Taking college-level coursework while still in high school is an important opportunity for high-achieving high school students who are ready for an extra challenge in high school. The benefits of college-level coursework include enhanced preparation for college and, in some cases, reduced college tuition costs, because students are able to accumulate college credit free of charge while still in high school. Many colleges and universities award college credit for such coursework.
At first glance, it might seem like enrolling in community college credit coursework and APTM coursework are two different means to the same end. In some cases this is true, but in other cases there are subtle differences that are important for students, teachers, parents, and school counselors to know.
Q. Isn’t college credit the same whether I earn credit through a community college course, or through an APTM course?
A. Many times students earn college credit from a community college course, if they have earned at least a C- in the course. Once students graduate from high school and transfer their community college coursework to a post-secondary institution the way the credits transfer is not uniform. Each post-secondary institution has a community college credit transition guide. Students should consult the transition guide to see how their community college credit will be applied to graduation requirements at their post-secondary institution. In some cases coursework may be transferred in as general education credit, in others the credit may count toward a liberal arts core requirement. Very rarely does the credit transfer in to replace a specific course (unless of course the student is attending the institution granting the concurrent credit in the first place!)
Q. How do I get college credit for an APTM course?
A. Post-secondary institutions have policies for accepting APTM test scores to replace required credits for first-year required courses. Many times, in order to earn college credit from an APTM course, students must score at least 3 on the APTM exam(some schools have more restrictive requirements). Students transferring in APTM scores of 3 will find that these scores are applied in much the same way that community college credits are applied to required coursework (general education or liberal arts core credit). However, an important difference between community college credit and APTM scores is that in some core areas students earning a score of 4 or 5 on an APTM exam can use the score to replace a particular course, instead of being transferred into the institution as general education or liberal arts core credit.
Q. Isn’t there a lot of pressure to perform well on the APTM test, in order to earn credit at my post-secondary institution?
A. If your post-secondary institution awards credit for APTM courses, students earn credit based on the exam they take at the end of the course. To enroll in APTM coursework The College Board strongly recommends that students have completed all prerequisite courses, but any student regardless of an exam score can enroll in the course (and thus be exposed to the rigorous curriculum). Regardless of the APTM exam score at the end of course, the student has been exposed to the expectations and workload of a college course. Students enrolling in community college courses, with transferable credit must earn a qualifying score (or have a qualifying ACT score) to enroll in the course. Students who do not earn a qualifying score are not eligible to enroll in the course. Once students have earned a qualifying score for the community college course they will earn some type of college credit, as long as they maintain the minimum grade requirements for the course.
Check out Iowa Online APTM Academy’s APTM coursework table here:
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Check out the APTM Student post about the role of APTM coursework and getting in to college: