Students get head start on college

Local high school students can take newly offered classes in European history, marketing and introduction to engineering, while also earning college credits.

More students are taking classes in high school for college credit, leading local schools to add even more classes. This year, Center Grove, Clark-Pleasant and Greenwood schools are offering a total of 16 new classes for college credit.

By taking Advanced Placement, dual-credit or early college classes, students can earn college credit before graduating from high school. Some students are able to shave off an entire year of college or could earn an associate degree in addition to their high school diploma.

Schools have continued building their programs in recent years, adding classes each school year; and more students continue to enroll.

At Whiteland Community High School, 80 more students than last year are taking a class that could earn them college credit, according to director of curriculum and instruction Cameron Rains.

About 62 percent of the senior class is enrolled in college-level courses this year, compared with about 43 percent in last year’s senior class.

Clark-Pleasant’s goal is to have every student earn nine college credits by the time they graduate, Rains said.

About a quarter of all students at Center Grove High School and Greenwood Community High School are taking AP, dual-credit or early college courses, school officials said.

In the past five years, Center Grove has gone from giving an average of 825 AP tests every spring to 864 last year, assistant principal Sandy Hillman said.

The growth in interest has led to an increase in classes offered.

AP European History is coming back to Center Grove after a 15-year absence and has 19 students in the class, Hillman said. Center Grove also added a Chemistry 101 dual-credit course through Indiana University, which future nursing majors can take to get one of their key classes out of the way before heading to college, Hillman said.

AP Statistics already has 48 students signed up at Greenwood.

Students want to take those classes to knock off a year of college before graduating high school or to free up their college schedule by getting general education classes out of the way, guidance director Bill Ronk said. With just a few classes earned in high school, a student could take 15 credits during their first few semesters, instead of 18 credits so they won’t be overwhelmed with homework, Ronk said.

Not every student signs up for a college-level course to earn credit for college, Hillman said. Center Grove students may choose to take an AP class just to get prepared for the rigor expected in college, she said.

Center Grove also made taking AP and dual-credit classes an option to receive an academic honors diploma, Hillman said. If students want to get an academic honors diploma, they have to get at least a 1,200 score on the SAT exam, take two AP classes or an AP class and a dual-credit course, she said.

Clark-Pleasant changed the grading scale so that all AP and dual-credit courses earn extra points toward a student’s GPA. The new grading scale was created to encourage more students to take college-level classes.

By the numbers

School districts in Johnson County are adding more options for students to take college-level courses before graduating high school. Here is a look at those programs:

Center Grove

60+: AP, dual-credit or early college classes

3: classes added this year

900: students taking AP, dual-credit or early college

36 percent of the student body


32: AP and dual-credit classes offered

8: classes added this year

298: seniors taking AP or dual-credit classes

62 percent of all seniors


14: AP and dual-credit classes offered

6: classes added this year

237: students taking AP or dual credit classes

24 percent percent of the student body