AP and dual enrollment attendance skyrockets


Photo by: Taylor Stokes These are AP and US History study tools and are used to help make students successful on the AP test.

Taylor Stokes, Managing Editor

The world is progressively getting more and more competitive in academic fields. Students are expected to be in the top of their class and and have ridiculously high GPAs whilst still maintaining their social lives and extracurriculars.

There has been a spike in student enrollment in AP and Dual Enrollment classes this year. Now is it because of pressure to get ahead? Or students drive to challenge themselves?

Debbie Harmonson, OHS counselor, believes students are moving up in classes due to it being logical in the long run, not because of a drive to be competitive.

“I think the option of having college credit before they get into college is nice. The idea of getting done sooner from college is appealing to students,”  Harmonson said.

On the other hand, Nicole Duquette, assistant principal, thinks students are applying themselves because they have someone who has inspired them to want to compete academically on a global scale.

“We created the department of advanced academics. We got training and [teachers] advertised and promoted these opportunities to their students,” Duquette said. “It helps when students are made aware.”

That being said, students appear to be split on the matter. Some agree their purpose behind taking these classes is to challenge themselves and make themselves competitive, while others agree with it being logical to take AP and Dual Enrollment classes from a money standpoint.

Taryn Lee, sophomore, said “I take those classes to be competitive to an extent. I know it’s something colleges look for when looking at applications.”

On the other hand, students, especially upperclassmen, take AP and Dual classes for how logical it is.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d get credit for college in AP so I thought it would be smart to take Dual.” said Chloe Fleck, senior.

Tiffany Ellis, an OHS AP US History teacher and former Dual Enrollment teacher, sees both sides of the reasoning behind AP and Dual classes.

“I believe the majority of students are taking Dual classes because they know they will be attending an Arizona state college and want to get a head start on college credits. Others are taking Dual because it provides an additional challenge when compared to the general curriculum without the huge acceleration and rigor of AP,” Ellis said.

However, there is an added advantage of taking a more difficult course load this year with the addition of the Certificate of Advanced Academics to diplomas. Students now have the opportunity to showcase their commitment to their academics and their community.

“Ideally, take one college course. Every student is capable. It’s all about support and sometimes getting the student to believe in themselves is the goal,” Duquette said.

The Certificate of Advanced Academics will be awarded for the first time this year to seniors who apply. The criteria can be printed off online.

The reasoning behind why students take these advanced courses typically depend on the case but it’s clear that OHS students are taking strides in the direction of college preparedness and success in more difficult classes.