Advanced Academic Opportunities
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Accelerated Courses
- Advanced Placement (AP)
- College in the Schools (CIS)
- Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO)
- Articulated College Credit (ACC)
Should I take the Advanced Academic courses offered at PHS?
Use this self-assessment to decide whether or not you will benefit from taking the courses.
Have I always had success in a certain subject area?
Do I want to be more challenged than I have been in other classes?
Do I want to improve my problem-solving and critical thinking abilities?
Do I want to sharpen my writing skills?
Do I know what to do with constructive criticism?
Have classes in the past moved a little too slowly for me?
Do I want to see if I’m ready for a college course with the support of a teacher and my friends?
Do I know what I might want to study after I graduate?
Do I want to be more likely to win scholarships and save money on college tuition?
Won’t Advanced Academic courses be more work?
These courses will be more challenging than general grade-level courses. But if you feel confident that you are ready, the decision is pretty straight forward. Taking the more challenging course will benefit you as a student (GPA, transcript, resume) and as a person (problem-solving, critical thinking) more than getting an “easy A” in another elective class.
What do I need to be successful in an Advanced Academics course?
Studies show that a student’s self-discipline matters more than I.Q. when it comes to success in harder classes. If you are willing to work hard and ask for help when you need it, you will be successful. Side note: Having more rigorous courses on your high school transcript looks great if you do well. Taking all college classes your senior year and getting all Ds won’t help you reach your goals after high school. Yes, it’s good to challenge yourself, but do so in moderation.
How are Advanced Academic courses graded?
Weighted grades are grades that are assigned for a higher number when calculating grade point average (GPA). Students will earn weighted grades for completing AP and CIS courses at Princeton High School.
I’ve decided to try one or more of the Advanced Academics courses? What do I do next?
Explore our course selection to see which courses are available to students and whether you are eligible. Choose wisely and choose well. Make sure you consider the order that makes the most sense so you will be successful. Our Advanced Placement (AP), College in the Schools (CIS), and Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) programs have similarities and differences. The courses taught on our PHS campus are unique in that they help students learn important transition skills. Students begin to learn college level skills in critical-thinking, writing, research, and time management with the support of a PHS staff member and their peers. PSEO programs offer a greater range of options. It’s important to consider which options will help you meet your post-secondary goals. Talk with your guidance counselor and/or the Advanced Academics coordinator if you have questions
What are accelerated courses?
Our district offers accelerated courses in grades nine and ten to provide an opportunity for academic challenge before students are of age for Advanced Placement (AP) or College in the Schools (CIS) courses. These courses are designed for to prepare students for future AP/CIS courses.These courses are intended to provide motivated and highly-capable students with significant academic rigor, promote high level thinking skills, and encourage inquiry and self-directed learning.
Who can take accelerated courses?
Characteristics of accelerated students include: academic enthusiasm, independent work ethic, high standards of honesty and reliability, willingness to tackle challenging material, strong language skills, ability to think critically, and the ability to handle accelerated pace. Eligibility is determined by a student’s standardized assessment results and classroom performance over past years. Other students will be considered on a file-review basis if requested.
What is Advanced Placement?
Advanced Placement is an internationally recognized program that provides opportunities for students to experience college-level academics while staying on their high school campus. AP courses are nationally accredited, high rigor, college-level courses created and regulated by the National College Board.
Who can take AP courses?
AP courses are for any student who is academically prepared and motivated to take on college-level courses. It is a widely-held belief that AP students are willing to work hard, take learning seriously, and have the skills it takes to be successful in college. There are no specific requirements to participate in these courses, however students are advised to be prepared for a challenge. In general, AP courses are open to students in grades 9-12, but students must follow prerequisite requirements.
Will I get college credits for AP classes?
Students are able to earn college credit for an Advanced Placement course if they earn a 3 or better on the AP Exam given in the spring. There is a fee associated with all AP exams that the district does not cover. Each college and university (not the College Board or the AP Program) makes its own decisions about awarding credit and placement. To receive credit, students must request that the College Board send your official AP score report to the college of your choice, either at the time of testing or afterward through a score report request. If you have questions about the status of your AP credit or placement, contact your college. Visit http://apscore.collegeboard.org/scores to send scores.
