career related IB Programmes are available at accredited schools, and offer high school students the opportunity to earn college-level credit while pursuing a high school diploma.

Early High School Graduation

To graduate early with a standard high school diploma, students must earn 24 credits and complete the graduation requirements in section 1003.4282, F.S.

Students are eligible to graduate early through the Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL) option pursuant to Section 1002.3105(5), F.S. The 18-credit ACCEL option differs from the standard diploma in that students are required to complete three elective credits instead of eight and are exempted from both the physical education and online course requirements.

Early College Admission

State law defines early admission as a form of dual enrollment in which students enroll in a college or university full-time (i.e., 12 to 15 credits) during their junior or senior years of high school. Entrance requirements for early college enrollees vary by institution.

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Georgia
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

State law and State Board of Education Rules allow students to receive high school credit based on demonstrated competency on several state and national exams, including high school End of Course (EOC) exams, AP, CLEP, and industry certifications. Students can earn no more than three units of credit according to Georgia Code JBC(4) Section (2)(f).

Career and Technical Education

The Georgia Department of Education offers Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) across 17 Career Clusters in alignment with the National Career Cluster Model.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Senate Bill 132 streamlined previous dual enrollment programs into the Move on When Ready Program (MOWR). Move on When Ready allows eligible high school students the option of enrolling in college-level coursework and receiving both high school and postsecondary credit. Courses may be taken through MOWR, online, and/or at the high school. Institutions are responsible for establishing their own MOWR/dual enrollment admission requirements, although the Board of Regents has set minimum requirements:

  • Minimum SAT score of 970 or composite ACT score of 20
  • Exemption of all learning support requirements
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • On track to meet high school graduation requirements
  • Completed Student Participation Agreement

The joint enrollment option provides students, typically in grades 11 and 12, with the opportunity to enroll in postsecondary courses, provided they meet college entrance requirements, while completing high school graduation requirements. Enrolled students do not receive high school credit for college courses.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

Georgia does not have common score requirements for Advanced Placement (AP) or College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests.

Early College High Schools

The Early College Initiative, a partnership between the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Education, allows students to earn a high school diploma and credit toward an associate or bachelor’s degree. Most early colleges operate with the objective to increase high school graduation and college-going rates of traditionally underserved students.

Early High School Graduation

Move on When Ready provides an early graduation option. To receive an early high school diploma, students must receive credit for all EOC courses: two English, two math, two sciences, two social studies, and the required PE and Health course. Students must also complete all EOC exams, which count as 20 percent of the corresponding course grade. Finally, students must complete either an associate degree, technical diploma, or two certificate programs within one specific career pathway.

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Kentucky
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

The Kentucky State Board of Education states that districts must develop a policy to award performance-based credits, ensuring that the experiences for which credits are awarded align with the Kentucky Academic Standards. Examples include senior year or capstone projects and work-based learning (e.g., internships, apprenticeships, cooperative learning experiences, and credit recovery).

Career and Technical Education

Kentucky has adopted the National Career Clusters Framework. Students enrolled in CTE courses may take the Kentucky Occupational Skills Standards Assessment after completing two credits as well as the ACT WorkKeys upon enrolling in a third CTE credit in an approved career pathway. State law allows for the substitution of career-technical courses for specific graduation course requirements.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Dual credit allows students to take college-level courses and earn high school and college credit concurrently. Public colleges and universities partner with a district to provide dual credit opportunities which may be provided at the student’s high school, on a college campus, or virtually.  When students take courses taught at an approved postsecondary institution during the regular school day, they are said to be concurrently enrolled as defined by the National Alliance of concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.

Kentucky requires that all high school students have access to a minimum of three general education and three career and technical education courses throughout their secondary career. To be eligible for enrollment, students must meet the postsecondary institution’s requirements for admission into the program and placement requirements for its college-level courses.

Cost for dual credit/concurrent enrollment varies based on the district-institution agreement. Students and their parents must receive a written statement explaining tuition and fees. The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority administers support for dual credit scholarships.

Dual enrollment allows students to earn college credit at a postsecondary institution.

