- Byron High School
- College Credit Options
College Credit Options
In today's global economy, students must be well-prepared for the demands of college and the workplace. Byron Public Schools provides support to assist students as they transition from middle school to high school and into an increasingly wide array of postsecondary options. Colleges look favorably on advanced rigorous course work when a student successfully completes the course. Each of the options is described below.
Advanced Placement - AP
Advanced Placement Testing (AP) and College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
As defined by the Minnesota Department of Education, Advanced Placement (AP) is a College Board program that offers Minnesota high school students the opportunity to take rigorous courses and the potential to earn college credit while in high school. Students engage in intense discussions, solve problems collaboratively, and learn to write clearly and persuasively.
Instructors are trained and utilize research-based strategies to reach all students. The content in AP courses is structured similarly to college coursework. These courses prepare students for further education and college admissions offices often look favorably on a history of AP coursework on student transcripts. The receiving college will make final determination to award college credit based upon the AP College Board test results.
Paths to earn Advanced Placement (AP) credits at BHS:
- Any student can take any test from Advanced Placement as we are a test site.
- We have AP Statistics that is offered at BHS with our staff.
- You can enroll in another online AP opportunity from an accredited source (Minnesota Department of Education maintains a list of approved providers in the state.) Necessary paperwork must be completed and the student's class load is reduced at BHS to accommodate an online class and receive AP credit. Minnesota online schools offer AP for the entire year. Prior planning is important. May 30th deadline application for classes starting fall semester and November 1st deadline for classes starting in spring semester.
- If you choose to take an AP course from outside of state provider and pay for that course, it is the family’s choice to reduce the schedule or continue with all the classes on the schedule.
AP exams are open to all students, not just those who have taken an AP course, so home-schooled, online students and others may take an AP exam for credit. Students who complete an AP course and/or take the end-of-course examination may qualify for college credit from post-secondary institutions, provided their score meets the institution’s credit policy. Students should check with individual colleges for the most current list of the AP courses each institution accepts for college credit. AP exam subsidies are available for public and non-public school students for both fee-reduced (low-income) and non-fee-reduced students. BHS offers AP testing for any of our students who wish to take any AP exam. Interested students must sign up ahead of time with the principal's administrative assistant by the deadline. Students are notified via announcements as well as high school newsletters and emails.
According to the Minnesota Department of Education, the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) is a College Board program that allows students to accelerate their education by earning college credit by taking a computer-based test of their knowledge. Learning can be done through general academic instruction, independent study, extracurricular work or volunteerism. The time and money saved through CLEP can be significant. Check with the post secondary institution of your choice for their most recent CLEP credit policy. Visit the College Board website for more information.
College Now - Concurrent Enrollment
According to the Minnesota Department of Education, concurrent enrollment courses (sometimes referred to College in the Schools) are college courses offered at the high school, taught by a trained high school teacher. These teachers must have at least a masters degree in the field or masters degree and 18 credits in the subject. These classes are offered in partnership with a college or university. Students who successfully complete these courses generate both high school and transcripted college credit from the partnering post-secondary institution. Many people refer to these courses as College in the High School. There is no cost to the student to participate in these courses.
Research shows that high school students who participate in an accelerated learning option, such as concurrent enrollment, benefit greatly from:
- Exposure to high expectations
- Participation in challenging courses
- The momentum gained by earning college credits while still in high school
By participating in concurrent enrollment, high school students complete college requirements that allow for greater flexibility when they enter the university setting full-time. Many concurrent enrollment alums find they are able to pursue second majors, participate in study abroad opportunities, and internships. Not only do concurrent enrollment students get a step ahead of other entering freshman in terms of credits, but they also gain college-level skills from concurrent enrollment courses. Our courses challenge high school students to think critically, write academically, and read analytically; preparing students for greater success in college.
