Benefits of IB, AP or Dual Credit Classes
There are A LOT of talented, driven, intelligent, gifted teenagers in our country. Schools have ambitious young adults who value their education, and want to get a head start on college. Academic rigor is critical for motivated students, and they can achieve this through Dual Credit, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate classes. Even though each one has their own unique characteristics, they can all greatly benefit high school students.
Schools offering the International Baccalaureate program must be authorized and become an IB World School. There are four different IB programs: Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma and Career-Related. They focus on encouraging “… both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development.”
The College Board is a not-for-profit organization that helps high school students prepare for college in multiple ways, but is most well known for the Scholastic Aptitude Test and Advanced Placement program. Students ARE NOT required to take the AP class before taking the test. However, it’s impossible to receive college credit without taking the AP test, even with the corresponding class.
Dual Credit classes are actual college classes where you recieve BOTH high school and college credit. Students must first meet minimum criteria to prove academically capable of taking a college-level course. Counselors at both locations then coordinate schedules, grades and credit.
Students benefit in many different ways when taking college-level classes. They learn time management and studying skills, are exposed to new skills and ideas, find their passion, develop a growth mindset, and practice taking “high stakes” exams.
Time Management: College-level classes have more rigor, move at a much faster pace, and expect students to function independently. A digital calendar or physical planner is ESSENTIAL. My personal favorite is Passion Planner, which also has an academic style. You can read more about my love of the Passion Planner in my post “Get Organized! Use Passion Planner for your Teaching and Personal Schedule”.
New Skills and Ideas: Higher-order thinking and analysis are REQUIRED in college-level courses. These classes and professors will widen your horizons and challenge your pre-conceived notions.
Efficient Studying Methods: Gifted students often get through middle and high school without actually having to study, or they just cram last minute. But in college, EVERYONE has to study, because the pace is fast and the content is rigorous. Studying efficiently, rather than multi-tasking watching Netflix, texting friends and checking Social Media, becomes a necessity.
Growth Mindset: I call this being a Lifetime Learner. I tell my daughters that I have forgotten more than they have learned. And I continue to learn in my job, from my children, through life experiences, and in hindsight. There is a big wide world out there, and more experiences than we can cram in a lifetime.
Ignite Educational Passions: I highly recommend that teenagers take college-level classes in subjects they might major in one day; courses that they already show an interest in and an aptitude for.
Take “High Stakes” Exams: In high school, students can usually recover from a single low exam grade. That’s not nearly as true in college. Mid-terms and Finals cover A LOT of material, and the consequences of doing poorly could mean paying out more money due to loss of scholarships or by having to retake the course. Not doing well on an AP exam might mean no college credit for that class, and that pressure mimics university life.
Sign up Today! Do not shrink back from the challenge of taking college-level classes. If you do, you’ll find yourself regretting this choice in future years. Dual Credit, AP and IB courses offer many benefits that last a lifetime. Go invest in yourself and your future. You’re worth it.