Academic Credit Options


Academic Options at a Glance

Option Explanation Advantages Considerations
AP Advanced Placement • College-level course taught in high school
• More rigorous coursework
• Nationally based program offered through College Board
•  May earn college credit
• Challenges students
• Weighted grading
• Post secondary schools determine AP test score they will accept for credit
• Requires above average reading, writing, math skills
Articulated Credit • Students receive high school credit and certificates for the number of credits they successfully complete in certain business, family and consumer science, and industrial technology courses • Students pay only for the number of college credits not covered by the certificate at the cooperating college
• Gain experience & knowledge for potential job/career
• Verify that credits will transfer to college of choice
• Provide articulated credit certificate to accepting colleges during registration
AVID • College preparatory program for students who are in the academic middle Develop college readiness skills
• Learn organizational & study skills
• May earn college credit
• 4 years of elective credit
• Application & interview required
CLEP College Level Examination Program • Demonstrate college-level achievement through exams in undergraduate coursework • May earn college credit • Accelerate education by earning qualifying scores on any of the 33 introductory-level college subject examinations • Recommended for academically-strong students • 90-minute exams, cost varies, cost incurred by the family
Concurrent Enrollment • Foundational course for Career & College Readiness in STEM
• Students earn high school credits and 9 transcripted credits upon successful completion of AP Chemistry 2 & 3
• Demonstrate college-level achievement through exams in undergraduate coursework
• College curriculum integrated into high school course
• There is no cost to the student
• Credits accepted at all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and may be accepted by other institutions
• Students must have a 3.0 GPA and in top 50% of the class to obtain college credit for the College Now Program
• Students may appeal requirements if there are extenuating circumstances
• Must be in 11th or 12th grade
Credit By Assessment • Student may demonstrate outcomes for any course at high school and earn credit for the course • Transcript shows the credit earned and a course grade of A, A-, B+ or B
• Tests knowledge student already possesses
• Successful assessment gives student more schedule options
• Assessment represents content included in subject coursework
• Application required
Credit/No Credit • Students may earn credit for a course without having the course affect their GPA or class rank if a passing mark is achieved • Students explore interests in subjects in which they may not be willing to risk getting a low grade • Application required
• Students take all tests, turn in all regular class work – only the final mark is a “P” (60% or higher) or “F” (below 60%)
Credits Obtained From Other Institutions • Students may transfer credits from colleges or online high schools as pre-approved by Dean/MN Dept of Education
• Course must be equivalent or beyond Lakeville Public Schools course sequence
• May earn college credit
• May be more rigorous coursework
• May provide online learning experience
• There may be a fee incurred by the family
• Appointment with the Dean should be made well in advance to review
Credit Recovery • Designed for students who must recover credits to graduate • Allows students to maintain status and graduate with class
• Courses offered during the day and after regular school hours through the Pathways Program
• Students must meet eligibility criteria
• Courses offered are English, social studies, science, math & some electives
Hybrid Courses • Part time face to face instruction (seminar)
• Part time independent online learning activities
• Main platform is Schoology with multiple digital tools utilized
• 21st Century skill development
• Preparation for possible online college courses • Enhances technology skills
• Recommended for students who are self-motivated and have good time management skills
• Students who do not have access to technology at home will be provided access to technology tools and be provided a time and space to complete work
High School Online Courses • Students do not have face to face instruction
• Instruction and course materials are found on Schoology
• Digital tools include email, chat, discussion boards, web pages, and multimedia technologies
• 21st Century skill development
• Preparation for possible online college courses
• Enhances technology skills
• Allows for flexible scheduling
• Recommended for students who are self-motivated and have good time management skills
• Students who do not have access to technology at home will be provided access to technology tools and be provided a time and space to complete work
• It would be beneficial for students to have access to their own technology
Independent Study • Design a study project in an academic area of interest
• Study topic is student’s responsibility and facilitated by a teacher
• Credit is offered on a pass/fail basis
• Provides greater opportunities for highly motivated students to progress beyond the scope of standard course offerings • Recommended for highly motivated, academically strong students
• Application required
LinK12 – Lakeville • Instructional delivery, 100% online
• Main platform is Black Board
• Part-time or Full-time
• Individualized learning
• Allows for flexible scheduling
• 21st Century skill development
• Recommended for self directed independent learners
Post Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) • Allows juniors/seniors to enroll at participating colleges with tuition, books, fees paid by State of Minnesota * Sophomores may participate on a limited basis • Earn high school and college credit at college where PSEO coursework is taken
• PSEO credits may transfer to other postsecondary institutions
• Some PSEO courses are offered online
• Must meet criteria established by post secondary school
• Grades are not weighted
• Must provide own transportation
• Funds are available to pay transportation expenses for qualifying students
Rigorous Course Waiver • Students can waive basic state standards by taking courses with higher rigor • Allows students to take additional courses
• More rigorous course work
• Students need to look at four year plan
Secondary Credit in Middle School • Secondary course credit granted for successful completion of any high school course (excluding Algebra 1 in 8th grade) • The grade/credit will be reflected on the high school transcript and will be part of the grade point average and class rank • Students should see the gifted and talented coordinator at the middle school
Technical Skills Assessments • Performance-based assessment where students demonstrate the application of their knowledge and skills
• Aligned to industry-recognized standards along with state or national industry or trade standards
• Students can earn a certificate in career and technical education programs such as family and consumer science, and industrial technology courses
• Assessment is paid for by Perkins grant funds
• Certification can provide advantages in obtaining employment

