July 16, 2018

What’s the Big Deal About Dual Credit, AP, and Honors Classes?

There are big advantages to taking Dual Credit, Advanced Placement (AP), and Honors classes at Batavia High School, but it may seem a bit overwhelming. Let’s break it down.

Dual Credit

Nine classes at Batavia High School are designated “Dual Credit.” Juniors and seniors who elect to pursue dual credit and earn a “C” or better, will receive college credit for these courses through Waubonsee Community College. 

Category BHS Course Name Waubonsee  Course Name Credit Prerequisite
English Language Arts Fundamentals of Speech COM 100 3  none
First Year Composition I ENG 101  3 20 minimum ACT subscore
First Year Composition II ENG 102  3 20 minimum ACT subscore
Math College Algebra MTH 111 3 22 minimum ACT subscore
Basic Statistics MTH 107 3 22 minimum ACT subscore
Calculus I or AP Calculus I MTH 131  4  28 minimum ACT subscore
Calculus II or AP Calculus II MTH 132 4 28 minimum ACT subscore
Social Studies College American History HIS 121 and HIS 122  6  none
AP Psychology PSY100 3 none

A student at Batavia High School can earn up to 32 transferable college credits by taking dual-credit classes at Batavia High School. The average first-year college student takes 30 credit hours.

Students who earn college credit in high school have the opportunity to take a lighter load at certain points during their college career or graduate early.

“Shaving off a semester of college not only saves on tuition, room and board, but also allows for a student to start a career that much earlier,” explained Brian Gamlin, BPS101 Divisional Coordinator for STEM. “It’s not inconceivable for an early grad to be $20,000 to $30,000 ahead of peers based on saved college costs and salary earnings.”

All Batavia High School teachers who teach dual-credit courses have at least a master’s degree in their subject area, and are treated as staff members at Waubonsee Community College.

“Some of our teachers teach these same classes at community colleges during the summer,” said Mr. Gamlin.

To illustrate cost savings, here’s an example of how an actual BHS dual-credit class does transfer, not including books, room and board fees:

Batavia High School Waubonsee  Northern Illinois University Bradley University
Basic Statistics
3 credits
MTH 107
Basic Statistics
3 credits
STAT 208
Basic Statistics
3 credits
MTH 111
Elementary Statistics
3 credits
Cost: $24 Cost: $384 Cost: $1,044 Cost: $3,060

“In the 2017-18 school year, we had a record 470 dual-credit course enrollments,” said Dr. JoAnne Smith, Principal, Batavia High School.

High school students taking dual-credit courses also benefit from extra instruction or ‘seat’ time. “For a three-credit class at Batavia High School, students receive 450 minutes of instruction. At a university, the average seat time is 150 minute with often minimal one-on-one help from the professor,” said Tom Shields, BHS Social Studies Teacher. “We’re offering college-level rigor with high school support in the classroom and help from parents at home.”

BHS counselors strongly advise students to check with the schools they are considering to make sure they accept credit from Waubonsee Community College. Students can also use the free online service Transferology.com, which is a nationwide network designed to help students explore their college transfer options.


Honors courses at Batavia High School are developed by BHS and BPS101 staff members and demand high levels of cognitive and problem-solving processes and independent work. They are designed to meet the needs of gifted and advanced learners. A rigorous instructional pace allows for both curricular depth, and enrichment. They prepare students for university and college work, as well as future study in Advanced Placement courses. All Honors and AP courses taken at BHS earn an additional GPA point. The GPA highest honors benchmark is 4.375.

Honors Courses

  • English I and II
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Intermediate Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Advanced Algebra
  • Pre-calculus with Trigonometry
  • Introduction to Engineering
  • Principles of Engineering
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • French V
  • Latin V
  • Spanish V

Advanced Placement (AP)

Developed by the College Board, AP courses are highly challenging with expectations that students will work independently and demonstrate high levels of critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing. The textbooks and materials used are above grade level or at college level. The goal of the course is to prepare the student for the Advanced Placement exam, which may permit a student to receive college credit and/or placement. All Honors and AP courses taken at BHS earn an additional GPA point. The GPA benchmark is 4.375.

AP Courses

  • American Government
  • Biology
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • European History
  • Human Geography
  • Literature & Composition I and II
  • Music Theory
  • Physics I and II
  • Psychology
  • Studio Art
  • US History

Beginning in 2016, all Illinois public universities and community colleges must award college credit to students with an AP exam score of 3 or higher. To find out-of-state colleges and universities that offer credit or placement for AP scores, visit AP Credit Policy Search and check prospective institutions’ websites.

Want more info?

Access the presentation from Batavia High School’s Dual Credit/AP/Honors Night.