An unprecedented jump in students wishing to benefit from dual credit and advanced placement courses was seen at Prosper ISD.
As reported by Seth Rutledge, Prosper ISD’s director of advanced academics, AP courses saw an enrollment surge of 123% between the 2018-2019 and 2023-2024 academic years, according to Community Impact.
Meanwhile, the dual credit courses run by the district in partnership with Collin College saw a 140% increase in student participation since the 2019-2020 term.
Students earn transcript credit for both high school and college after successfully completing such courses.
“Our students are seeking out those opportunities, and our teachers are getting them in and keeping them in,” Rutledge said, per Community Impact. “Not only are we getting more kids in, they’re getting more opportunities for college credit.”
The promising figures come amid alarming reports of a lack of college readiness among high school seniors nationwide.
As recently reported by The Dallas Express, ACT college admissions test administrators announced the lowest average composite scores seen since 1991. Out of the over 1.4 million test takers this year, only 20.8% met benchmarks for success in college-level classes in all subjects, while 43.3% met none of the benchmarks.
Still, at Prosper ISD, enrollment in AP courses exploded between 2019-2020 and 2022-2023, jumping from 892 enrollees to 1,986. Similarly, between 2019-20 and 2023-2024, dual credit courses taught by Collin College professors on the Celina campus went from 439 enrollees to over 1,000.
The district also now offers a broader selection of 32 AP courses, as well as 19 dual credit courses. Fees are associated with these advanced courses, but Collin College has been giving high school seniors the opportunity to take two dual credit courses over the summer at no cost.
“It’s been a great program,” Rutledge said, according to Community Impact. “As long as they have [the funds], they will continue to offer it to our students.”
Prosper ISD has been performing relatively well when it comes to student achievement outcomes. According to the latest Texas Education Agency accountability reports, some 66% of students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams during the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, the district logged an on-time graduation rate of 99.4%.
For comparison, only 41% of Dallas ISD students scored at grade level on their STAAR exams that school year and nearly 20% of its graduating Class of 2022 failed to earn a diploma in four years despite the hard work of the school system’s dedicated educators.