Academic Credit Options

Advanced Placement (AP)
Students may take Advanced Placement (AP) courses for an opportunity to receive college credit. Students must achieve a score of a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP test given in the spring to be considered for college credit. However, each college makes a determination whether or not they will accept the credits. These courses are designated throughout the Program of Studies. Generally, Minnesota state colleges accept the credit.

College Board, a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing, inspiring, and connecting students to college, sponsors the AP program. The College Board writes and administers advanced tests and studies in almost 40 subjects from Art to Statistics. These tests, representative of freshman level college knowledge on that subject, form the basis of what is studied in AP courses. Currently, Lakeville offers 23 AP courses with the intent of challenging students and better prepare them for college. Each May, students may choose to take a national test that measures their knowledge in the areas they studied during the year. If a student scores high enough, they will receive college credit at over 4,000 institutions nationwide. Close to 2.2 million students in the US took an AP course last year at one of the 19,000 high schools that offer this option.

Test Registration
Registration for the AP exams occurs in April. Students who wish to take any AP test in May will receive registration information in the AP class and will register online. Students are able to take an AP exam even if they did not take the course. Each year the state pays part of the College Board exam fee, and the student pays the remainder. If a student is taking multiple tests, a separate payment is required for each test. Due to the test-ordering deadline, late registrations will not be accepted. The registration payment is non-refundable after the deadline. College Board predetermines testing dates.

Weighted Grades
Advanced Placement course GPA points equals standard grades points plus one. For example: Letter grade “A” = 5.0

Articulated Credit
Articulated credit is a way of earning credit at the high school level and college level at the same time. Certain courses taken at the high school in the Business, Family and Consumer Science and Industrial Technology departments are eligible for articulated credit. Eligible courses are identified in the individual course descriptions. Students will receive credit certificates for the number of credits they successfully complete. Some certificates are for partial credit for a college course. When students enroll in the course at college, they will only need to pay for the number of credits not covered by the certificate. The college makes the determination on all credit allocations.

AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a program to prepare students who are in the academic middle for four-year college eligibility. It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students, and in closing the achievement gap.

The AVID program is offered at both Lakeville North and Lakeville South all four years of high school. Students are admitted into this program by application only. Some courses may earn college credit. Contact your Dean for more information.

