Grand Island Public Schools will now offer Advanced Placement and dual-credit class offerings at the Academies of Grand Island Senior High free for students, the district announced Tuesday.

Thanks to expanding cooperation with post-secondary partners at Central Community College, Wayne State College and the University of Nebraska at Kearney, GISH students will be able to earn more college credit, now at no cost.

“Previously, dual-credit classes required students to pay for credit,” said Dan Phillips, GIPS director of Innovation for College and Career Readiness. “We have worked out a new plan with these partners to provide all dual-credit classes for GISH students for free. We want to thank CCC, Wayne State and UNK for their help in making this happen.”

Another change is eight of the 17 AP classes GISH will offer this coming year will be both AP and dual-credit, so students won’t have to choose between versions.

“Students can earn college credit while taking an AP class and still take the AP exam at the end of the term,” Phillips said.

“This allows students to benefit from statewide transferability of the dual credit and the nationwide recognition of the AP credit.”

In all, GISH will offer 60 dual-credit opportunities. Fourteen are core classes, which are all through Wayne State. The remaining opportunities are embedded in pathway classes. In many cases, one pathway class will include multiple college classes.

“For example, in the Academy of Technical Sciences, students taking the junior-level Principles of Architecture & Design will earn 12 college credits,” Phillips said. “The yearlong class includes four CCC classes.”

For the 2020-2021 school year, each academy has at least two pathway classes that earn college credit. A district goal is to get at least one college class opportunity in each of the 20 pathways.

“We keep working with our very helpful post-secondary partners to find new dual-credit opportunities that align with our pathways,” Phillips said. “We’ll continue to inch closer to making dual credit an embedded academy experience for all students.”

A list of AP and dual-credit classes is available at www.gips.org/collegecredit.

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