Although most Kentucky high school students pursue dual credit/concurrent enrollment options through open enrollment in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, students also may pursue college credit online through the Kentucky Virtual University or in the classroom through state and private universities, if they fulfill institutional admissions requirements.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

Kentucky offers over 30 college-level Advanced Placement courses as well as three International Baccalaureate programs to high school students. AP-enrolled high school students may be awarded college credit for a course based on their numerical scores on EOCs. During the 2016-2107 school year, the Kentucky Department of Education will pay AP and IB exam fees for students enrolled in the Free or Reduced Lunch Program.

Early College High Schools

Also referred to as Middle Colleges, Early Colleges are high schools located on college campuses that allow students to take courses for both high school and college credit.

Early High School Graduation

Students in grades 9-11 may pursue an early graduation pathway through which they may qualify to receive a diploma and be eligible for acceptance into any public university or nonprofit, independent college or university in Kentucky. To qualify, the student must do the following:

  • Document their intent to graduate early
  • Enter an early graduation pathway prior to October 1 of their intended graduation year
  • Graduate in three years or less
  • Score proficient on all required end-of-course exams
  • Meet the state’s college readiness ACT benchmarks

An Early Graduation Certificate provides some financial support for students to attend college immediately after early graduation.

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Louisiana
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

The College Level Examination Program is an opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery on 33 exams in five subject areas allowing them to earn between 3 and 12 college credits before leaving high school. The amount of college credit a student can earn on individual CLEP exams varies by college.

Career and Technical Education

The Louisiana Department of Education career education initiative, Jump Start, requires students to attain industry-valued credentials to graduate. Jump Start regional teams have developed 47 graduation pathways for students to pursue. Schools receive the same credit for students pursuing advanced credentials and technical diplomas as for those who achieve top AP test scores.

The TOPS-Tech Early Start (TTSE) Award may be used for eligible 11th and 12th grade students to help fund any technical or applied course leading to a certificate issued by a postsecondary institution or any Louisiana Workforce recognized training. To be eligible, students must meet the following:

  • Be in good standing as defined by the student’s high school
  • Have an approved 5-year Education and Career Plan
  • Have accumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Score 15 or above on the math and English portions of the Pre-ACT or equivalent assessments, or Silver level on the ACT WorkKeys
  • Enroll in a course in an Industry

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Dual enrollment students enroll in college courses at local technical, community and/or four-year colleges for dual high-school and college credit. Students must meet the admissions standard of the college in which they are enrolled.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

Students who enroll in Advanced Placement courses, and score a 3 or higher on the corresponding EOC may be eligible for college credit for the course. Offered courses are aligned with the TOPS core requirements, and exam scores of 3 or higher are recognized with 150 points (the highest achievement level) toward the graduation index. AP exam scores of a 1 or 2 earn 110 points toward the graduation index.

The Louisiana Department of Education uses federal funds to reduce to exam cost for low-income students. Further, the department provides grants to schools that are implementing or expanding an Advanced Placement (AP) program. AP courses carry extra weight when determining the GPA for the TOPS scholarship.

To participate in the International Baccalaureate program, Louisiana students must enroll in a full time, six-course program. Students who score a 4 or higher on standardized EOC exams will earn college credit as well as the maximum 150 points toward the graduation index. Students who earn a 1, 2, or 3 on IB exams will receive 110 points toward the graduation index.

Early High School Graduation

Louisiana high school students have the option of leaving high school early—typically after the junior year—and enrolling full time in college. Students who qualify for early admission must have a “B” average over three years and a score of 25 or higher on the ACT or the SAT equivalent. Early college students earn their high school diplomas by successfully completing their first 24 credit-hours at the college level.

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Maryland
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Career and Technical Education

Maryland offers its students CTE courses in ten career cluster areas. CTE programs of study consist of four courses: foundational, second, specialty, and capstone. Upon completion of these four courses, students can earn college credits and/or an industry-recognized credential. Earning postsecondary credit often requires the student to meet standards or complete an assessment as determined by the postsecondary institution or the licensing agent. Several community and four-year colleges throughout the state have CTE articulation agreements which specify possible credit awards for students who complete CTE programs.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

High school students with outstanding academic records may enroll concurrently in college courses while in high school, typically after the junior year. Students are provided a minimum 25 percent tuition discount depending on the county, and those eligible for free and reduced meals may take classes with no tuition charges. Local school boards are required to pay for up to four courses for students, and must waive tuition for students eligible for free and reduced meals. Admissions and eligibility requirements vary based on established agreements between districts and postsecondary institutions. Courses are offered on both high school and college campuses.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The state of Maryland does not provide requirements for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. Rather, requirements are set by the respective program authorizers. Credits awarded are at the discretion of each postsecondary institution.