The AVID Elective – Students are enrolled in rigorous classes, such as honors and Advanced Placement, and in the AVID elective. For one period a day, students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking and asking probing questions, get academic help from peers and tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable. The AVID curriculum is driven by the writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading method (WICOR). The specialized curriculum is used in AVID elective classes and in content-area classes.

The AVID Student – AVID targets students in the academic middle who have the desire to go to college and the willingness to work hard. These students are capable of completing rigorous curriculum but are falling short of their potential.

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
CLEP is a College Board program that allows students to earn college credit by demonstrating their mastery of college-level material in introductory subjects. Students may transfer the credit (“P” letter grade) to the high school transcript. Costs for the exams vary and are incurred by the family. For additional information, go to

Concurrent Enrollment
Concurrent enrollment allows qualified high school students to earn college credit in their high school during the regular school day. Several programs are currently offered: College Now through Southwest Minnesota State University for AP Chemistry at Lakeville South High School, Project Lead the Way though St. Cloud State University for Honors Principles of Biomedical Science and Honors Human Body Systems at Lakeville North High School, and AVID courses through Normandale. Transferability of these credits to other post-secondary institutions is not guaranteed.

Classes are taught by qualified high school teachers and supervised by college faculty members. There is no cost to the student for these courses, providing an outstanding opportunity for students to earn college credit and high school credit at the same time and jump-starting their college careers without incurring additional debt.   There are criteria established by each concurrent enrollment program such as earning a minimum grade in the course, or a certain score on an end of course exam, or paying a fee for application, that need to be met in order for the credit to be transcripted at the college level.

Credit by Assessment
Students can receive credit for any course offered by the district in any subject area if the student is able to demonstrate the outcomes for the course. If the student completes the assessment process in a satisfactory manner, the student’s transcript will show the credit earned and a course grade of A, A-, B+ or B. Depending on the course, students may earn a semester credit, a full year credit, or in the case of a full-year course, a student could be given credit for just one of the semesters.

Credit by Assessment Procedure:

1) Student requests application from Dean’s Office (or downloads from website), obtains a parent’s signature and meets with Dean of Students

2) Student meets with the department chair to obtain materials and establish assessment plan

3) Student brings the form with assessment plan back to the Dean’s Office to be copied and filed

4) Student independently studies and/or completes materials needed for assessment

5) Assessment is completed or materials presented for evaluation

6) Credit is awarded if assessment results in a grade of B or higher (83%)

7) A letter grade is awarded (not pass/fail)


Resources are provided. Tutoring, instruction or remediation is not provided.

Assessment procedures may include paper and pencil tests, portfolios, demonstration of skills, and production of materials or other such methods as agreed upon by the department chair or designated instructor and the student.

Students may not complete credit by assessment for any course in which they have received a passing grade

Upon completion of credit by assessment student has three choices:

  • Credit by Assessment grade for high school credit is placed on transcript (in accordance with   State of Minnesota Statute)
  • Student may choose to take the course and have the grade earned in the class placed on the transcript
  • Student may reattempt the credit by assessment process with a plan in place for relearning

Credit by assessment is offered January, May, and August and needs to be completed prior to the start of a semester.

Credit/No Credit
Students may take one credit per semester on a credit/no credit basis. This option is to encourage students to explore interests in subjects in which they may not be willing to risk getting a low grade. Any student who is interested in taking a course on a credit/no credit basis should discuss arrangements with his/her parents(s), Dean and teacher. Forms are available in the Dean’s or Student Services Office.   The deadline for submitting the request to the Dean’s Office is prior to the end of 1st quarter for first semester requests and/or prior to the end of 3rd quarter for second semester requests.  

