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Students take advantage of Advanced Placement, dual courses

LISTEN: Students inanAP English classes listen to instructions.

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@chronicle-tribune.com

At the end of January, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education reported that nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of Hoosier high school students are earning college credit through dual credit and Advanced Placement (AP) courses, a 15 percent increase over the last four years.

Schools across Huntington County have pushed to get more students involved in these courses, and it shows. Kate Stuard, communications director for the ICHE, reported that 57 percent of Huntington County students are earning college credit while they’re still in high school.

In comparison, ICHE reported that Howard, Madison, Grant and Blackford counties are at 69 percent, 51 percent, 58 percent and 77 percent, respectively.

This accomplishment has resulted in more students saving money and surpassing peers in college enrollment and success.

For example, the ICHE reported that 93 percent of those who take both AP and dual credit courses in high school will enroll in college, whereas only 44 percent of those who don’t take either in high school will enroll in college.

Additionally, 74 percent of those who took both AP and dual credit courses in high school are successful in college – meaning they didn’t have any required remedial classes, went on to their second year of college and completed all coursework attempted – while only 26 percent of students that didn’t take any AP or dual credit courses were successful in their first year of college.

The ICHE also reported that this rise in AP and dual credit course numbers have resulted in a decrease in the achievement gap for low-income and minority students.

In 2013, the ICHE passed a resolution to close the state’s achievement gap by the year 2025. ICHE reported that “since 2012, dual credit earning rates have increased by double digits for students of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.”

Additionally, ICHE said earning college credit while in high school can save low-income students an average of $18.7 million over the course of their post-secondary education.