Many CFHS paths exist to earn college credit

Cedar Falls High School offers several opportunities for college credit, both at the high school and at the University of Northern Iowa. Guidance Counselor Josh Carnelley said he believes there are several benefits to taking college credit classes in high school. College preparedness, saving money and more opportunities and freedom in college are all good reasons to take these classes, he said.

One of the paths to college credit is through a variety of Advanced Placement classes for many different subjects. These classes are accompanied by an official AP exam in early May. The exam is scored on a scale of 5, with 3 and above being a passing grade.

Most public universities and private colleges will accept a passing exam score as credit for the AP classes, but some schools and individual majors do not. Make sure to research the requirements of potential schools to get the most out of high school courses. AP classes include AP psychology, AP history, AP Great Books II, AP composition and rhetoric II, AP biology, AP chemistry and AP calculus. Any junior or senior who has completed the prerequisites may take these classes, although AP psych is reserved for seniors due to the popularity of the class. Senior Anna Hubbard, who takes AP psych, said, “I like the challenge that it brings, and I like the opportunity to get college credit.”

Cedar Falls High School also offers dual credit classes in a partnership with Hawkeye Community College. Taught at the high school, these classes offer credit from HCC.

These dual credit classes are introduction to computers, introduction to business, business law, composition, fundamentals of oral communication, introduction to literature, child growth and development, introduction to MIG (industrial technology), intro to CNC programming I, statistics, mathematics for liberal arts and college physics I & II.

Senior Ayoko Condon takes the Hawkeye engineering class and enjoys the college level content of the class.  “I took engineering because I didn’t have the experience, and it’s good to explore before college.” She added that she could explore the field without wasting money.

Last but not least, the high school also provides the opportunity to take classes at the University of Northern Iowa. Students may take non-core classes that count as electives or advanced classes in the core curriculum, as long as they have passed out of all levels offered at high school.

Students must also provide their own transportation and pay for parking at UNI. Usually at least two class high school periods must be blocked out of the student’s schedule to compensate for the difference in class lengths, starting times, commuting to and from the high school, and the alternate schedule on late start Mondays.  However, the high school pays for the classes as  long as the student passes, and one can borrow most course books out of the Rod Library.

Senior Kathryn Wright takes a criminology class at UNI as an elective every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  She said she enjoys the opportunity it offers. “It’’s a good experience to take a free class and get the credit out of the way so you can go on to new things in college”, Wright said.

For students interested in taking dual credit or dual enrollment classes next semester or next year, contact Carnelley in the counseling office.

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