Early College Courses

Students have the opportunity to take classes which count toward college credit while still enrolled in high school. There are four types of courses which provide these opportunities: transition, articulated/advanced standing credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and dual credit. Below is a description of each opportunity, for more information, please visit your high school counselor.

All of these opportunities are provided to help you accomplish several outcomes: (1) Stand out in college admissions (2) earn college credit (3) skip introductory college-level classes (4) build college skills, and in some cases, (5) prepare you to earn a certification.

Early College Courses are weighted for GPA purposes and are calculated on a 5.0 scale. Many colleges and universities have reported to the school district that they "unweight" GPAs for admissions and scholarship purposes. However some colleges and universities do not unweight GPAs, and most private scholarship grantees do not unweight GPAs. Please discuss admission processes with admissions offices of colleges and universities you are investigating for more information.

Advanced Placement Courses

Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college level classes approved by the AP College Board to be taught in high school. Students who enroll in AP courses are expected to take the Advanced Placement Exams that are administered through the high school and scored by the AP College Board. Performance on the AP Exam will determine if a student is eligible for the awarding of college credits. Illinois public universities recognize 3 or higher on the AP exam for college credit. Other colleges/universities have their own policy on advanced placement and the issuing of credit. If a student does not pass the test it does not show up on a college transcript.

Participation in an AP course:

  • Prepares students for college success: including improved GPAs, more credit hours earned, increased likelihood of remaining in college after freshman year, and increased likelihood of graduating in 4 years.

  • Involves more homework, since class time is more focused on active participation: discussion, labs, debates, etc.

  • May require summer reading or assignments to prepare for starting the course.

  • Students are required to pay $15 per AP exam in testing fees. Financial assistance is available to students with financial need.

  • Make-up exams follow AP College Board regulations including a fee for late testing.

Dual Credit

Students may take approved courses at select postsecondary institutions to receive college credit and credit toward high school graduation at the same time. Students must meet the college/university entrance requirements.

When a dual credit course is offered on a Belvidere campus through a college partnership, students sign up through the regular course selection process in the winter. Tuition, fees, and books are provided by the district. School counselors automatically apply high school credit for the course and communicate grades with the partnering college

When a dual credit course is not offered on a Belvidere campus, students may elect to take a dual credit course on the college campus. A formal application must be completed and approved by the student's school counselor and the building principal each semester a student takes a dual credit class on a college campus to be considered for high school credit. Tuition, fees transportation, and books are the responsibility of the student and their family. A transcript from the college/university must be submitted to the school counselor at least ten days before graduation or within one month of completion of the course, whichever is applicable. District 100 offers two types of dual credit classes:

  • In-house classes: These classes are taught by District 100 teachers in our buildings

  • Online classes: These classes are taken via the computer and are taught and monitored by the schools offering the credit.

A grade received a dual credit course will show on a college transcript.

Articulated Credit

Articulated Credit or Advanced Standing Credit is awarded if you successfully complete a course while in high school AND complete additional coursework at the community college that meets the requirements for the program in which you were enrolled. College credit is awarded for an articulated course when a companion follow-up course is completed successfully at a later date. While college credit is not awarded at the completion of an articulated/advanced standing credit course, you will receive high school credit upon completion of the course.

Proficiency Credit for AP & CLEP Tests

Students can earn proficiency credit for a course they have not taken if they earn a 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement test or a score that meets the credit requirement provided by the American Council on Education (ACE) on a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test.

Students who earn a proficiency credit through an AP or CLEP test will receive credit on their transcript for the course with the grade of P (Pass) and the credit will not impact the student's grade point average.