Several options are available for Northfield High School students to potentially earn college credit. Contact a counselor for further information regarding any of these programs.
Dual Credit Options
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
AP courses are available in six academic departments (English, Math, Science, World Language and Social Studies). These courses are taught at a different pacing than regular education courses and teacher expectations are similar those of college-level instructors. AP exams are given in the spring to determine a student’s proficiency in the subject matter. Each college/university determines if college credit will be awarded. Teacher recommendation and/or application are sometimes required for students to register for an AP course.
Through a partnership with Minnesota State University Mankato, college credit courses in English and certain levels of World Language are offered at the High School and taught by High School appropriately credentialed High School Staff members.
Students have the opportunity to earn both high school and college credit by earning a certain grade for each course. More information can be found in the current Course Registration Guide.
Senior Honors Program
Through an agreement with St. Olaf College and Carleton College, Northfield High School seniors have the opportunity to enroll in lower-level college courses at no cost to the student. Each college has a specific application process. Application forms are available to students in late spring of their junior year. During the summer, students will be informed of the college’s decision and given instructions on how to register for classes.
Students who intend to use a Senior Honors course to meet a specific graduation requirement should check with their counselor in advance to ensure that the class is applicable. Administrative approval is required prior to the start of these courses.
Students receive both high school and college credit for these classes. The course grade will appear on both the high school and college transcripts.
Postsecondary Enrollment Options (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.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) gives students the opportunity to receive college credit by earning qualifying scores on a variety of examinations.