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.