Dual enrollment is a better alternative to AP classes Dual enrollment is a better alternative to AP classes
BY JULIA WENGIER It’s a slow Monday morning for CCHS. After sitting through three ninety-minute periods, likely core classes like math or history, all... Dual enrollment is a better alternative to AP classes

BY JULIA WENGIER

It’s a slow Monday morning for CCHS. After sitting through three ninety-minute periods, likely core classes like math or history, all anyone wants to do is go home. Luckily, thanks to enrollment at Broward College, many students can leave. The clock reads 12:53 as they drive home, laughing at all the kids heading to classes like AP Biology.

This is the life of a typical high school student dual enrolled at CCHS and Broward College. With a maximum of three BC classes (replacing one CCHS class for juniors and two for seniors), these college courses have the same, if not more, benefits of AP classes. Students taking multiple AP classes who aren’t involved in dual enrollment have a heavier workload, and don’t have the luxury of leaving school before one o’clock.

AP courses, or Advanced Placement courses, are designed to be college-level classes available to dedicated students in order to receive a higher weighted GPA (an A in every AP course is worth a 6.0), along with college credits. It is a rigorous program that a majority of students should try to take part in; however, juniors and seniors should never overbook a schedule with AP classes when there is a chance to dual enroll.

With dual enrollment, there is the same GPA boost that AP classes offer, along with the college credits and more rigorous material. It differs, however, in that the workload is much lighter. Taking excessive amounts of college-level classes in high school as AP classes is just overall stressful for both the students and the teachers.

The teachers, whose paycheck is based off of their students’ performance on the AP exam, are doing everything they can to ensure that their students pass the exam. This means a lot of work, and a lot of studying for the students.

College professors aren’t paid based on their students’ test scores, and the classes are typical classes for college students (as opposed to AP classes, where they are regarded as a much higher level than other classes). As a result, dual enrollment isn’t as high maintenance as high school AP classes. Dual enrollment also opens the door to unique classes not offered at CCHS. Some examples are American Sign Language I, Business Calculus, Music Appreciation, Introduction to Anthropology, and Introduction to the Study of Religion. Senior Bailey Kraus was enrolled in Developmental Psychology for the first semester.

“[Without dual enrollment,] I’d be stuck taking an AP class that I don’t have an interest in,” Kraus said. “I also found it helpful to gain some independence in terms of learning so I can now be prepared for college.”

The schedule of dual-enrolled students is much more manageable, as well. Those enrolled at BC can leave school after third period either every day (those enrolled in two classes at BC) or every other day (those enrolled in one class at BC). Students with A lunch leave at 12:53, and students with B lunch leave at 12:15. An hour and a half to two hours before everyone else is dismissed, these individuals have what feels like more hours to their day.

Students can use this time to take a quick nap, get a head start on homework, go to lunch, etc. Most BC classes meet just once a week for a few hours (with the exception of online classes), so in reality, it’s a waste of time not to dual enroll. Students taking excessive numbers of AP courses instead of BC courses have less time to do more work. Senior Molly Baumel was enrolled in two classes at BC for the first semester: College Algebra and English.

“Dual enrollment has affected my time management by enabling me to get more out of my day and get things done on a quicker time basis,” Baumel said. “It also gives me time for myself and allows me to relax.”

Advanced Placement classes are a big step towards college life, as is being enrolled at a college when you’re still in high school. APs are important, but the opportunity to dual enroll is one that should not be wasted. Expanding your horizons is necessary. Time management is the key to success. Working smarter, and not harder, will bring many benefits to both your social and academic life, and the clear way to achieve this is partaking in dual enrollment.

Photo courtesy of Broward College