AP classes dwindling?

As this year comes to a timely end, students begin to think about their next year’s schedule. In recent years, it appears that students are leaning away from taking AP courses and instead are signing up for concurrent enrollment courses or classes at their local community college. Here at Orcutt Academy, we are no different. It seems that students are less attracted to the idea of AP courses. One might ask themselves, what is the cause of this sudden trend?


The “AP” in AP Courses stands for Advanced Placement. The benefits of AP courses is that they not only boost your GPA, but also give you the opportunity to earn college credit. At the end of the course, if you score a 3 or above (on the scale 1-5), you could potentially earn college credit and get out of taking certain General Education courses in college. However, the AP test is thought to be quite difficult, and often times even students with an A in the class end up getting only a 1 or 2 on the AP test.


An alternative to AP courses is concurrent enrollment courses or simply enrolling in a course at a local community college (in the case of Orcutt Academy students, Allan Hancock College). A concurrent enrollment course is a course that is offered on campus at a high school, but is a college course through a community college, so you get college credit for the course depending on your overall grade in the class. At Orcutt Academy, there are many concurrent enrollment courses offered such as: History 101, History 102, History 107, History 108, and Early Childhood Studies 100. In addition, next year Business and Economics will be offered as a concurrent enrollment course.


Many students are leaning toward concurrent enrollment courses and away from AP courses because it is often easier to get college credit through concurrent enrollment courses. This is because you automatically receive college credit for a concurrent enrollment course if you pass the class. In an AP course, however, even if you have 100% in the class you are not guaranteed college credit. Students are beginning to realize that AP courses are often more time and effort then they are worth.


Although students are seeming to lean away from AP courses and toward concurrent enrollment courses, it is important to remember that a good AP test score is valuable when applying to colleges. Both AP classes and concurrent enrollment classes look good when applying to colleges, so either path is worth taking.