  • Students who are preparing for a career where this course is a prerequisite should take the course and be graded under the conventional system.
  • Students must realize that once they sign up for this grading option, they cannot change grading systems (back to an “A” – “F” grading system) during the course.
  • All students requesting the Credit/No Credit grading system in a course will continue to take all tests, turn in all regular class work, and receive grades along with other students. Only the final mark is a “P” or “F”.
  • Students should complete the form, obtain parent approval, teacher approval, and bring this form to the Deans’ Office. For yearlong courses, the Credit/No Credit option must be requested each semester the student desires to take the Credit/No Credit option.
  • If a student earns 60% or higher, the course will not be in computations determining the student’s grade point average or class rank. If a student fails the class, (below 60%), the F grade will be calculated in the grade point average.
  • If a student receives a D- or higher, they receive credit for the course. The credit will count toward meeting graduation requirements.
  • Attention student-athletes: NCAA assigns a 1.0 or the equivalent of a “D” for any course taken under the Credit/No Credit (pass/fail) grading option.

Credits Obtained From Other Institutions
The district must be notified prior to the student taking any course in order for it to be considered for future high school credit attainment. The course must be equivalent or beyond Lakeville Area Public Schools course sequence. The course description and syllabus may be requested for review. Students must meet with their Dean prior to registering for the course.

Credit Recovery
The Pathways program is designed for students that need to recover credits in order to graduate. This allows students to maintain status and graduate with their class. Courses are offered during the day and after regular school hours. Students must meet eligibility criteria in order to enroll. Courses offered are English, social studies, science, math & some elective areas.

Hybrid Courses
Hybrid courses include face-to-face instruction in the classroom part of the time and independent online learning activities the remainder of the time. These courses meet the same Minnesota State Standards and Lakeville Essential Learnings as traditional courses. Schoology is the educational platform used to host the courses. Hybrid courses allow students to experience an online course and develop digital learning skills. Courses that will be offered in the hybrid format are designated throughout the Program of Studies and on the Course Selection Form. Students taking hybrid courses are permitted to leave the building during their hybrid course on non-seminar days. Students staying in the building on a non-seminar day must remain in the assigned hybrid area. Students who do not have access to technology at home will be provided access to technology tools and be provided a time and space to complete work.

High School Online Courses
Online courses are taught completely online with no face-to-face contact with the teacher. Learners access primary content and instruction from an online environment using a variety of tools including email, chat, discussion boards, web pages, and multimedia technologies. Specific technologies employed will vary by course and instructor.

Students taking online courses are permitted to leave the building during the class period in which the course is scheduled, following the required sign out procedure. Students staying in the building must remain in the assigned online area. Students who do not have access to technology at home will be provided access to technology tools and be provided a time and space to complete work.

Independent Study
Independent Study refers to a course conducted with an instructor as a mentor, enabling the student to explore a topic of interest. Independent Study provides students an opportunity to expand their expertise in a particular area, explore a topic in detail, or develop advanced skills.

Independent Study is available to seniors to earn a semester credit in a course not offered by the high school. An application is required. Upon successful completion of the Independent Study course the student will be issued a “pass” for the semester credit.

LinK12 Lakeville
LinK12 Lakeville is a comprehensive, statewide online school through which students can earn a Lakeville diploma. This academic option is for families and students looking for anytime, anywhere learning that includes individualized instruction, flexibility in pace and schedule, responsiveness to learning styles and self-selection of learning environment. Students who benefit from this option should be self-directed, independent learners. Even though students do their learning outside of a school building, they will receive a high quality educational experience that meets the state and local standards. A student enrolled in more than 50% of their courses through LinK12 Lakeville, becomes a LinK12 Lakeville student, however, upon graduation will be issued a diploma from Lakeville North High School or Lakeville South High School.

Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO)

Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) is a program that allows 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students to earn both high school and college credit while still in high school, through enrollment in and successful completion of college nonsectarian courses at eligible participating postsecondary institutions. Most PSEO courses are offered on the campus of the postsecondary institution; some courses are offered online. Each participating college or university sets its own admissions requirements for enrollment into the PSEO courses. Eleventh and 12th-grade students may take PSEO courses on a full- or part-time basis; 10th graders are eligible to enroll in PSEO on a more limited basis (see note below). Students must meet the PSEO residency and eligibility requirements and abide by participation limits specified in Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09. If a school district determines a pupil is not on track to graduate, she/he may continue to participate in PSEO on a term by term basis.

