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Houston Region Advanced Academics Programs

Houston public school districts provide an array of individualized advanced academic programs that most adequately suit each student’s personal needs. These plans offer opportunities for each child, from elementary to high school, and they establish significantly high goals for their college-bound students. Some examples of advanced academic programs are Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, and Talented and Gifted.  Students and parents are encouraged and welcome to explore any advanced academic programs that their Houston-area public school district offers.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement programs, or AP, allows Houston area high school students to take college-level courses and exams. Some universities grant college credit to AP students who attain high test scores.  The acquired credit may provide the opportunity to bypass freshman introductory college courses. College admissions favor AP work on applications and transcripts because AP classes give students college-level course load experiences as well as the skills needed for success in college.

Dual Credit Programs

School districts in Houston offer dual credit or dual enrollment courses in addition to Advanced Placement options. Texas dual credit programs make it possible for eligible students to enroll in college classes while still in high school. They can receive credit for the classes from both the high school and college simultaneously. Dual credit courses can be offered on the college campus or the high school campus, and they may include technical and academic classes. 

A dual credit program benefits students because credits transfer to public colleges and universities in Texas, it provides experience with a college workload, and it saves money on college tuition. In addition, students who transfer high school credits are still considered first-year students when entering college, so they can apply for scholarships and grants that are available to freshmen.

Gifted and Talented (GT)

Houston public elementary schools offer their advanced learning students with the opportunity to enroll in Gifted & Talented programs. TEA guidelines state that school districts must provide proper services to students in kindergarten through 12th grade who have been assessed and identified as GT. Children identified as gifted students usually perform at high levels in a creative or intellectual area when compared to other students of the same age, environment, or experience. GT students tend to possess exceptional leadership capabilities, and they display a love of learning in one or multiple subjects. Gifted and talented children don’t automatically find themselves drawn to Advanced Placement programs. Some GT students in middle and high school might not flourish in environments with more difficult and time-consuming work. Instead, they may prefer time to pursue their talents while thinking and exploring. 

Additional Resources

Information on Advanced Academics – TEA

Gifted Students in Texas – Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

Information on Dual Credit – TEA 

Dual Credit Teacher Requirements Texas pdf– TEA

AP Courses and Exam Dates– College Board

Does University of Houston Accept Dual Credit? – UH Enrollment

Dual Credit Houston Community College

Houston Community College Dual Credit Courses- Approved Classes

Dual Enrollment Houston Baptist University

Dual Credit University of Houston- Victoria

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