They reflect a growing interest in many areas of the country to go beyond work that is college-level and try college itself.
At their school, Gaithersburg High, that’s easier to do than at most places, with eight courses taught this spring by professors in the same classrooms where students take high school English and algebra. More than a third of the class of 2012 has taken at least one college course. “It’s a boost of confidence when they say, ‘Oh, I can do this,’ ” said Principal Christine Handy-Collins.
Early college opportunities are often overshadowed by the immense popularity of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses, which teach college-level material and can lead to college credit when students test well on exams. But college courses in high school are on the rise in many states, said Adam Lowe of the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships.