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What is Early College Start?

Early College Start is an umbrella term to encompass several ways that students can earn free or low-cost college credits from ACC while still in high school.

The three Early College Start programs are:

  • Dual Credit
  • Co-enrollment
  • Tech-prep credit-in-escrow/Articulated High School Classes

Akins juniors or seniors may be eligible to take courses from ACC for free. Some of the courses will give you credit for classes needed to graduate from high school. Courses can be taken during the school day, online, or at an ACC campus during the school year or during the summer. This program is called Early College Start. ACC courses that meet high school graduation requirements are called dual-credit classes. Students can also take classes for just college credit that are not used to meet high school graduation requirements this is called co-enrollment. For classes taken on an ACC campus, students must be able to provide their own transportation. For classes at Akins, students may have transportation home, or they can take the late activity bus for any class that is over by 6 p.m. The third type of class is an articulated class. This is a high school class where you can earn college credit for the class.

What is the difference between the three programs?

Dual Credit
Dual credit courses are college-level courses taken by high school student for which they receive high school credit and college credit at the same time. Courses are taught by college-approved instructors. When students complete an AISD approved college credit course with acceptable grades (at least an 80%), and the course is used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

Co-enrolled students may take any ACC course for which they meet skills and college course prerequisites for college credit only.

Tech-prep/Articulated Course Credit
Tech-prep/articulated credit courses are taught by high school teachers on the high school campus. They are college-level technical courses that allow high school students to receive college credit after receiving a “B” or better in the course and after completing at least one ACC course. Students must work with the classroom teacher to get the credit. The course credit is not automatically sent to ACC.

Some dual-credit classes may be offered on the Akins High School campus. All dual credit classes are office at ACC campuses around Austin.

Who is eligible?

Juniors and seniors may take a maximum of 2 courses per semester. Students may begin taking classes the summer after their sophomore year. The entire summer is considered one semester, so students may take 2 courses in the summer, 2 courses in the fall, and 2 courses in the spring semesters.

What does it cost?

    • Tuition – FREE
    • Developmental Courses (non-credit) – full tuition and fees
    • Testing Fees – Waived
    • Textbooks & Materials – Full Cost
    • Parking (per year) – $10
    • Transcripts* – $5

*Transcripts are required by the school in order to award dual credit.

What tests are required?

TAKS scores of 2200 or better in English and Math, plus a 3 or better on the Writing OR the completion of ACC’s ASSET or COMPASS Tests.

Test Dates

ASSET: At any ACC campus.

COMPASS: By appointment at any ACC campus.

For testing at an ACC campus, you must have 2 forms of identification, one of which is a picture ID.

Some AISD Courses Approved for Dual Credit

  • English 3 (which is a series of 4 courses)
  • English 4 (which is a series of 4 courses)
  • Creative Writing
  • Precalaculus
  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • U.S. History (which is a series of 2 courses)
  • Macroeconomics
  • Government
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • American Sign Language Levels 1 & 2
  • BCIS
  • Computer Science
  • Medical Terminology
  • Communications Applications

All ACC dual-credit classes are weighted for GPA calculation. In addition to the above listed courses, there are additional Fine Arts, Science, and Languages other than English offered for dual credit. For the complete listing of dual-credit courses visit the AISD Link.

ACC Liaison/Advisor

Akins has an ACC liaison/advisor who can help with all of your ACC questions. Davelyn Forrest will be at Akins on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 2-4 p.m. Students can check in with the College and Career Center (room 146) for additional information and help. Parents are encouraged to come with their child to the meeting with Ms Forrest. Ms Forrest can be contacted at 633-8816 or by email for help and appointments.

Student Checklist

For more information you can also access ACC’s website

New students must complete ALL of the following (Returning students should see their counselor for their checklist):

  • ___Meet with your High School Counselor*
  • ___Complete ACC Online Application*
  • ___Complete ACC 101*
  • ___Take the ASSET or COMPASS** (unless TAKS exempt)**
  • ___Get an Official High School Transcript from the school registrar*
  • ___Complete the Early College Start Form*
  • ___Complete Advising with an ACC Advisor*
  • ___Submit paperwork to ACC
  • ___Register for Classes*

*For details, see below

**Although some students may be exempt from the ASSET, which is the ACC entrance exam, due to their high TAKS scores, it is recommended that students take the test. The COMPASS may be a prerequisite for classes such as College Algebra. Check with your ECS liaison or ACC Advisor for more information.
• Meet with your Akins Counselor to determine your college readiness in reading, writing, and math. If ACC testing is required, find out when the next testing date at Akins will be or obtain a fee waiver form from you your high school and schedule to take the test at any ACC Assessment Center. When taking the test at an ACC campus, you must bring 2 forms of identification, one of which must be a photo ID. Currently the next testing date at Akins is Nov. 15, 2006.
• Obtain an Early College Start form from your Akins Counselor and get all of the necessary signatures. Remember that you may take a maximum of two classes per semester.
• Obtain an official high school transcript from the Akins registrar.
• Complete an ACC Admission Application online and print out and complete a residency form. The residency form is submitted to ACC with the rest of your paperwork.
• Read through ACC 101 and print out the ACC 101 checklist page to turn in when you meet with the ECS liaison or ACC Advisor.
• Meet with the ECS liaison who visits Akins on scheduled dates OR an ACC advisor at the ACC advising office at any campus. The current schedule is the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 2-4 p.m.
• Submit all paperwork to the Akins Early College Start Liaison or submit all paperwork to the Admissions and Records Office on an ACC campus after seeing an ACC advisor.
• Register on the web or phone at 223-7355 for classes once your forms have been fully processed.
• Pay any per-course fees or tuition, if billed, by the fee payment deadline. Students residing in ACC’s taxing district get FREE classes (AISD students).

For more information visit the Early College Start website or the ACC Course Schedule.

For Additional Information

At Akins, contact Jerilynn Pennell or Gloria Rodriguez or call 841-9900.