Participating high schools also reap the benefits of concurrent enrollment. Partnerships developed between university faculty and high school teachers provide learning and training opportunities that may not otherwise exist. Additionally, concurrent enrollment students stay at the high school instead of leaving to attend classes at a university. Finally, through participation in concurrent enrollment, high schools establish themselves as education leaders by setting high standards, providing outstanding offerings, and preparing students for the 21st century.
BHS students have the opportunity to take several college classes earning up to 41 college credits right here at BHS. Students seeking to challenge themselves, earn college credit, and ease into college life may start earning credits in junior year if they have a strong class rank and GPA. Sophomores have additional eligibility requirements and should see their counselor as early as possible in freshman year to discuss and plan for requirements. BHS adheres to all requirements are established by the college. Opportunities include: Art, Math, Science, Psychology, Spanish, Political Science and English. For eligibility criteria and specifics details, please see the registration guide on the link: registration guide.
Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) is our four year university partner in awarding the college credits. Click on the links below for more information about SMSU.
If you are eligible for College Now classes and the counselors approved your application, you can click on the link below to apply to SMSU for College Now classes. You will also find directions on how to complete this process. You are creating a permanent college record so enter all data correctly including capitalization and full legal name.How do I apply to COLLEGE NOW SMSU? CLICK HERE TO APPLY for COLLEGE NOW SMSU
Post Secondary Options (PSEO)
According to Minnesota Department of Education, PSEO is a program that allows students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades earn both high school and college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in and successful completion of college-level, nonsectarian courses at eligible participating post secondary institutions. Most PSEO courses are offered on the campus of the post secondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college or university sets its own requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses. Eleventh and 12th-grade students may take PSEO courses on a full- or part-time basis; 10th graders may take one career/technical PSEO course. If they earn at least a grade C in that class, they may take additional PSEO courses. If a student experiences academic struggles, they are strongly encouraged to seek tutoring resources at the college to be successful.
There is no charge to PSEO students for tuition, books or fees for items that are required to participate in a course. Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09. Funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for qualifying students to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. Schools must provide up-to-date information to all students in grades 8-11 and their families by March 1, every year. Students must notify their school by May 30 if they want to participate in PSEO for the following school year.
For current information about the MN Department of Education PSEO program, click here. MN approved colleges will also have information available on their websites specific to their requirements.
Project Lead the Way - PLTW
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) offers a premier high school program, Pathway To Engineering™. This program is a combination of traditional math and science courses with innovative Pathway To Engineering courses. It prepares students for college majors in engineering or E/T fields and offers them the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.
Universities and colleges throughout Minnesota offer college credit recognition to students who complete PLTW foundational courses and specialty courses from certified high schools. Students must earn a class grade of 85% or higher, taken the college credit exam with a passing grade of at least 70%. Students will have to pay a minimal fee (approximately $100 to the college/university) for the credit.
Eligible students receive college credit recognition from Co-Affiliate Engineering Universities Minnesota State Mankato and St. Cloud State University. Both have strong engineering programs in Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering. Students may also choose to receive credits from: University of Minnesota, Normandale Community College, St. Cloud Technical & Community College, South Central College or Winona State University. Please check the MN PLTW university and college listings carefully as each institution acknowledges Project Lead the Way uniquely. https://www.pltw.org/
Acceptance and transfer of credits varies by college and students are responsible for requesting that transcripts be mailed to their college(s) of choice. Please check the website of the college you plan to attend regarding transferability and application of the credit toward degree completion. In order for the credit to transfer from one college to another, the student must request their college transcript be sent from the credit awarding college to the accepting college.
To check out a list of PLTW course offered at BHS please check our registration guide.
Tech Prep Articulation Agreements exist between Byron High School and area community colleges. These agreements allow juniors and seniors, who demonstrate mastery of specified competencies and receive a grade of B or higher, to earn an advanced standing certificate for college coursework from the instructor while completing high school courses in agricultural science, business and family and consumer science. Students can apply credits earned through Advanced Standing Certificates to a specific program of study at selected two-year colleges. Specific courses are identified in the Registration Guide. Please see your instructor for a list of specific colleges.