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.