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NEISD GT students write at their desks.

NEISD fourth grade Gifted and Talented (GT) students locate fingerprints.

Public schools’ advanced academics include programs, assessments, courses, and services that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate college and career readiness and in some cases earn college credit. Students can benefit from advanced academic programs through dual credit, college credit, and scholarships, including National Merit Scholarships. Advanced academic programs focus on similar themes.
Cleveland ISD Advanced Academics

Cleveland ISD students visited their political representatives in Washington, D.C

Gifted and Talented Program

The advanced opportunities available for students begin with Gifted and Talented programs in elementary school, and progress to Advanced Academic Programs such as Dual Credit and Advanced Placement (AP) in high school. 

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines gifted children as:

Students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities. 

The National Association for Gifted Children developed a positioning statement to guide best practices. The NAGC states that “Students with gifts and talents perform – or have the capability to perform – at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. They require modification(s) to their educational experience(s) to learn and realize their potential.”

College Preparatory

A college preparatory course is a core requirement that is needed to graduate from high school. These prep classes are designed for students who will attend college as they provide the necessary academic background to be successful at the university level. Students in college prep classes are not placed in remedial versions of the course, nor are they enrolled in the more challenging AP level of a particular class. In some schools, high school students can move up from college preparatory classes to Advanced Placement classes if they obtain a high grade point average in the subject.

Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment

Courses taken at two separate institutions like a high school and a community college at the same time is referred to as dual enrollment. One course that meets the requirements of two academic institutions is referred to as dual credit.

Online college courses may be offered at high schools, or students may attend a local college or community college in person. Students can accrue college credits while in high school, resulting in considerable cost savings. Dual credit cost savings can be calculated by multiplying the number of dual credits earned by the tuition cost at a college, adding in books and fees, and even student housing.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (or AP) is a program that allows high school students to take college-level curriculum and examinations. Some colleges and universities in America grant college course credit to those students who attain high AP test scores, which may provide the opportunity to skip some first-year introductory courses in college. College admissions tend to favor AP work on high school transcripts, as AP classes give students experience with college-level work while developing skills needed for academic success in college. Students interested in Advanced Placement programs have many options, including:

  • AP Calculus
  • AP Physics
  • AP Microeconomics
  • AP Macroeconomics
  • AP Physics
  • AP English
  • AP Biology
  • AP Geography

Advanced Academics Benefits

  • College Board studies show that Advanced Placement students score higher on standardized tests than non-AP students. They attend college at higher rates, earn higher grades in college, and are less likely to drop out. AP students display more positive attitudes toward the academic material that their courses covered, and they are much more likely to major in an area that is related to their AP courses. 
  • Dual credit options offer significant cost savings over a conventional college education. Students in high school may explore their academic interests before entering college, and they can begin their college education early. Dual credit students tend to make smoother transitions from high school to college.
  • Gifted and Talented Education programs prevent boredom while challenging students. GT students have more opportunities to earn advanced degrees in college, and they usually enjoy greater success in their chosen careers.

Additional Resources

National Association for Gifted Children- Myths about GT classes and students

College Board- Advanced Placement Information

Program Spotlight: Advanced Academics

Check out this quick video of what students learn in Advanced Academics. Advanced Academics provide students with opportunities to demonstrate college and career readiness.  

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