Early College Credit

Appleton Area School District high school students who meet the eligibility requirements defined in applicable statutes, regulations, and District policies, and who submit timely and complete applications and notices, may be permitted to enroll in one or more courses at a University of Wisconsin two- or four-year campus, tribally controlled college, or participating private, nonprofit college/university in Wisconsin through the Early College Credit Program.

The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) or an Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction (ACI) administrative-level designee shall be responsible for (1) ensuring that the District appropriately processes requests/applications related to the Early College Credit Program; and (2) determining whether the District will approve individual applications and pay for specific courses based on the criteria established in State law, any applicable State regulations, and applicable District policies and procedures.

The authority of the program administrator(s) includes, but is not limited to, the authority to make or approve the following determinations on behalf of the District:

1. Whether a student meets the minimum eligibility criteria established in State law;
2. Whether a proposed course is comparable to a course already offered in the District;
3. Whether the proposed course and any resulting credit meets any of the District’s high school graduation requirements; and
4. Whether the student will be eligible to receive high school credit for the successful completion of a proposed course, and, if so, the amount of high school credit.

Initial Applications and Notices Students Are Required to Submit

Students interested in enrolling in an institution of higher education (IHE) for the purpose of taking one or more nonsectarian courses under the Early College Credit Program, must do all of the following to start the application process:

1. Submit a timely and complete application directly to the applicable IHE in the semester prior to the semester or session in which the course is scheduled to begin. The student must adhere to all application deadlines and other related requirements established by the IHE; and

 2. Submit a timely and complete written notice to the District that identifies the student’s intent to take one or more courses under the Early College Credit Program. A separate notification form must be completed and processed for each IHE semester/session in which a student intends to take a course.
a. The initial notification form must be submitted to the District by March 1 if the student intends to enroll at the IHE in the subsequent summer or fall semester and by October 1 if the student intends to enroll in the subsequent spring semester.
b. In addition to any other information required on the form, the initial notice must identify the name of the IHE the student plans to attend, the titles of the course(s) in which the student intends to enroll, the number of postsecondary credits of each course, and whether the student will be taking the course(s) for high school credit, postsecondary credit, or both.

Responsibility for Costs; Limitations on District Payments

To the extent required by State law and as applicable to each course that a student takes under the Early College Credit Program, the District shall pay the appropriate tuition amount to the IHE and such other costs (if any) as may be specified by law. The student or the student’s parent or guardian shall pay the amounts (if any) specified as the student’s responsibility for each course under State law and District’s policy.

The following also apply:

1. If a student takes a course at an IHE that is comparable to a course offered in the District, the District will make no payment for the course. Instead, the student taking the comparable course is responsible for paying the tuition and fees for the course.

 2. If a student takes a course at an IHE for postsecondary credit only, and the course is not comparable to a course offered in the District, the student or the student’s parent or guardian shall pay to the District 25% of the tuition amount that the District is required to pay to the IHE, unless such 25% payment is determined to pose an undue financial burden on the student’s family under standards and procedures set by the Department of Public Instruction. If applicable to a course and not waived pursuant to State law, the following provisions further govern the timing and method for making such 25% payments to the District:
a. The student or his/her parent or guardian may make payment for such courses via a personal check or a bank (cashiers) check, made payable to the Appleton Area School District, or a cash payment to the high school business office. If a check is returned as non-payable due to insufficient funds, a stop-payment order, or any other reason, any related fee(s) charged to the District by a financial institution will be added to the amount due.
b. Student, parent or guardian payment of the 25% share of tuition costs, such as “unless the District’s Business Office has agreed in writing to a different plan of scheduled payments,” payment is due in full within 30 days of the date on which the District provides the student (or student’s parent or guardian) with an invoice of the specific amount due. Payment is due in full within 30 days of the date on which the District provides the student (or student’s parent or guardian) with an invoice of the specific amount due.
c. If the District receives any payment from the student or the student’s parent or guardian as a share of tuition, and it is later determined that the District is not responsible for paying tuition for the course, or if the amount received as payment exceeds the amount of the student’s actual payment obligation, the District will refund the appropriate amount to the student or his/her parent or guardian.
d. Any past-due payments for a share of course tuition that are owed by a student may result in the denial of certain school-related privileges in the same manner that applies to other past-due school fees and charges.