Early College High Schools

Maryland currently has four early (or middle) college high schools: Community College of Baltimore County, Prince George’s Community College, Howard Community College, and Hagerstown Community College. These early college high schools allow students to earn up to 60 college credits while completing a high school diploma.

Early High School Graduation

Maryland waives the four-year high school enrollment requirement when a student is admitted to an approved post-secondary program or college with prior approval from the high school principal. Students may also graduate early earning a Certificate of Merit by completing a specified core of credits which may be one of the following:

  • The Career Preparation requirement
  • The Student Service requirement
  • The high school assessments requirement

Early College Admission

Maryland’s public four-year segments (i.e., University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland) have policies that allow students to seek early admission, so long as they earn a high school diploma or an equivalent credential. Institutions that offer early admission determine their own procedures and requirements for doing so.

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Mississippi
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Mississippi students may either dually enroll in high school and college, earning only postsecondary credit in college courses, or may earn dual credit by being concurrently enrolled. Any course that is required for subject area testing as a requirement of graduation is not eligible for dual credit. Students may qualify for either the Dual Enrollment or Dual Credit programs based on the following:

  • Minimum GPA
  • Written approval/recommendation from counselor or principal
  • Meet entrance requirements set by postsecondary institution
  • Other: Have completed 14 core high school units or have a minimum ACT composite score of 30 (or SAT equivalent)

Admission and placement testing requirements, as well as tuition and fees, vary locally and by institution. Tuition and costs for university-level courses must be paid from grants, foundation, or other private sources.

 Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

Advanced Placement offerings vary by school, and are required to be taught by College Board-certified AP teachers. Students who score at a 3, 4 or 5 level on an Advanced Placement exam may be able to earn college credit for the corresponding high school course. Credit transfer policies vary by institution. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, the Maryland Department of Education will provide funding directly to local school districts to help cover testing fees for low-income students.

Career and Technical Education

The Pathways to Success initiative has developed career pathway documents that align with the 16 fields contained in the National Clusters Framework. Each one-page fact sheet contains course recommendations for core and elective credits, including career-technical courses for students pursuing the career pathway diploma. CTE courses are eligible for dual credit is the CTE instructor meets the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges requirements. Districts must offer a career track diploma option in which students complete 21 credits comprising an academic core of courses and at least 4 credits in dual enrollment-dual credit CTE courses.

Early College High Schools

Mississippi currently has four early college high schools, its first opening in 2015. These early colleges are housed on college campuses and offer students the opportunity to take earn college credit and receive an associate degree or career credential while pursuing high school diplomas. Students attending early colleges do not pay college tuition or text book costs.

Early High School Graduation

The Mississippi Early Exit Diploma is available to students who are college ready, will not need remediation courses, have met the 17.5 specific credit minimum, and have met all core content requirements, including benchmarks on EOC and ACT or IHL exams. Students who meet the requirements of the Mississippi Early Exit Diploma may continue to take Advanced Placement or dual credit courses, enroll full-time in a career-technical education program, or graduate high school early and enroll in a local community college.

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North Carolina
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

The Career and College Promise (CCP) program allows high school students to earn college credit and, in many instances, concurrent high school credit. Eligible public, private, and home-schooled students may participate in the CCP program, and are offered three pathway options to choose from. Students interested in the program must contact their high school counselors, be approved by either the counselor or principal, and indicate the pathway and program of study they wish to pursue. The NC General Assembly pays for all tuition charges, although student fees and textbook costs may be paid in a variety of ways, including student self-pay. The table below summarizes the three pathways:

CCP

Pathway

Description

Initial

Requirements

Continuing

Eligibility

College

Transfer

Tuition-free course credits toward an Associate in Arts, Science, Engineering, Nursing, AFA Visual Arts, and a four-year degree. Must complete at least 30 hours.

High school junior or senior standing

3.0 GPA (weighted)

Demonstrate college readiness in English and math

OR meet provisional status. See CCP Pathways

Continue progress toward high school graduation.

