FHS students work to prepare to meet their future with AP, Dual Credit programs in place

In Friendswood ISD, College and Career-Ready students are top priority for teachers and administrators who are preparing their students for their futures, not the futures of the past.

The core academic skills are essentially the same for career-ready and college-ready students. To be career-ready and college-ready students must have the ability to apply core academic knowledge to authentic situations. To determine what the district is doing to prepare the students, everyone looks at a report on ACT/SAT/AP scores, National Merit Scholars and Dual credit results.

These are tools used to measure core academic skills.

At Friendswood High School, 40 percent of the seniors are taking the ACT test. In 2000, 106 students took it and now 199 take the test. Scores have increased from a median average of 22.3 to 25 for the past two years.

In ACT Math, average scores are 25.5, in English average score 24, Reading is 25 and Science 24.50.

In SAT results, 392 took the test last year. In 2000, only 249 took it. At FHS, 392 equals 79 percent of seniors took the test.

The average composite SAT score in both critical reading and math was 1113. The average Composite SAT score in all three areas is 1642. (Reading-546, Math-567 and Writing-529.

This year FISD has 22 National Merit Commended Scholars, 5 National Merit Semifinalists and 6 National Hispanic scholars.

FISD has seen an increase in the number of Advanced Placement courses that are taken by FHS students. According to Google, 90 percent of United States’ four year colleges and some international schools accept advanced placement test scores. Students at FHS are advised annually to check with their college/universities of choice to see if they accept these test scores before taking the test.

A score of 3 or higher on the AP exams may transfer as college hours of credit.

FHS students sent scores to 62 different colleges and universities last year. At FHS last year, approximately 1,068 AP exams were administered with 434 students in tenth through 12th grades making scores of 3 or higher. That puts FHS at 83 percent of all AP exam testers scoring 3 or higher. The state average is 52.2 percent with a 3 or higher passing score.

Last year 190 senior students at FHS earned from 3 hours to 45 hours of college credit. Out of that group, 30 earned 24 hours and more.

To prepare for offering AP classes, teachers are trained by the College Board. They attend a week long AP training specifically focused on their particular contest area. College Board reviews and endorses each course syllabus. AP exams can be taken in 19 different areas.

FHS also offers dual credit in 14 different courses for the potential for 42 college hours prior to entering college. This dual credit system is in collaboration with the College of the Mainland in Texas City. Dual credit courses are college courses taken by a high school student where he earns both college and high school credit at the same time.

To do this, students must meet established admission requirements at COM, have taken appropriate prerequisite courses, comply with the State-mandated Texas Success Initiative Assessment. They also must complete the dual credit endorsement form.

The program continues to grow in popularity. In 2005-2006 when it began on campus at FHS, 162 students enrolled that year. Last year, 796 were part of the program.

Last year 157 seniors graduated with a total of 2499 dual credit college hours earned. That means 31 percent of the Senior Class graduated with Dual Credit. Within the Senior Class, 38 percent graduated with AP college credit.

“We continue to encourage our students for both programs in an effort to make them even more college and career ready,” Associate Principal Nancy Lockhart said. “We are proud to see both programs continue to grow.”