Earning College Credit During High School
Students at Cascade High School and Western Dubuque High School have the opportunity to earn college credit during their high school years through several options.
Senior Year Plus Option
Western Dubuque Community School District offers two types of post-secondary enrollment courses; the first type must be taken off campus. Students may enroll in these courses at other sites, such as Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) or Kirkwood. To enroll in such a class, students may need to adjust their schedule to accommodate the college’s schedule. This option is open to eleventh and twelfth grade students or to ninth or tenth grade students identified as “talented and gifted.” Students may not enroll in courses that are comparable to high school offerings. Students are limited to part-time enrollment, and they may be required to earn a certain score on the Accuplacer or Compass test or be required to complete a high school pre-requisite prior to enrolling in the college course.
The Western Dubuque Community School District reimburses the post-secondary institution up to $250 for every student enrolled in each post-secondary enrollment options course. This amount is used to pay for tuition, textbooks, and other course fees. Western Dubuque Community School District can, in turn, receive supplemental weight for each student enrolled. Students must notify their counselor of their intent to enroll in a post-secondary enrollment course prior to the start of the term in which the course will be taken. They may enroll in up to 23 credits per year at NICC, Kirkwood, or any other approved post-secondary school through the PSEO Act. Students can earn dual credit (both high school and college credit) for these courses if approved. Students may not drop or fail these courses without reimbursing the school district all of the costs of the particular course.
Advanced Placement (AP®)
Advanced Placement (AP®) courses are rigorous college prep courses offered by high schools. The courses, curriculum requirements, and optional tests are provided by The College Board. Based on the examination score and the postsecondary institution's policies, students may be eligible for college credit.
The concurrent enrollment program promotes rigorous academic or career and technical pursuits by providing opportunities for high school students to enroll part-time in eligible nonsectarian courses at or through community colleges. Per Senior Year Plus, concurrent enrollment courses are offered through contractual agreements between community colleges and school districts within their service area.
This option allows students to earn college credit through courses taught at Cascade High School or Western Dubuque High School by WDCSD staff members meeting the qualifications set by the post-secondary institution. Students in these courses can earn dual credit (both high school and college credit) upon successful completion of the course. Western Dubuque School District reimburses the post-secondary institution approximately $75 per course. All current courses that are contracted in the curriculum guide will be identified as such with the title of “Concurrent Enrollment” following the course title.
Articulated courses are courses from Western Dubuque Community Schools that have aligned their curriculum with courses from a post-secondary institution such as NICC or Kirkwood. Although no college credit is given, if the course has been articulated they would then be able to attend the cooperating post-secondary school after high school is completed and waive that course and continue on with the desired program upon successful completion of at least one term. Each post-secondary institution handles articulated courses a little differently, so you should contact the institution of your choice with more questions. This provides a financial savings for the student when they attend the cooperating institution after high school. WDCSD is continuously working to articulate with other institutions such as NICC and Kirkwood. All current courses that are articulated in the curriculum guide will be identified as such with the title of “articulated” following the course title.
Who Can Take College Credit Courses?
Students who have met the requirements of both the school district and the post-secondary institution can take college credit courses. For the college, students must meet any placement test score requirements and any pre-requisite course requirements. At the school district level, students must be proficient in the areas of Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Concepts and Problem Solving and Analysis of Science Materials. Iowa Assessment, MAP and ACT scores will be used to determine proficiency. If a student is NOT proficient in one or more areas, alternative assessments may be used.
Why Take College Credit Courses?
To prepare for college! If the credits transfer and fulfill a college requirement it is an added bonus, however, this should not be the SOLE PURPOSE for taking a college credit course. It will be the student’s responsibility to contact colleges to see if the credits transfer and whether they transfer as an elective or a required course in college.
Permanent College Transcripts
If a student is to withdraw, drop, or fail a college credit course it will be reflected on their permanent college transcript. A students’ final grade will also be recorded on both their permanent high school and college transcript. These grades will follow students to college after high school and cannot be changed.