More students than ever before are enrolled in AP classes. However, few seem to know about dual enrollment classes, which are alternatives to typical AP courses. These classes allow students to earn credit with colleges that have agreements with FCPS. With dual enrollment classes, students are ensured college credit, while this is not necessarily the case with APs.
“[With dual enrollment English class], students are guaranteed college credit as long as they earn a ‘B’ in the class,” English teacher Deborah Wydra said. “[With] AP Lit, students may or may not pass the test, [and therefore] colleges may or may not give them credit. So this is a guaranteed six units of college credit.”
For years, Chantilly has offered dual enrollment credit with George Mason University for multivariable calculus. Just last year, the school began offering dual enrollment English class for seniors through Northern Virginia Community College.
The Academy also offers a variety of dual enrollment classes, including Network Administration, Teachers for Tomorrow, Geographic Information Systems and many others.
“[Dual enrollment] classes help students to become more of an independent learner,” Academy technology education teacher Susan Chudovan said. “They’re required to step up and and not have the teacher [give] them step-by-step directions.”
Dual enrollment classes provide high school students more time to assimilate into college-level classes.
“I chose [dual enrollment English] because it helps with the college process,” senior Lilly Pishvaian said. “I might not have to take English at all in college, and that would be nice. It’s just an easy and fun class.”
Dual enrollment students get to meet with their teachers more than typical college students. This gives students more time to work on their assignments, as they can easily approach their teachers when they have any questions.
“We meet every other day, so I actually see my students more than a NOVA teacher would,” Wydra said. “So we use that extra time to work on our papers.”
Additionally, dual enrollment classes save students time and money.
“I took [dual enrollment English] because it’s basically taking English 12 or English 12 Honors [while receiving] college credit as well,” senior Gabriel Ott said. “I decided it’s a worthwhile investment to take this class, and it’s free.”