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Do colleges view local college courses the same as APs?

newyorkmom2girlnewyorkmom2girl 82 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited September 11 in College Admissions
In the 4th year of foreign language students can choose to take the class for college credit through a partnership with a local SUNY. (AP class would be the 5th year of language, senior year of HS.) How do colleges tend to view credit from this type of program? My daughter is a junior and hasn't begun to put a serious college list together so she doesn't have prospective colleges to ask about receiving potential credit. I'm wondering if colleges typically offer credit for college classes taken at high school that are not APs.

And, in another subject area (not foreign language) if given the choice between an AP class and another college-level class in the same subject, is the AP considered more rigorous? Thank you.
edited September 11
18 replies
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Replies to: Do colleges view local college courses the same as APs?

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77793 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Depends on the specific course. Some college courses cover the same level of material as AP courses, while some cover more advanced material, and some cover less advanced material.

    College courses taught at the college to mostly college students can give a sample of how college is different from high school.

    College courses will create a college transcript that needs to be included in the future if the student applies to transfer or for graduate or profey school.
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  • racereerracereer 138 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    It sounds like you are talking dual enrollment classes. If the class is truly dual enrolled she will be earning college credit from SUNY while also getting HS credit. That college credit can be transferable to other colleges but it will depend on the school. In general public colleges seem to be more accepting of transfer credits than private but that is not a hard fast rule. You would need to confirm she is getting true college credits for the class.

    I am not sure how colleges will rate the rigor of this specific foriegn language class as it sounds like it is still a prerequisite to the AP FL class so they might consider like an honors FL class but it would be the most rigorous 4th year FL language she could take.

    I general if the dual enrolled classes and AP class cover the same level subject matter the rigor would be looked at similar. There are also plenty of dual enrolled class that would be considered above AP especially in math subjects.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In general, AP foreign lang and taking a college lang course are both considered rigorous. For other subject areas, it matters what the topic or course is. Taking some basketweaving class or other random elective at college won't be impressive just because it's at the college.

    You do want to focus on this rigor in core subjects before electives. (Foreign lang is a core.) Make sure you also look at the posible target colleges' recommended high school coursework, on their web pages.

    For the most part, AP classes, taught by hs teachers, aren't really the same as college. But the cores are considered rigorous- or rigorous enough.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It always comes down to the individual college who is looking at your student’s application. In the vast majority of colleges, the 3000+ colleges out there, it’s not going to mean a whit of difference. Where these things start to matter is when you are looking at the selective schools that may scrutinize the transcripts.

    Again, a lot of time, it doesn’t make much difference. Where AP courses have a strong advantage is that there is consistency and history with them. Most selective schools specifically address how their various departments and majors treat AP test scores. It makes it very easy when a student has taken most of the core AP courses offered at a given high school. The high school profile includes the percentage or number of students taking those courses, and the outcomes in the AP exams.

    Such thorough usable info is not available when a kid goes off and takes a course at this or that community college. Dual enrollment programs would have information but not as consistent across the board with national students—with many different programs.

    AP just makes it easy. You want to make it easy for college AOs who have to go through thousands of applications and make very quick assessments.

    For a single language course , highly unlikely it makes any difference. For any singular course, the same. Kids often have scheduling issues and take a local college course because they are shut out of an AP course at school.

    But if a kid is taking a bunch of Cote courses at ABC community college as opposed to the slate of AP courses offered at his high school that has a solid history of AP achievement, it can raise questions that an AO might just not feel like researching. You are judged among your peers and environment so it becomes an issue when you go off a beaten track to something not clearly better, more challenging and for no reason.

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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 37 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Definitely depends on the colleges you are looking at. My D is currently taking French 5 (HS course) as FRE222Y through SUNY and has already completed French 4 as FRE221Y through SUNY and French 3 as FRE122 at a CC. She is looking at highly selective schools and none of them give any credit for the dual enrollment classes. I asked specifically about credit for the 100-level class or one of the 200-level ones since she was taking 2 different 200-level classes (a 100 final average in the 2 she has completed) and they still said no. They give credit for AP exams, providing the student gets the score the college deems acceptable. Our HS doesn’t offer AP foreign languages but if they did, I would certainly have gone that route since it has cost us about $600 and she ends up with nothing to show for it. If she was going to attend a state school, it would be a different story but we didn’t have a college list when we had to make the decision to pay for the college classes.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38927 replies6879 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Our HS doesn’t offer AP foreign languages but if they did, I would certainly have gone that route since it has cost us about $600 and she ends up with nothing to show for it.
    Not quite nothing. "Highly selective schools" are also likely to have a foreign language requirement for graduation, so the SUNY courses would likely exempt her from the requirement (although the college may have it's own placement exam). Additionally, although it seems that it more challenging this year to find a test center when the school does not offer the course, she sould still look to take the AP exam anyway, although that's obviously another ~$100 in expense.
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  • helpingmom40helpingmom40 37 replies2 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @skieurope, true it’s not quite “nothing” but she could have taken the classes with just the high school course number without paying the DE fees and gotten the same grades so she likely would still be able pass whatever placement exam is given. We just would have an extra few hundred bucks in our pocket. We have looked into taking the test at another school but it is problematic on two fronts: those we can reasonably get to won’t allow a non-student in the building when classes are in session and her school has an attendance policy for kids wishing to attend the senior prom and they are unwilling to grant her an exemption to be out for an afternoon for a “non-school sanctioned event”. Daughter is not willing to miss out on that...
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  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1664 replies25 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 12
    A parent I knew of four children all about the same age (triplets and a single) became very well versed in a lot of things. They live very near an excellent community college. His advice to my children was to skip the A.P. and take the class(es) at the college. That way you have earned credit and don't have to depend on an A.P. score. One of his kids enjoyed taking classes online. She took so many during her summers in high school I think she started college as a second semester sophomore.

