Sulphur Springs High School has decided to terminate the Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) class for students classified as juniors starting next year. The decision to cancel the class was in part due to nationwide results of passing rates in APUSH classes and also SSHS’s partnership with Paris Junior College.
“As it is known, here at SSHS we have several options at a lot of different levels for different classes and one of them is our cooperative effort with Paris Junior College,” Principal Josh Williams said. “In balancing the interest between not only the cost considered but also the likelihood of earning college credit, we felt like we had a greater likelihood of students at SSHS earning college credit through the Dual-Credit arrangement through PJC as opposed to AP in this case.”
In past years, many students were enrolling in Dual-Credit US History as opposed to AP US History, which consisted of only one classroom of students this year. Students preferred Dual-Credit due to its security in obtaining a college credit which required only passing both semesters, whereas APUSH required passing an Exam where failure meant that no college credit was earned.
“With AP, your whole credit depends on you passing an exam at the end of the year, and the state of Texas average for high school kids passing that test is incredibly low,” AP US History teacher Mike Rave said. “You could typically go through the whole AP class and not get your college credit. With Dual-Credit, however, you can go ahead and take the class, pay for the class, and get both high school and college credit. So it was feasible for students to go ahead and not gamble on their college credit at the end of the year and go ahead and go through the Dual-Credit.”
The primary difference between the college credit obtained from either class is in whether or not certain colleges will accept an AP exam grade high enough to count for college credit. The AP exam is graded on a 1-5 scale, with 3 being the lowest required grade to pass. Some colleges, however, require a 4 or even a 5 for the college credit to count. This means that some students, who have passed the exam, may not even get the credit because their desired college says they did not pass well enough for it to count. Whereas in Dual-Credit, just by passing the class on a regular passing average of 70-100, the college credit is obtained, despite whatever grade the student had when finishing the class. Because of this, even though AP classes require only paying for the exam instead of semester tuition, many students are enrolling in Dual-Credit classes in order to easily obtain their college credit.