By March 1 of each year, or three weeks prior to the date a student registers for courses for the following school year (whichever is earlier), schools must provide PSEO information to all students in grades 8-11 and their families. To assist the district in planning, a student must inform the district by May 30 of each year of their intent to enroll in postsecondary courses during the following school year.

There is no charge to PSEO students for tuition, books or fees for items that are required to participate in a course; however, students may incur fees for equipment that becomes their property when the course or program is completed, textbooks that are not returned to the postsecondary institution according to their policies, or for tuition costs if they do not notify the district by May 30 and the district does not waive this date requirement.

Funds are available to help pay transportation expenses for qualifying students to participate in PSEO courses on college campuses. For more information on these funds, access the PSEO Mileage Reimbursement Program Instructions.

Enrolling in a PSEO course does not prohibit a student from participating in activities sponsored by the high school.

School districts must allow a PSEO student reasonable access to the high school building, computers and/or other technology resources during regular school hours to participate in PSEO courses, whether on-line or on campus.

Each year, districts must publish their grade-weighting policy on their website, including a list of courses for which students can earn weighted grades.

All courses taken through the PSEO program must meet graduation requirements. Districts must transcript credits earned in PSEO by a ratio prescribed in statute. Districts have the authority to decide which subject area and standards the PSEO course meets. If there is a dispute between the district and the student regarding the number of credits granted for a particular course, the student may appeal the board’s decision to the commissioner. The commissioner’s decision regarding the number of credits will be final.

Postsecondary institutions are required to allow PSEO students to enroll in online courses consistent with the institution’s policy regarding postsecondary student enrollment in online courses.

Tenth-grade students may initially enroll in one Career and Technical Education (CTE) PSEO course if they receive a reading proficiency score of “meets” or “exceeds” on the 8th grade MCA. If 10th graders taking a CTE PSEO course earn at least a grade C in that class, they may take additional postsecondary courses. If the student did not take the MCA in 8th-grade, another reading assessment accepted by the enrolling postsecondary institution can be substituted. For students with disabilities, there is an alternative option to demonstrate reading proficiency.

For current information about the PSEO program, visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) webpage.

Rigorous Course Waiver
Students can waive basic state standards by taking courses with higher rigor. The chart below indicates which state standards specific courses can replace. The rigorous course waiver process provides students with opportunities to take additional courses while in high school.


Rigorous Course Courses to be Waived
AP Art History World History
AP Biology Biology
AP Chemistry Chemistry
AP European History World History
AP Government & Politics: U.S. Civics
AP Human Geography Geography
AP Language and AP Literature English 11, Speech, English 12, and Media Studies Elective
AP Macroeconomics Economics
AP Microeconomics Economics
AP Physics 1 Physics
A.P. U. S. History US History
AP World History World History

Secondary Credit in Middle School
A middle school student who satisfactorily completes any high school course shall receive secondary course credit and the credit shall count toward the student’s graduation requirements (excluding Algebra 1 in 8th grade). The grade/credit will be reflected on the high school transcript and will be part of the grade point average and class rank.

Technical Skills Assessments
Students will have the opportunity to take a Technical Skills Assessment (TSA) upon the completion of some Career and Technical Education courses. Currently, upon completion of Foods 3, students may take a ServSafe certification exam and upon completion of Building Construction/Applied Architecture may take an OSHA 10 certification exam. If students earn a passing score on the ServSafe exam, they will earn a food handler certificate from foodservice experts, the National Restaurant Association. The OSHA 10 exam assesses an entry-level construction worker’s general awareness on recognizing and preventing hazards on a construction site.


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