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Running Start students, college classes but not AP

mem986mem986 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
Does anyone have a sense of how Running Start classes, (college classes at the local community college) are perceived. My son is chasing this path to learn more repertoire for music.
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Replies to: Running Start students, college classes but not AP

  • allyphoeallyphoe 2525 replies61 threads Senior Member
    My kid's high school considers them to be equivalent to honors classes, intermediate between on-level and AP.

    Music is its own thing, where rigor is assessed differently. If the classes he's taking are music performance, I'd expect it to be considered the same as any other fine arts elective.
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  • bopperbopper 14304 replies101 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    In general


    AP vs DE
    • AP tests are well known nationally and are uniform across the nation
    • You can look on any college’s website and see what credit you will get for what scores on the AP tests
    • AP Courses are given at your High School
    • AP courses generally are more spread out...e.g., AP Calc AB = Calc 1 is given over a year, not a semester.

    DE
    • There are more of a variety of DE courses available at a CC
    • DE courses will count for your college GPA…make sure to do well.
    • Private and Out of State Colleges may or may not give you credit. They may not give credit for courses taken to fulfill HS requirements. You do not know what credit you can get ahead of time.
    • Public In-state schools will give you credit for DE courses. You may be able to get up to 2 years of credits.
    • DE classes may be taken at the local Community College…how will transportation work?

    So it depends on:
    1) What level of college is he interested in
    2) What classes are available at the HS vs the CC
    3) Is he thinking private vs public college

    In your case, if he is taking music classes that are not available at his HS, then go for it...unless they are taking the place of math/science/english/history/foriegn language.
    He should have those academic classes no matter what to expand his choices when he goes to college.

    If he is taking them to get college credit, then if he is going to target his State Publics then this is a good idea.

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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2814 replies64 threads Senior Member
    @bopper, you summed that up beautifully. I find myself trying to explain the difference quite a bit, but don't do it nearly as neatly.
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  • Johnny523Johnny523 220 replies10 threads Junior Member
    One big difference is you have to do well on the AP test to get the college credit. Our HS has been cutting back on AP classes and increasing the DE classes (many of them are at the HS with the HS teachers) because they have a very poor pass rate on a lot of the APs. The problem is they encourage kids to take APs who probably shouldn't because the stupid rankings use the number of AP tests taken, not passed. So they've increased the DE offerings to ensure that the kids get the college credit. It's much easier to get a C in a class than to get a 3 or 4 on an AP test. I know this doesn't apply to the students/parents on CC but it's an important thing to consider :smile:
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 904 replies7 threads Member
    My daughter did two years of only dual enrollment in high school. Before making that decision we talked to tons of admissions at all levels of college public in state, public out of state and private - at all levels of school from easy to get in up to top schools. My daughter was not even thinking of taking say really high level math classes but more so the ability to take more electives in her area of interest knowing that she could take 1 semester classes vs full year classes etc. She was much more interested in business related classes than taking more AP classes in subjects she had no real interest in.

    I can tell you that in all the schools she or I talked to not a single school said it would look bad (providing no classes like basket weaving) and most said it showed independence and ability to handle college type of classes etc.

    One thing I will say that I found different is that GPA does not follow you into a 4 year school unless perhaps you continue at the in state public school. My daughter had a great gpa so that wasn't a concern but she started from scratch at her private school she is now attending. That is good or bad - since she has taken most of the general ed before starting she didn't have as many easy general ed to give her the easier grades. That said she was more than prepared and her gpa is still great. All the non in state public schools she applied to had the same gpa policy. However when applying to grad school you still have to show official transcripts from all colleges including classes taken during high school and it can factor into that as well.

    If you decide to do two years of de (not sure what grade your son is currently in) we were told to focus on mapping out a schedule to show semesters and number of classes

    1 fill in with all classes still needed for high school diploma
    2 fill in with any classes still needed for college admissions which can go past diploma
    3 fill in remainder with electives of choice

    If your goal is credit and you have an idea of where he may want to attend you can call admissions even as a high school parent and get an idea (not a guarantee) of what they might accept and how they look at it. I would not go into thinking every class will count since even if you get credit for every class sometimes they are free elective credits that you have no need to ever have. Sometimes the school may require their version of a class even if you have a matching class. Sometimes when you think you can graduate early you may find that their is a sequence of classes needed in the major that make that difficult.

    Also look at the music classes offered by the college to see if they offer classes wanted.

    Also consider is your son ready to give up things like daily lunch with friends. Our high school allows de students to participate in all high school programs outside of classes so if the schedule works a student can do after school clubs or even come to school for lunch. Little things like the high school provides chromebooks for student use which my daughter still got. She also had to go in a few times for certain things like college info talks early senior year (was given a list of AP ELA times to pick from)

    Also find out how your high school counts dual enrollment classes which is different for each school. Our high school does not allow most students to take classes that the college considers developmental (needed to complete for no credit to get to college level) and all classes count as AP towards the high school gpa. One difference for our high school has A+ grades but the college only has up to A.
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  • StarskiStarski 18 replies0 threads Junior Member

    bopper wrote: »
    In general


    AP vs DE
    • AP tests are well known nationally and are uniform across the nation
    • You can look on any college’s website and see what credit you will get for what scores on the AP tests
    • AP Courses are given at your High School
    • AP courses generally are more spread out...e.g., AP Calc AB = Calc 1 is given over a year, not a semester.

