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Status of Education in Rural America
NCES 2007-040
June 2007

3.4. Dual credit, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses


In 2002–03, the percentage of public high school students in rural areas attending schools offering dual credit courses was not measurably different from those in cities and suburbs, while the percentages of public high school students in rural areas attending schools that offered Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses or programs were lower than those in cities and suburbs.

The size of public high schools is positively related to the percentage of such schools offering dual credit courses (Waits, Setzer, and Lewis 2005). As a result, the percentage of public high school students with access to these courses in 2002–03 was higher than the percentage of schools offering these courses. Nationally, 78 percent of public high school students attended high schools that offered dual credit courses, 87 percent attended schools that offered Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and 5 percent attended schools that offered International Baccalaureate (IB) programs (table 3.4) (see Glossary for details on these types of courses or programs).

The percentage of public high school students in rural areas attending schools offering dual credit courses (76 percent) was lower than in towns (86 percent), but not measurably different from cities and suburbs. A lower percentage of public high school students in rural areas were enrolled in schools offering AP courses (69 percent) than in suburban areas (96 percent), cities (93 percent), or towns (83 percent). Finally, the percentage of public high school students who were enrolled in schools offering IB programs was lower in rural areas (1 percent) than in cities (8 percent) and suburbs (7 percent), but not significantly different from the percentage in towns.

The differences across locales in the percentages of public high schools offering dual credit courses followed the same pattern as detected in the percentage of public school students with access to these courses at their high school.


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