Students, parents weigh advanced placement options

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)- They’ve become common place in high schools across the country, but when it comes to enrolling your child in advanced placement courses, educators say too much of a good thing could end with a lot of stress.

“I'm in A.P. English, and A.P Psychology,” Chippewa Falls High School junior Breanna Nowak said.

It’s been a busy year Nowak. Between balancing two advanced placement courses, friends and sports she's learned to manage her time.

“During the golf season it was kind of hard because we missed a lot of school,” Nowak said.

Breanna is just one of the hundreds of students taking the extra step in her education, enrolling in A.P. or advanced placement classes.

Over the past decade area high schools including Chippewa Falls High School have seen interest in advanced placement courses grow as more students strive to make themselves stick out from their peers when it comes to applying for colleges.

“It’s just been developing as student interest has been developing and we've added more options,” Chippewa Falls teacher Mark Isaacson said.

Isaacson has been teaching A.P. United States History at Chi-Hi for 16 years, he says over that time the need for A.P. courses has grown.

“Over 50% of students will come in with some sort of A.P credit so that really changes the face of higher education,” UW-Eau Claire Interim Director of Admissions Heather Kretz said.

When it comes to getting accepted into college, Heather Kretz with UW-Eau Claire says having A.P. courses can give students the edge over others. She adds coming in with A.P. credits can mean money saved for parents too.

“It really is an advantage for our community because students can save money and time to a degree,” Kretz said.
But sometimes the balancing act of multiple A.P. courses and extracurricular activities can be a tough one.

“You can make yourself crazy because every single course has its own time commitment,” Isaacson said. “It’s not for everybody but we give everybody a shot if they want to try.”

Chi-Hi says in order for students to get college credit for a-p classes they must pass an exam, which is held in the beginning of May.

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