Maintain 2.0 GPA after two courses

After two courses, students must adhere to the college’s policy for satisfactory academic progress.

Career and Technical Education

Workforce Continuing Education

OR Career and Technical Education Pathway. Tuition free course credits toward an entry-level job credential

OR certificate or diploma aligned within a career cluster.

High school junior or senior standing

3.0 GPA

Received career pathway completion requirement information

OR Be an eligible freshman or sophomore. See CCP Pathways

Continue progress toward high school graduation.

Maintain 2.0 GPA after two courses

After two courses, students must adhere to the college’s policy for satisfactory academic progress.

Cooperative Innovative High School Program

Located on college campuses. Students complete a high school diploma and an associate degree or up to two years of college credit within five years.

Students grades 9-12 with access to an approved CIHS. Eligibility requirements are established jointly by local boards of trustees in accordance with G.S. 115C-238.50.

Special preference given to first-generation college students.

Eligibility for remaining in CIHSP is established jointly by the local boards of education and local boards of trustees.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is working towards broadening access and successful participation in advanced courses. Based on recent legislation, NCDPI has established the NC Advanced Placement Partnership with the College Board to support this work and particularly work with low-performing school districts. Beginning in 2014-15, this legislation further provides funding for all test fees for AP and IB course exams to all public and charter school students. NCDPI also continues to increase access to AP courses through the NC Virtual Public School.

Career and Technical Education

North Carolina has adopted the National Career Clusters Framework. The state offers qualified high school students who maintain a “B” average to begin their two- and four- year college work, tuition free through the CTE program. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction administers the ACT WorkKeys to all 12th graders who have achieved a CTE concentration (four technical credits in a cluster, including one completer course).

Cooperative Education

Cooperative education is offered to students 16 and older whereby technical classroom instruction is combined with directly related paid employment. The paid experience must complement instruction and be completed in the same year in which the course is offered.

Competency-Based Credit

Credit by Demonstrated Mastery (CDM) allows a student to receive high school credit without course enrollment by way of a two-phase assessment process. Phase one consists of a standard examination: either the associated EOC or a final exam developed locally. Phase two is “an artifact which requires the student to apply knowledge and skills relevant to the content standard.” CDM is open to all students, but it is neither designed for whole groups of students, nor is it intended to replace general accelerated pathway options.

Early College High Schools

University of North Carolina System institutions may enter into contracts with local school districts to establish an early college high school. Students attend high school full time but earn credit toward high school diplomas and college degrees. Early college and university officials agree on readiness measures that, when mastered, will allow early college students to take university-level courses.

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Oklahoma
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Eligible high school juniors and seniors may earn college credit by enrolling in college early. Students earn credit toward high school diplomas by completing college-level courses. Students may enroll in up to 19 combined high school and college credits per semester and must meet minimum requirements including ACT composite score, high school GPA and/or high school class rank. Students must have a signed statement from either a counselor or principal confirming the student is on track to graduate by spring of their senior year, in addition to a parental signed release form. Students may continue to enroll in college-level courses if they maintain a 2.0 GPA. Postsecondary institutions must provide tuition waivers to high school seniors for up to six credit hours per semester. The following table shows the concurrent enrollment standards for students attending accredited high schools beginning fall 2017:

University

Type

ACT Score

Pre-ACT Score

(Grade 10)

SAT

PSAT (Grade 10)

GPA and

Class Rank

Research Universities

24

24

1160* or 1090**

1160* or 1090**

3.0 (unweighted) and Top 33.3 percent

Regional Universities

20

20

1020* or 940**

1020* or 940**

3.0 (unweighted) and top 50 percent

Community Colleges

19

19

980* or 900**

980* or 900**

3.0 (unweighted)

* This score is valid on SATs and PSATs administered on or after March 5,     2016. This score is based on College Board’s Concordance Table that was published on May 9, 2016. It is subject to change.
**This score is valid on SATs administered before March 5, 2016.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

Advanced Placement courses are college-level courses offered to high school students as an opportunity to earn college credit through examinations administered by the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board. AP potential can be determined through student’s performance on the PSAT/NMSQT or 10 grade ACT PLAN tests. The Oklahoma Department of Education provides grants to reduce AP test fees for low-income students. High school students in grades 11 and 12 may also enroll in international baccalaureate courses.

