New dual credit offerings set for 2021-2022 school year

photo or infographic by Carlie Rutledge
NEW SELECTIONS. New course selections are being offered to students just in time for them to pick classes for next year.

by Katherine Lee, VOW features editor

As sophomores and juniors work with their counselors to plan their courses for the next few years, students become overwhelmed with the number of choices they have for each of their major core classes. They should take the advantage of the Dual Credit (DC) courses that are offered at the high school, in order to gain both high school and college credits. Sophomores and juniors will be choosing their courses for the 2021-2022 school year over the next week. 

“When students meet with their counselor to discuss course selection for next year they can request any of the new courses,” Associate Principal Ali Parker said. “Some courses have prerequisites and counselors can let students know that information as well.  DC/AP courses are also dependent on having certified WHS staff and enough students requesting to take the course.”

There are many benefits that students can gain from joining AP and DC courses, with DC providing an easier route. Advanced Placement classes require a test to be passed at the end of the year in order to receive the college credit, while a DC class only requires the student to pass the class. 

“The benefits of DC classes are that they give students experience in the rigor and expectations of freshman-level college courses as well as giving students college credits without relying on a single comprehensive exam,” AP Physics teacher Thomas Story said. “More DC classes will allow students opportunities to get a leg up in college by providing them a head start on their courses, students gain insight in college-level expectations, and they will give students opportunities to focus on courses they are interested in taking rather than just what is available.”

By providing more options for students to choose as a DC class, students can cater to the needs of specific classes students may need for their future degrees. 

“Dual Credit is a great option for students who want to save time and money by taking college courses in high school,” DC Anatomy and Physiology and DC Biology teacher Heather Lebow said. “By expanding the program, we can meet the diverse needs of our student body.”

Before choosing which classes to take, students should make sure they are not taking on too many classes. Dual credit and AP classes are either freshman or sophomore level college courses which makes them more difficult and have more expectations from high school students. 

“I would take into account your class schedule to make sure you can handle the workload beforehand,” Story said. “These are college courses that have very strict due dates along with a workload that is significantly more rigorous than regular high school courses.”

“For a course to be accepted, the teacher needs to have a minimum amount of Masters-level courses in the topic,” Story said. “It has to be offered at a local university, and the course also has to align with the TEKS.”

Current DC course teachers were able to propose classes they would like to have offered on campus in future years. These courses were approved in February.

“Biotechnology uses biological organisms or processes to develop products that help society,” Lebow said. “Biotechnology is also involved in vaccine development which is an important issue right now.”