Both Dual Credit and AP courses help students earn college credit


Landen Munns

An informal survey shows students beginning to prefer dual credit over AP classes to earn college credit.

Jordyn Reynolds, Sports Editor

The dual credit program that allows high school students to earn college credit was introduced to Silverado’s campus last year. The first course offerings, which are through UNLV, were English 101/102 with teacher Regina Roybal and Sociology 101/Women’s Studies 103 with teacher Stefany Oldfield, and the program has continued to grow.

While they can both result in earning college credit, dual credit is not the same as AP. Dual credit is officially a college semester course, offered during a high school semester through a cooperating college, taught by a high school teacher who has had to apply to be a college instructor. AP courses are generally a year-long class taught by high school teachers. To receive both semesters of credit in dual credit, you must keep a grade of C or better. Also, a single exam does not determine whether you get college credit; the semester course grade does.

AP stands for “Advanced Placement.” In order to receive college credit for AP, you need to take and pass the AP exam in May with a 3 or higher out of a 5-point scale. While many schools do take a 3 score to earn college credit, some schools require a higher score. In the case of certain elite colleges, even a 5 might not be accepted, but it is expected that applicants do take advanced courses such as AP and do well on the exams in order to be a competitive candidate for admission.

Neither AP nor dual credit are guaranteed to be accepted by all colleges.  Students do need to research the college they plan to attend to see what is accepted for credit. Roybal explains that one reason Silverado offers dual credit through UNLV instead of CSN is because it is more likely to transfer to out-of-state colleges. Because UNLV is a Tier 1 university, its credits are accepted most places.

In a recent survey conducted by the Star staff, 26 out of 29 respondents who have taken both options prefer dual credit over AP.

“I prefer Dual Credit over AP because as a senior this year, it helps to have the freedom of a college course,” said senior Ryan Zuraff. “It works with my schedule better, and I like learning from lectures and from life instead of an exam I will only take for a couple of hours.”

The current classes offered at SHS for AP are World History, Human Geography, US Government, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English Language, English Literature and Composition,  US History, Computer Science, Statistics, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Japanese Language and Culture, Spanish Language and Culture, and Music Theory.

The current classes offered for Dual Credit are Sociology 101/Women’s Studies 113, English 101/102, US History 101/102, Math 120/124, and Political Science 101. Next year, however, Silverado hopes to offer additional UNLV dual credit courses as well as vocational courses from CSN.