Career and Technical Education

The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education has organized its secondary Skills Standards into 15 Career Clusters around the 16 Career clusters.  Oklahoma is in the process of revising its study programs through a Rigorous Program of Study grant.  The state encourages credit transfer linkages between technology centers and postsecondary institutions, known as the Cooperative Assistance Program, and maintains statewide articulation agreements in 15 of the 16 Career Clusters.

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South Carolina
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Juniors and seniors in high school who have nearly mastered the complete high school curriculum are eligible to enroll in college-level courses. Principals must recommend dual enrollment students before they become eligible for dual credit opportunities. To enroll in courses at four-year institutions and two-year regional campuses of the University of South Carolina System, students must have GPAs of 3.0 or higher. To enroll in courses at technical colleges, students must meet the requirements set by the specific institution. District school boards may establish policies allowing students to take college courses. These policies may allow for cooperative agreements with one or more postsecondary institutions. The tuition and fees may be funded by local school districts or be the responsibility of the student.

Dual Credit may be awarded at the discretion of the district boards of trustees. Policies may allow courses that are applicable to baccalaureate or associate degrees to be offered by a postsecondary institution through cooperative agreements. Three-semester-hour college courses transfer as one unit of credit in such cases, and tuition costs and other fees are the responsibility of the student unless otherwise specified in the local district policy.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The South Carolina Department of Education funds and coordinates training courses for aspiring Advanced Placement (AP) teachers. South Carolina state law and South Carolina Commission on Higher Education policy direct each public institution to award credit in appropriate courses for scores of three or higher on Advanced Placement examinations.

South Carolina also offers three International Baccalaureate Programs to high school students: The IB Middle Years Program (to the age of 16), and the IB Diploma Programme and IB Career-related Programme (for students age 16-19).

South Carolina has existing policies regarding credit acceptance for postsecondary institutions. In most cases, students scoring a 3 or better on AP exams and a 4 or better on IB exams should receive college-level credit in the comparable postsecondary courses.

Career and Technical Education

South Carolina has adopted the National Career Clusters Framework, and offers over 300 courses across the 16 Clusters. CTE courses may be included in dual enrollment agreements.

Early College High Schools

South Carolina currently has three early college high schools located throughout the state. The schools are part of the national Early College High School Initiative, launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation in 2002.

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Tennessee
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

Tennessee high school students may earn college-level credit by receiving satisfactory scores on College-Level Exam Program (CLEP) assessments. Postsecondary institutions determine whether and to what extent CLEP exams will count toward college credit.

Career and Technical Education

High school students may choose a career concentration in one of 16 career clusters to fulfill the three-credit “elective focus” graduation requirement. The state has revised CTE course standards and programs of study. Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, CTE concentrators will be defined as students completing three or more courses within a CTE program of study.

The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) partnered with high schools and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT) to institute the TCAT Dual Enrollment Program. The program links CTE programs with TCAT instruction, creating more opportunities for high school students to earn postsecondary credit while in high school, better aligning TCAT curriculum with instruction, and identifying options for transitioning the programs fully to postsecondary. The programs of study currently include Diesel technology, Cosmetology/Barbering, and Mechatronics.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Dual enrollment opportunities allow high school students to earn postsecondary credit by enrolling in and successfully completing a postsecondary course either on the college or high school campus or virtually. The state, through the Dual Enrollment Grant Program, provides financial assistance to cover tuition costs for the courses. The grant pays the full cost of tuition and fees for a student’s first two dual enrollment courses at a community college ($500 per course). Additional, partial coverage is available and depends on institutions and total number of courses taken.

Local Dual Credit

There are two types of dual credit opportunities in Tennessee. A local dual credit course is a high school course (taught at the high school by high school faculty) that is aligned to a postsecondary course. Students can receive postsecondary credit by successfully completing the course and passing an assessment developed and/or recognized by the credit-granting postsecondary institution.

