While the traditional eight credit-per-year plan is a viable option for many students, there are other ways that a student can earn high school credits and college credits early.

Falcon Flight School, established during the 2017-18 school year, is an alternative way of schooling that works at the student’s pace and can enable them to earn many credits in a short amount of time. Based mainly online, Flight School offers a unique opportunity for students that can not accommodate to the regular school schedule.  The online program used requires students only to complete a course in three weeks and maintain an average above a 70%, similar to regular school requirements.

Additionally, advanced students can opt for flight school in order to complete courses at an accelerated rate. Students need to meet certain criteria to qualify for flight school, and freshmen are not eligible.

“You have to be able to do it on your own,” Assistant Principal Jennifer Williams said. “It’s kind of like you’re in college, you have to be able to get through these classes by yourself.”

For more information about flight school, click here.

Students can also earn credits for courses that they have not previously taken through a Credit By Examination assessment, or CBE. A student must score an 80% or above on the CBE in order to earn the credit for a year-long course. Year-long courses have two CBE evaluations, one for each semester. Therefore, single semester courses only have one CBE.

“If you think you know the material fairly well… then you can request a credit by examination, and that does not cost anything,” said Williams.

According to the KISD Advanced Academics Parent Resource Portal, examinations scores will be used on the student’s transcript if they pass the CBE and meet the criteria. If a student does not earn an 80% or above, credit will not be given for the course and scores will not be put onto transcripts.

“If a student meets the 80% criteria on the CBE, he/she is not required to take an End-of-Course (EOC) assessment if the assessment is required for high school graduation (English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, or US History),” the website stated.

Students can earn college credits earlier through AP Exams, Dual Credit Courses, and taking additional courses on a college campus.

AP Examinations can be taken without previously being in the course. While a 3 is considered a passing score, students can earn more credits if they receive a 4 or 5. Credits given for certain colleges can be found at this website.

Dual Credit classes are taken directly through the community college, so Timber Creek students would learn from a professor at Tarrant County College. Students can only earn the college credit if they pass the class. Requirements vary from state to state, so it’s wise for students to check with their counselor to see if they qualify. For more information on the differences between AP and Dual credit, click here.

”If you’re taking dual credit, it’s here and you immediately know your grade and you are sure that you get the credit for it,” Williams said. “AP on the other hand, you go through the whole year of studying and then you take the test. If you don’t get the correct score then you might not get any credit for it.”

Lastly, a student can take courses on a college campus to earn college credit. Although these courses can be taken through colleges such as TCC and Texas Tech, they are separate from Dual Credit classes and do not impact your high school transcript. This does not take place during the school day, but rather during the student’s own time. These courses usually come at an additional cost, and online courses can be registered through the college website. 

Students can find more information on each of these alternative pathways by contacting their counselors. Those who wish to enroll in flight school or take a CBE must meet with their counselors to see if they meet the criteria.

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By Katelin Tran

senior who's trying her best

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