College-level classes deserve GPA boost across the board

Kathryn Broderius, Editorialist

One of the best opportunities for students of all grades at West is taking college level courses while still in high school.

This opportunity allows students to get a head start on some of the introductory courses while saving incredible amounts of money. Not only are introductory courses available through Advanced Placement (AP), the connection with Greeley’s local colleges, such as Aims and UNC, allow for career specific courses to be available as well.

Not only do AP classes boost higher education at the college level, they also boost your GPA. All AP classes offered at West are weighted on a 5.0 scale rather than the normal 4.0 scale used for general classes.

While GPA is not the end all be all in high school, it is an influence for scholarships, college admission and overall class rank.

However, classes taught at the college and not at the physical high school building below the 200-course level are not weighted. At the college, 100-course level classes are generally entry level classes, such as the ones offered through AP.

An AP class is taught for a whole school year, and then only after you pass the test taken in May is college credit awarded. While a yearlong AP class style in high school allows for a more comprehensive slower paced class, it is only equivalent to a one semester class taught at the college.

Even though advantages come from taking AP courses, certain classes are either not offered or able to be scheduled for a normal high school student. This is when many students look to the college to take the class there directly instead.

Taking the course as concurrent enrollment enables the student to get direct college credit while still earning the high school credit without the hassle of waiting to take the AP test and finding out two months later if you passed.

Career Academy programs are also able to be completed along the same guidelines, where high school students go on the college campus to earn college credits through a specific set of classes, real world clinical experiences and all the right requirements to test for an industry/introductory certificate, such as a CNA in the medical field. Students also are allowed to walk at the college graduation after completion. Yet these classes only offered at the college level are not a weighted grade.

No extra exceptions are made just because the student is in high school because they take on the responsibility of a normal college student. This also includes interacting and being surrounded by older peers in the class who are at the official college level themselves.

More pressure placed on the student could even be considered at the concurrent enrollment level because if a student gets lower than a C, they aren’t just out the cost of $90 if the they fail the AP test, they are out the entire cost of college tuition for the class which is a greater sum by several hundred dollars.

In all fairness, equally weighted grades across the board for any college level course should be implemented.