AP vs Jumpstart: What's the Best Option for Students?

Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, seniors will have the ability to take Jumpstart, a program in partnership with the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) that allows students to earn both college and high school credit at a reduced price.

The class, which is equivalent to a full year of English 12 Honors allows students to take two semester college-level courses, English 101, and English 102. If the student passes the class, they are able to earn a total of 6 academic credits (3 for each course).

Students taking this program will have the opportunity to save money, as each semester will only cost around $70. This results in a savings of over $500 because the CSN registration fee is waived, and textbooks will be free and provided by the teacher.

Mr. Mitchell, current English AP teacher and future Jumpstart teacher, explained the major difference between the two class options, the GPA bonus. He said, “Jumpstart will earn 0.25 GPA bonus while AP Lang will earn 0.5 GPA bonus. Some students might find that to be a downside.”

However, one student has explained that the GPA bonus does not have a substantial impact on her decision. She mentioned that she is taking other factors into consideration, such as how the class will prepare them for college.

Mr. Mitchell explained that the primary purpose of Jumpstart is to prepare students to write different types of successful college-level essays. On the other hand, the AP Lang course is created by the AP College Board, and is designed to teach students to read and write at the college level.

With this in mind, Mr. Mitchell mentioned that Jumpstart is the perfect class for college/career-minded students who want to get a “jumpstart” on their post-high school education and for students who want to save time and money.

It’s also important to note that colleges may view the two courses differently. For instance, the credits earned from Jumpstart will transfer to all Nevada institutions of higher learning, not just CSN. The CSN college credits may be accepted at some out-of-state schools, depending on the school’s transfer policies.

However, Mrs. Powell, an AP Lang teacher, brought up the fact that AP classes have been around for a long time, which reveals that they have merit and are widely recognized by colleges. Mrs. Powell also mentioned that AP classes have proven to help students succeed and prepare for college.

Overall, both classes are great options for students who are willing to put forth the hardwork in order to further their education. As Mr. Mitchell said, “In my opinion, a student can’t go wrong with either choice. The best choice was already made: the choice to attend WCTA!”

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