Baker University offers students college credits

Despite possible benefits of concurrent enrollment, some students doubtful about advantage over other means of earning college credit

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By Photo by Margaret Mellott

In her Baker credits class, junior Jenny Morrill works on a lab in AP Physics on Friday Oct. 10. “[Because of the credits], I don’t have to waste any of my time in college taking these classes,” Morrill said.

Nick Booth, Sarah Myers, JagWire news editor, JagWire features/A&E editor

This fall, students gained a new opportunity to earn concurrent college enrollment credits from Baker University for three AP classes already offered: AP U.S. History, AP U.S. Government & Politics and AP Physics.

The school is using Baker credit to provide students with the opportunity for college credit in AP classes that were not previously covered.

“We’re trying to get as many of our AP classes covered with college credit as possible, and if I couldn’t get them covered with Johnson County Community College, [I could get them covered with Baker],” counselor Randy Burwell said. “That was kind of the whole point of bringing Baker on.”

With these courses covered by Baker, in addition to courses covered by Johnson County Community College credits, college credit is now available for nine of 12 current AP classes. All of the classes covered  by Baker are AP.

Junior Patrick Gambill is taking Baker credit for AP U.S. History as a backup so he has two options if he doesn’t do well either in the class or on the AP test.

“I did it so I wouldn’t have to take the AP test for [AP U.S. History],” Gambill said. “Plus, it [can also] give you another chance because you can take the AP test [if you don’t do well enough in the class].”

Classes that already offer college credit through JCCC CollegeNow will not offer Baker credits and classes offering Baker credits will not offer credit through JCCC CollegeNow. Both credits transfer to many of the same colleges and universities, but there are some differences between the credits.

Baker credits cost $100 per credit hour, while JCCC credits cost $88 per credit hour. JCCC also requires students to take the COMPASS test in order to test in to courses; Baker, however does not require that students test-in but rather that they have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Before the beginning of the school year, counselors had also planned to make Baker credits available for students in AP Music Theory and AP Studio Art. However, a lack of student interest and enrollment forced the counselors to drop the credits for those classes. AP Psychology is also not currently available for dual credit through Baker due to the fact that AP Psychology teacher Mike Roush has not yet acquired a master’s degree in education.

Although she has the ability to, junior T-Ying Lin will not be taking concurrent enrollment through either school, as those credits do not have as much transferability as the AP test.

“[My main reasoning] behind it is I want to go to a coastal school,” Lin said. “Because I want to keep my options open, I’m choosing to use the AP [credit] rather than credits from Baker or [JCCC] because I don’t know exactly what school I want to go to.”

Junior Nadia Suhail has similar reasons for not wanting to take Baker’s concurrent enrollment college credits.

“Mostly it’s because Baker credits don’t transfer to the colleges I want to go to,” Suhail said. “I want to go somewhere out of state.”

However, AP Physics teacher Alyssa Meyer thinks the availability of Baker college credits will be beneficial for students.

“I think it’s a good idea for students [to use the college credit] if that’s the route they want to go,” Meyer said. “It’s good if they’re going to school in Kansas, and it’s a good way to earn credit. It’s also a cost effective way to earn credit.”

Burwell also sees financial savings as one of the biggest benefits of using concurrent enrollment credits.

“[Students] are able to take college credit work at the high school level and get [it] at a reduced cost than what they would if they took these classes [in college],” Burwell said. “It’s a huge financial saving. This will keep some of our families from having the college debt that you hear about in the news.”

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