    My son stuck to A.P. because he wanted to just take the classes offered at his high school with his friends.
    edited September 12
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It can depend on a lot of things as to what is preferable. In our case, it would have been a major logistical , transportation, timing issue to take courses at our excellent community college. Not to mention the expense and pain to get credit for the courses. AP was easy— part of the routine for both the high schools and colleges involved.

    But if a high school has a dual enrollment program established with a local college, it could be just as easy, though scheduling can always be tricky. The college calendar and schedules are rarely in synch with high school kids’ lives unless those courses are totally integrated into the high school curriculum.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Not all DE arrangements cost.

    There's a difference between taking courses for the rigor and, yes, adcoms, vs for credit in college. As ever, first you need to get into a college, before the college credit opportunity.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77793 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Definitely depends on the colleges you are looking at. My D is currently taking French 5 (HS course) as FRE222Y through SUNY and has already completed French 4 as FRE221Y through SUNY and French 3 as FRE122 at a CC. She is looking at highly selective schools and none of them give any credit for the dual enrollment classes.

    However, completion of those French courses should allow her to be placed at a more advanced level in French courses at whatever college she matriculates to, which could be helpful if French will be useful for her major (e.g. anything to do with the French speaking world, or math if she wants to go on to PhD study) or the college has a foreign language requirement that can be skipped or reduced if she has a high enough placement in foreign language.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3990 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    since this thread is not location-specfic, I'll add that taking my kid lucked out that his CA HS offered all levels of his foreign language as dual-enrollment. It not only allowed him to get college credit for his 3 years of labor, but also satisfied his International breadth/GE requirement at UC-Berkeley - something that would not have been possible with taking regular HS classes or with an AP class. (the UC-Berkeley Letters and Sciences school does not allow AP classes to fulfill GE/breadth requirements).
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3990 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And, in another subject area (not foreign language) if given the choice between an AP class and another college-level class in the same subject, is the AP considered more rigorous? Thank you.

    When my kid was in 11-12th grade, I did take a side-by-side comparison with syllabi between a couple of classes (AP Stats, AP Psychology) and what the local CC offered (in one semester), and both approximately covered the same material. AP Stats may have covered a bit more, but not by much. The academic level of classmates though would have been much much higher for the AP classes, so for a discussion-based class like Psychology, that would make a difference. So as such, the classes that my kid took at the CC level were more along the lines of classes not offered in HS - numerous computer programming and OS/hardware classes, a computer Data Structures class, and quite a few classes that covered his GE/breadths for college (luckily he would up going to a UC) and MV Calculus.

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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 77793 replies678 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 12
    since this thread is not location-specfic, I'll add that taking my kid lucked out that his CA HS offered all levels of his foreign language as dual-enrollment. It not only allowed him to get college credit for his 3 years of labor, but also satisfied his International breadth/GE requirement at UC-Berkeley - something that would not have been possible with taking regular HS classes or with an AP class. (the UC-Berkeley Letters and Sciences school does not allow AP classes to fulfill GE/breadth requirements).

    Looks like UCB L&S used to allow semester 3 or higher in foreign language to satisfy the international studies breadth requirement, but has recently changed it to minimum of semester 5 in foreign language, based on what the current search at https://classes.berkeley.edu/search/class/?f[0]=sm_breadth_reqirement:International Studies&f[1]=im_field_term_name:851 shows. (Other courses that do not involve learning a foreign language can also be used to fulfill this requirement.)
    edited September 12
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A course like AP psychology is often offered as a year long course. College Intro Psych is a semester. The same with foreign language, High school vs College.
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  • newyorkmom2girlnewyorkmom2girl 82 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member

    Thanks for the interesting comments!

    In our case the class is offered during the school day in high school, for college credit (potentially). I'm just wondering if it's worth paying for it since it's not an AP class. She already has several pretty good test scores from AP tests that may be accepted at colleges so I'm leading towards not paying for this other college class.
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  • skieuropeskieurope 38927 replies6879 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Thanks for the interesting comments!

    In our case the class is offered during the school day in high school, for college credit (potentially). I'm just wondering if it's worth paying for it since it's not an AP class. She already has several pretty good test scores from AP tests that may be accepted at colleges so I'm leading towards not paying for this other college class.

    Are we still talkin
    Thanks for the interesting comments!

    In our case the class is offered during the school day in high school, for college credit (potentially). I'm just wondering if it's worth paying for it since it's not an AP class. She already has several pretty good test scores from AP tests that may be accepted at colleges so I'm leading towards not paying for this other college class.

    Are we still talking about the foreign language class? If there is a non-DE option to the class, then it's fine to take that.
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  • newyorkmom2girlnewyorkmom2girl 82 replies13 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @skieurope the only foreign language option this year is the college level course. We have the option to pay an additional fee so that she gets credit for the course, partnered through a SUNY school. We decided not to pay for it. In the end she will have plenty of AP credits that will potentially transfer to her college of choice.
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