the supposed superiority of AP

Metacognition is a column that will appear in every other issue.

Sarah Wilson

Metacognition is a column that will appear in every other issue.

Sarah Wilson, Managing Editor of Visual Elements

All views shared in the Opinions section of the Chatterbox belong to their respective authors, and may not represent the views of the publication as a whole.

College Credit Plus (CCP) is Ohio’s dual enrollment program for high school students, allowing them to enroll in classes at Ohio colleges and universities. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered by high schools as college-level courses. Yet, as both a CCP and AP student, it’s easy to see the discrepancies between the two programs’ treatment at WHHS. Both are identical in their goal to provide students access to college academics, so why are they treated so differently?

AP classes are noticeably more marketed to WHHS students. AP propaganda runs rampant when optioning season dawns, with AP fairs, AP teacher visits, and more, inviting students into the AP program at every turn, remarking, “CCP won’t prepare you like AP.” With more than 30 AP classes to choose from and 1040 students taking 2256 AP exams in 2022, according to the WHHS website, these efforts are more than successful. AP exemplifies the “classical” WHHS education. 

In contrast, the marketing of CCP is far less vigorous. While some advertisement occurs for the CCP courses offered “in-house,” including College Anatomy and Physiology and the soon-to-be piloted English 12 CCP, the other offerings of CCP are decidedly underrepresented. 

During the fifth year of CCP’s operation, a former Chatterbox staff member asked, “Why, then, has the WHHS community been so slow to warm up to CCP?” Three years later, my question is the same. 

Mentions of CCP opportunities, whether online or in-person at the offering college, are few and far between. Aside from information provided by the counseling office, CCP remains ignored as a beneficial opportunity and AP alternative for students. 

Some aspects of WHHS, including the Cum Laude Society, even appear to discourage students from opting for CCP rather than AP. While AP classes are considered when evaluating a student’s eligibility for the society, CCP classes taken off campus are disregarded, lowering students’ Cum Laude GPA and, subsequently, their eligibility. 

I recognize that CCP isn’t for everyone. As a student enrolled in three different colleges’ CCP programs, I can attest that keeping track of deadlines, scheduling advising appointments, and registering for classes can be difficult to manage. But as more students find CCP to be the right fit, CCP courses cannot be treated as second-class academics. 

For the multi-sport athlete, CCP can offer the opportunity for them to take classes in shorter time periods, freeing up their schedule during the season. CCP courses can be as brief as six weeks, allowing students to utilize CCP during the summer, or the off-season. 

For the student who doesn’t find their identity and community reflected in our current curriculum, CCP provides opportunities for students to take courses studying African American history, American Sign Language, Women’s history, and more. 

By providing these diverse opportunities, CCP allows students greater choice to discover how they can support their interests and academically succeed. 

My experience taking United States History over the summer through CCP allowed me to not only fulfill one of my graduation requirements but also to open up my schedule to take more courses that interest me. My coursework was rigorous and informative, despite stereotypes that CCP is merely “a shortcut,” and engaging with college classmates and my professor offered me new, unique perspectives that are inaccessible in AP. 

My CCP experience has been overwhelmingly positive and my experience at WHHS has been impacted positively as a result. AP is not without its own benefits, but undervaluing CCP benefits neither program. 

Students should be encouraged and empowered to explore CCP and to determine if AP, CCP, or a combination of both is right for them. 

CCP isn’t the traditional, classical WHHS education, but it’s just as valuable.