BHS encourages AP and ACCEL

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014

By Taylor Bush

It is always stressful when the time comes for Bainbridge High School seniors to begin applying to colleges for their future education.
Fortunately, BHS has supplied its students with many academic options to help grow their transcripts. Two very important  opportunities offered to students at BHS are advanced placement and ACCEL courses.
Advanced Placement, or AP, courses at Bainbridge High School are designed to be college-level  classes that supply students with rigorous work. AP classes demand organized study habits and hard work. The classes prepare students for the AP exams that are held at the end of each year. These exams are scored on a scale of one-five, five being the highest score. If a student makes a score of three or higher, most colleges will accept the AP class as a completed college credit, which will excuse the student from taking the course later in their education.
Bainbridge High School began offering AP classes in 2005 after six years of not having them. Now, 11 AP courses are offered to students in a range of academics. Teachers of advanced placement must receive AP certification by completing a summer training institute. Also, a syllabus of the course must be approved by a college board.
Taking AP classes will benefit students in many ways. By taking at least five advanced placement courses throughout high school, a student will become an AP Bearcat of Distinction. These students will have their name displayed in the Hall of Honors at BHS and will wear white tassels on graduation day.
Students who take at least three advanced placement courses will be recognized as AP Scholars. AP Scholars receive a black pullover jacket monogrammed with their accomplishment.
Another academic option offered to students at BHS are the ACCEL classes. These are academic college classes held at Bainbridge State College that are funded by the Georgia HOPE Scholarship.
Students who apply for ACCEL classes must have a certain score on the SAT that meet Bainbridge State College requirements. In order for ACCEL classes to be counted as a college credit, students must make a passing grade in the class. By being allowed to take anywhere from one class to a full load, ACCEL classes are helpful for any students hoping to get ahead on their college credits.
Many students have questioned whether colleges prefer AP or ACCEL courses on the transcripts of their applicants. The administration of BHS has investigated the matter in order to offer the best possible advice to its students.
It has been concluded that most colleges and universities would rather a student have more advanced placement courses throughout high school. Although the ACCEL classes show a student’s ability to manage a college schedule, AP classes show the student’s willingness to take hard classes and their dedication to serious study habits. Selective universities have told BHS administration that the first thing admission counselors look for on transcripts is the number of AP courses students have taken.
Also, it has been explained that if everything on two transcripts submitted to an admission counselor are identical, the counselor will compare the number of AP courses on each transcript.
However, for students who wish to graduate high school with a number of college credits, ACCEL classes may be the better option.  It is riskier for these students to take AP classes due to the rigor of the AP exams. It is not guaranteed that these students will earn a college credit for their course at the end of the year.
Both the AP and ACCEL courses offer benefits to the students of Bainbridge High School.
BHS principal Tommie Howell said, “It is an individual choice of what personally works for you,” when comparing the two academic pathways. It is possible for students to take AP and ACCEL courses at the same time as well.
Bainbridge High School students are fortunate to have a school that offers different academic opportunities. BHS administration strongly encourages students to take advantage of AP and ACCEL courses to help grow their education and experience.

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