What AP courses are offered at Princeton High School?
Explore our Advanced Placement course offerings for the upcoming school year.
What is College in the Schools (CIS)?
The College In Schools (CIS) courses are offered through concurrent enrollment with Anoka Ramsey Community College, St. Cloud State University, Pine Technical & Community College and St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Our CIS program allows students to have a head start in their college education and experience the rigor of college-level courses with PHS teachers and peers.
Who can take CIS courses?
Students may start the CIS registration process by meeting one of the following criteria. In general, classes are for students in grades 11 and 12. Students in grades 9 and 10 can participate if the district and postsecondary agree to enrollment.
St. Cloud State University
Juniors Top 1/3 of class 3.500 or higher 70th percentile or higher
Seniors Top ½ of class 3.000 or higher 50th percentile or higher
Anoka Ramsey Community College
Juniors Top ⅓ of class 2.600 or higher 70th percentile or higher
Seniors Top ½ of class 2.600 or higher 50th percentile or higher.
What CIS classes are offered at Princeton High School? How do I qualify?
Some courses may require a higher admission standard; some courses also have a prerequisite or require a placement test. These can be met through either Accuplacer, MCA, or ACT scores. Explore the Course Catalog to view all CIS courses offered at Princeton High School.
Will I get college credit for CIS courses?
When students successfully complete these courses, they receive credit via an official transcript from the postsecondary institution. CIS students will earn college credit as well as high school credit to apply toward graduation.
What else do I need to know about CIS classes?
There are postsecondary rules about dropping or withdrawing from a class.
Course Drop - To drop without penalty, students must take action within the university’s drop window. This is typically within the first five days of class.
Course Withdrawal - Students may withdraw from a course after the drop date, but will receive a “W” on their college transcript.
Withdrawing beyond the deadline will result in an “F” on your college transcript. NOTE: Withdrawals and failures in college classes may affect the student’s financial aid eligibility in the future.
CIS students must maintain at least a 2.0 college GPA to remain eligible for college classes.
Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows 10th, 11th and 12th grade students to earn college credit while still in high school. Courses are generally offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are now offered online.The State of Minnesota and District 477 pays for tuition and books for PSEO classes. Students need to pay for equipment such as tools, laptops, or calculators. A PSEO student maintains reasonable access to the high school building, computers and/or other technology resources during regular school hours to participate in PSEO courses, whether online or on campus.
What is Articulated College Credit? (ACC)
High school sophomores, juniors and seniors may take high school courses that have been matched with similar courses offered at colleges for college credit. High school students meeting the college course requirements in class will earn college credit, as well as high school credit, to apply toward graduation, at no cost to high school students. These classes are offered in conjunction with St. Cloud State University, Hennepin Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College, Anoka Technical College, Central Lakes College, North Hennepin Community College, Alexandria Technical College, St Cloud Technical College, Century College, Hennepin Technical College and St. Paul College. Learn more about ACC.
What does ACC provide students with?
These courses provide students with:
A sense of direction and purpose.
A head start on college education.
A savings of time and tuition costs.
Less course repetition during freshman year of college.
An opportunity (during high school experience) to explore future career possibilities.
Credits that apply to both high school graduation and 2 or 4 year college major.
Ability to schedule classes before other incoming college freshmen.
Which courses offer ACC?
Tier 1 "Enrichment Services" are available to all students and may be provided by the classroom teacher or any person with knowledge or expertise that could enrich the general education curricular environment. These opportunities are designed to foster a growth mindset, help students “live at analysis,” expand students’ experience with the world, broaden horizons, and inspire/spark new interests.
Tier 2+ "Alternative Skill-Based Extensions" are well-planned next steps for students, who have already shown mastery of a skill, to continue learning. These tasks are aligned with specific classroom units and content and provide a way to exceed the standards. These extensions are the foundation of our services for students performing above grade-level and are utilized by approximately 10-15% of students.
Tier 3+ "Intensive Support" services are designed to meet the needs of extreme outliers (approximately 1-3% of students). Services are anchored in a specific content area and aim to meet academic and social and emotional education needs. Selection criteria will include many data-driven factors and it is imperative that strong collaboration exists between parents/guardians, educators, and students.
Samantha Heitke, District Coordinator of Advanced Academics