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Spartan Spotlight: Increasing credit opportunities for our students

Written by Trish Sheridan, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Somerset School District

Taking college-level classes in high school can introduce students to new academic passions and to the excitement of exploring interesting subjects in depth. It can also help our students to learn the time-management skills, study skills and discipline needed in college as well as improve chances of getting into a preferred institution.

The School District of Somerset developed an action plan as part of the 2011-2016 Strategic Plan to increase opportunities for our students to earn college credit by taking courses on our own campus. These opportunities would include articulation agreements with WITC, partnerships with higher ed. institutions, and advanced placement (AP) courses. In 2012, we were able to offer nine options for students that would potentially help them earn college credit.

Our students recently selected classes for the 2016-17 school year. It is exciting to report that they had 21 courses to choose from that present this opportunity. Those courses included:

  • Advanced Placement - Biology, Literature and Composition, Language and Composition, Art, Psychology, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, and Statistics

  • College in the Schools (University of Minnesota) - United States History and Calculus

  • Transcripted Credit - Microsoft Office, Web Design, Entrepreneurship, Accounting, Foundations of Early Childhood, and Early Childhood Education

  • Advanced Standing - Building and Construction and Wood Products Manufacturing

  • Project Lead the Way - Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Digital Electronics

  • WITC - Welding Academy, students earn the first two of four possible welding certificates.

Earning college credit in high school can definitely help in college admission. But students should think carefully about what—and how many—college credit options they choose. Please talk to one of our school counselors, principal, or teachers to find out which options for earning college credit may work for your child.