Statewide Dual Credit

The statewide dual credit courses are high school courses with accompanying challenge exams created by Tennessee secondary and postsecondary faculty work groups. The work groups reviewed existing high school course standards and the aligned postsecondary course to determine the additional learning objectives that students need to know to show mastery of the postsecondary material. Students who meet or exceed established exam cut scores earn postsecondary credit. Statewide dual credit courses must be approved by the Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education before they can be offered as part of the state’s current pilot program.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

House Bill 705, passed in 2013, provides that the state shall be responsible for all AP testing fees, regardless of the student’s score attained on the exam. This is to enhance the accessibility of AP courses for all students and to encourage those interested in career and technical training to pursue completion of rigorous course work. The bill also established the Tennessee Advance Placement Partnership (TAPP), a relationship between the state board of education and a national nonprofit education organization that provides consulting and assistance focused on growing the AP program in the state. 

The International Baccalaureate diploma Programme provides high schools students the opportunity to receive postsecondary credit while still in high school through course completion exams.

Early College High Schools

The early college high school model is designed to allow students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an associate degree or two years of credit toward a bachelor’s degree. Tennessee has two early college high schools in Memphis that are part of the national Early College High School Initiative. There are similar schools in Nashville, Knoxville, and Johnson City, with several other districts looking to build these types of programs.

Early High School Graduation

The Move on When Ready program, created with the passing of House Bill 837 in 2011, allows eligible public-school students in grade 11 or 12 to complete an early high school graduation program. Students receive unconditional entry into a public two-year institution or conditional entry into a public four-year institution. In order to qualify for the Move on When Ready early diploma, students must fulfill each of the following:

  • Earn 18 specified core credits
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2
  • Cored at the On-Track or Mastered level on each EOC taken
  • Meet benchmark score of 21 or higher on the ACT (or SAT equivalent)
  • Achieve a passing score on a nationally recognized foreign language proficiency assessment
  • Complete two early postsecondary courses

Participating postsecondary institutions receive state funds, in the lesser amount of either tuition and fees or the state per pupil expenditure through the BEP, less a $200 records fee.

Early College Admission

Twelfth graders with a 3.2 GPA and minimum 22 ACT can pursue early admission. The freshman coursework taken at the participating college or university substitutes for courses that the student would have needed to graduate from high school.

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Texas
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

The Texas Education Code §28.023 allows high school students to receive course credit through the successful completion of Credit-by-Examination assessments which are approved by each local board of trustees. Each local board is required to approve at least four CBEs to include AP and CLEP exams which may be locally developed or purchased.

Career and Technical Education

Texas’ new CTE standards will become effective beginning with the 2017-2018 school year following recent adoption of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards. CTE standards are aligned with the 16 National Career Clusters.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The Texas Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Incentive Program (AP/IB) provides testing fee subsidies to students with demonstrated financial need. The Texas Education Agency provides $30 for each AP and IB exam taken, while the U.S. Department of Education contributes an additional $16 and $65 for AP and IB exams respectively. College Board AP/IB courses may be substituted for required courses or qualify as electives.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

Texas Education Code §28.009 requires school districts to implement dual credit programs that allow students to earn the equivalent of 12 semester credit hours of college credit through dual enrollment (credit in both high school and college) or other mechanisms (e.g., AP, IB, advanced technical credit courses, and articulated credit). High schools and postsecondary institutions enter into articulation agreements which govern, among other things, credit transfer agreements and college placement test requirements.

To be eligible, high school students must meet certain minimum requirements. Typically, students may enroll in college courses after the sophomore year of high school. Any student enrolling in a dual credit course must meet a minimum score on one of various standardized tests, including the Act and SAT. Other requirements vary depending on whether the student is enrolling in academic or workforce education courses, and on the postsecondary institution in which the student is enrolling. Students who have scored high enough on certain standardized tests, including the ACT and SAT, are not required to take the state-mandated assessment to qualify for concurrent or dual enrollment. Students may take college-level courses related to the parts of the qualifying assessment(s) that they have passed. The state requires students and their families to pay for dual credit courses, unless the college waives or reduces tuition or the high school pays all or part of the cost.

Concurrent enrollment allows students to enroll in a postsecondary institution while completing high school. Students do not receive high school credit for college courses taken in this instance.

Early College High Schools

Students attending early college high schools (ECHS) may complete their high school diploma through the Recommended High School Program or the Distinguished Achievement Program and up to 60 college credits. In some cases, high school graduates receive a diploma and an associate degree. School districts are required to pay any related tuition, fees and textbook costs beyond those waived by the IHE.