    DE
    • There are more of a variety of DE courses available at a CC
    • DE courses will count for your college GPA…make sure to do well.
    • Private and Out of State Colleges may or may not give you credit. They may not give credit for courses taken to fulfill HS requirements. You do not know what credit you can get ahead of time.
    • Public In-state schools will give you credit for DE courses. You may be able to get up to 2 years of credits.
    • DE classes may be taken at the local Community College…how will transportation work?

    This is a great summary. I worked for a few years doing credit evaluations for a private college. I agree with a previous poster who shared that Dual Enrollment GPA doesn't always carry over - that depends on the school. If you continue at the DE school, then it probably will. If not, I would say that it might not. My school did not carry over grades from DE classes taken elsewhere, so they had no effect on GPA. DE classes taken with us did count towards GPA and appeared on student transcripts just like all of the subsequent courses they took with us.

    I would also add that because AP tests are known and uniform, students typically do not need to provide any documentation other than exam scores. For DE classes, if the course is unknown to the institution that you want to transfer credit to, students may be asked to provide copies of the course syllabus or catalog description of the class, or examples of work done in the class, so that the receiving school can see what specifically was covered by that class. So definitely hold on to that type of info.

    Each school will have their own policy on what is needed for credit. The school I worked for gave AP credit for exam scores of 4 or 5. Some exams were worth 3 credits, others (Calc BC, languages, etc) were worth up to 8 credits. For DE, we accepted in transfer, any course with a grade of C or higher and we granted the number of credits the course was worth to the sending institution (I.e. we gave 3 credits for a 3-credit class, 4 credits for a 4-credit class, etc..)
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 80199 replies720 threads Senior Member
    Re: grades carrying over

    Usually, college courses transferred to another college do not affect GPA at the next college. However, all college courses and grades will be considered for transfer admission or graduate or professional school admission.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12816 replies29 threads Senior Member
    "It's much easier to get a C in a class than to get a 3 or 4 on an AP test."

    And this is why a lot of colleges don't give credit for DE classes taught in HS by HS teachers. It's hard to call a class that passes students who wouldn't be able to meet the level needed to get credit on an AP exam a college-level class.
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  • bopperbopper 14304 replies101 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Just make sure you don't think that CC classes are better than AP or HS classes in all cases...I was doing an alumni interview for someone who wanted to major in nursing and our Uni is academically rigorous. She (and her parents) thought that taking CC Psych and Sociology really "looked good for colleges" as it was college level ...but she didn't take AP Bio like all her peers for nursing were so she was not admitted.

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  • ECmotherx2ECmotherx2 2259 replies9 threads Senior Member
    Med. schools, for the most part, calculate college courses taken during HS in your college GPA.
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  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1903 replies31 threads Senior Member
    bopper wrote: »
    Just make sure you don't think that CC classes are better than AP or HS classes in all cases...

    Yes, it’s very course/teacher dependent.

    Our HS has a course that’s both. They teach the AP Physics C curriculum but it’s also a dual enrollment course for University of Pittsburgh’s freshman engineering physics course. My D took the DE option and she needed to take three additional exams - same ones Pitt’s students took. She also had to take the Pitt final, but the teacher just decided to use it as the final for everyone.

    She got an A- in the course which was accepted at Purdue Engineering, where they require a C- or better for transfer credit from recognized universities. For the AP exam, they only accept a 5. So it’s much easier to get DE than AP credit, but it’s the exact same course.

    But her school also offers Dual Enrollment Algebra 2, Dance, and Animation with the local CC, which I suspect isn’t quite so transfer-valuable, so all DE coursework is not the same.
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  • bopperbopper 14304 replies101 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    @richinPitt I didn't even mean AP Physics C vs Physics 101...
    I mean any random CC course vs. Academic AP needed to prepare you for your major
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  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom 1725 replies10 threads Senior Member
    In most every case, a class taken as dual enrollment will count as transfer credit and will not be calculated in a student’s GPA. Unless of course the student enrolls at that college. It may help with class standing, possibly allowing for sophomore standing. This could provide a registration or even housing benefit at some colleges.
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  • ultimomultimom 228 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Just to reiterate one of @bopper ’s points, DE credit is not universally accepted by colleges. Out of state colleges may not take CC from your state. Many private colleges, including my son’s university, do not give credit for dual credit classes while they do accept AP scores for credit.
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  • momtogirls2momtogirls2 904 replies7 threads Member
    I found that many private schools did accept dual enrollment credits and some that did not did not give tons of AP credit either though those tended to be the very select schools. However if credit is important it is best to call admissions and get information before applying because you really need to look at schools individually.

    Even though my daughter started out technically as a junior she still lived in freshman housing and had to take a freshman seminar type class However once it came to register for 2nd semester classes she registered with the juniors. Same thing for housing. I think she really appreciated those benefits even if she wasn't graduating early.

    One drawback though of too much dual enrollment credits (and perhaps the same as AP/IB credits) is if a student wants to do the the college honors program it may be typically designed for a 4 year program so depending on the school may be harder to do in less time or when you already have credit for some of the required courses.
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  • MusakParentMusakParent 1061 replies9 threads Senior Member
    edited February 18
    My kid had no AP but 30+ dual enrollment credits and had stats to apply anywhere and did great during the admissions process. He got generous merit offers, etc. He was also a kid focused on music. He is a dual degree music/cs student now at a top 15 public he got half tuition for.

    If you're talking about credits counting towards a degree you need to analyze by school. If he's looking at music programs, those programs are often very structured unless you're doing a BA and it's hard to graduate early. It has been easier for my kid to do dual degree though. He is even considering adding a 3rd major (sigh).
    edited February 18
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