In case you missed the first videos in this series:
- Course Selection: The Foundation of Your Four-Year Plan
- Course Selection Part II: Required Courses
- Course Selection Part III: Electives
Today I’m finishing the series with two videos addressing the issues of advanced courses, dual credit, and the impact on class rank.
Academic Rigor– Should You Take the Advanced Course?
First, we want students to grow academically; advanced courses can help. You need to understand the offerings at your school and any policies your school has regarding honors/ AP/ IB courses.
Next, keep in mind that not all students are ready to work at a higher level or faster pace. Some students find the on-level courses provide ample opportunity for academic growth. Pushing students who are not ready for advanced work can backfire.
Keep in mind that readiness is not based on ability alone. Some students are exceptionally bright, but are unable to keep up with the pace, conceptual or abstract thinking, or organizational skills needed to be successful in an advanced course.
Once you decide to take advanced courses, tailor your choices based on school policies, student’s strengths and interests, and feedback from current teachers.
Finally, we want students who are healthy mentally and physically. Some students can take a full schedule of advanced courses and still have time for extracurriculars, family, and friends. Others may struggle to keep up in their on-level courses with no advanced classes. Look for warning signs that your student may have overloaded his/her schedule and look to maintain a healthy balance in your selection.