Early High School Graduation

House Bill 3 (2009) created the Early Readiness High School Graduation Option pilot program. Districts partner with research universities to create an alternative route to a high school diploma. Eligible students attend a high school in a district with a partnership agreement and meet proficiency requirements on AP, IB, College Level Examination Program (CLEP), SAT, and ACT tests.

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Virginia
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Career and Technical Education

Virginia has adopted the National Career Clusters Model. The state provides CTE courses in 16 career clusters, and has approved more than 350 credentialing examinations. Beginning with the graduating class of 2017, students are required to earn a Board-approved career and technical education credential to graduate with a Standard Diploma. Students can meet this requirement through successful completion of an industry certification, a state licensure examination, a national occupational competency assessment, or the Virginia Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth Assessment.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

The Virginia Plan for Dual Enrollment Between Virginia Public Schools and Community Colleges gives high school students the opportunity to earn dual high school and postsecondary credit. Students may take regularly scheduled community college courses, or may take courses scheduled for dual enrollees either on community college or high school campuses. Some four-year institutions allow high school students to enroll in classes. Dual enrollment coursework is restricted to students in grades 11 and 12, although exceptions may be made for students in grades 9 and 10 who can demonstrate readiness to pursue college-level work. Students must obtain approval from high school administrators and meet institutional admission and placement testing requirements.

The state encourages districts and community colleges to provide access to a wide range of dual credit options at no cost by funding the student’s attendance both at the high school and at the postsecondary institution. All dual enrollment courses may be counted toward the 15 college credits required for a student to become an Early College Scholar. Certain dual enrollment courses may also qualify as part of the Commonwealth College Course Collaborative. This collaborative, involving all Virginia two- and four-year colleges and universities except for the Virginia Military Institute, provides a set of academic courses that fully transfer as core requirements and degree credits.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

The Virginia State Board of Education requires districts to provide at least three Advanced Placement (AP) courses to high school students. The board approves various AP and IB “substitute tests” and minimum score requirements needed to receive verified credits usually acquired by passing Standard of Learning EOCs. Some AP/IB exams count as two verified credits. Virginia receives the Test Fee Program grant from the United States Department of Education that reduces testing costs for low-income students taking AP and IB exams.

Early College Admission

The Early College Scholarsprogram encourages 11th- and 12th-graders to earn at least 15 transferrable college credits. To qualify for the program, students must be Advanced Studies diploma candidates, have at least a B average, and have the approval of their parents/guardians, high school principals and counselors. Early college Scholars are supported by Virtual Virginia, which provides state-wide access to college-level courses, and the Commonwealth of College Course Collaborative, which defines the subjects that can be completed for college credit.

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West Virginia
Accelerated Learning Options in High School

Competency-Based Credit

West Virginia offers county boards the opportunity to develop tests which would award course credit to students through the satisfactory completion of proficiency assessments, and without requiring seat-time in those courses.

Career and Technical Education

West Virginia has adopted the National Career Clusters Model. The state provides CTE courses aligned with 16 career clusters and consists of four courses identified for West Virginia Department of Education approved career and technical programs of study. Students may take an Advanced Career (AC) course in place of a course as listed in the applicable program of study.

The West Virginia EDGE (Earn a Degree, Graduate Early) program is an early enrollment option specifically designed to enable high school students and adult learners to earn college credit in career/technical courses toward the completion of a technical associate degree.

Dual Enrollment and Dual Credit

In West Virginia, dual enrollment courses are offered voluntarily at a high school by two- and four- year institutions which are encouraged to work collaboratively with high schools to increase educational opportunities for potential future college students. Students dually enrolled earn both high school and postsecondary credit. Tuition coverage varies from county to county; in those where the student is responsible, classes are offered at a reduced cost.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and West Virginia Council for Community and Technical College Education require a common process for awarding college credit for Advanced Placement (AP) tests. Students receive credit toward the major or core curriculum for each exam score of 3 or higher. System institutions may choose to require higher proficiency if the exams relate to a course requirement within a student’s academic major.

Early College High Schools

West Virginia is not participating in the Early College High School Initiative.

Early College Admission

Early Enrollment allows public two- and four-year institutions to offer high school students college courses. Students enrolled in these courses receive postsecondary credit. High schools determine whether high school credit is offered for these courses. Students must be in grades 11 or twelve, have written approval, and meet entrance requirements set by the postsecondary institutions.