 3. The District shall pay for no more than the equivalent of a combined total of 18 post-secondary semester credits per student for any courses that are taken through the Early College Credit Program or Start College Now program offered by the Wisconsin Technical College (section 38.12(14) of the State Statutes). Courses that the District paid for under the former Youth Options Program and/or Course Options Program count toward this 18 credit limit. However, the limitation on total paid credits does not prohibit a student from (1) taking other courses through a postsecondary institution where the District has authorized the coursework under a separate program or separate source of authority; or (2) taking other District-approved high school courses, outside of the specific State programs, that may result in eligibility for postsecondary credit(s).

 4. The District shall only pay for courses that are successfully completed. If a student receives a failing grade in a course or fails to complete the course, the student’s parent or guardian or the student, if an adult, is responsible for reimbursing the District for the costs paid by the District. If this reimbursement is not made upon request, the student is ineligible for any further participation in the Early College Credit Program and Start College Now program offered by the Wisconsin Technical College.

 5. In order for a student to avoid a payment obligation (where applicable) for a course taken through the Early College Credit Program, it is the sole responsibility of the student and his/her parent or guardian to ensure that the student withdraws from the course prior to the applicable IHE’s deadline for doing so such that the IHE will not charge the District any tuition for the course.
6. Unless otherwise required by law, the District is not responsible for providing transportation to IHE courses taken under this policy or paying for transportation-related costs.

Satisfaction of Graduation Requirements; Awarding High School Credit for College Courses; and Course Comparability Determinations

Pending the development of any new State regulations applicable to the Early College Credit Program that address the granting of high school credit for a course taken at an IHE under this policy, the satisfaction of high school graduation requirements, and/or the determination of whether a course offered by an IHE is comparable to a course offered in the District, or the adoption of other specific local standards for making such determinations within the Early College Credit Program, the District shall apply the mandatory and discretionary standards found in PI 40.07 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, as such standards were in effect as of December 31, 2017.

If a student who intends to take a course through the Early College Credit Program disagrees with a District decision regarding comparability of courses, satisfaction of high school graduation requirements, or the number of high school credits to be awarded for a course (if any), the student may appeal the District’s decision to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction within 30 days after the decision.

Early College Credit Procedures

A. Student Eligibility to Attend Individual Courses at eligible colleges or universities

1. In addition to meeting any other applicable eligibility requirements, a student who wishes to enroll in a course at a University of Wisconsin two- or four-year campus, tribally controlled college, or participating private, nonprofit college/university in Wisconsin under the Early College Credit Program college must:
a. Submit all required notices, parent permissions (if under 18), and college applications on a timely basis;
b. Have completed 8th grade, have all requirements met, including a minimum of six (6) high school credits completed toward graduation by the end of each year of high school enrollment;
c. Not be a child at risk of not graduating from high school, as defined by State law; and
d. Be in good academic standing within the District. For purposes of this requirement, “good academic standing” in the District means that the student has a cumulative high school grade point average of at least 2.0 at the time of the determination.

 2. A college or university may deny a high school student admission to the IHE, or registration in a specific course, for any of the reasons provided in State law.

 3. A student participating in the Early College Credit Program may attend only one college or university in any semester.

 4. A student who is participating in the Early College Credit Program in any semester may not simultaneously participate in the Start College Now technical college course Program.

 5. The District may refuse to allow a student with a disability to attend a college or university through the Early College Credit Program if the costs related to any special services required for the student would impose an undue financial burden on the District.

 6. Students attending classes at an IHE under this program shall be responsible for their own transportation, except as otherwise required by law.

B. Course Application Process

1. Students interested in attending individual courses at an Early College Credit Program eligible IHE must do all of the following to start the application process:
a. To the extent required by the applicable IHE, submit a timely and complete application directly to the college, under any procedures and deadlines established by the college; and
b. Submit a timely and complete written notice to the District that identifies the student’s intent to take one or more college courses under the Early College Credit Program. A separate notification form must be completed and processed for each semester that a student applies to participate in the Early College Credit Program.
  • The initial notification form must be submitted to the student’s high school counseling office by March 1 if the student intends to enroll at the IHE in the subsequent summer or fall semester and by October 1 if the student intends to enroll in the subsequent spring semester.
  • In addition to any other information required on the form, the initial notice must identify the name of the IHE the student plans to attend, the titles of the course(s) in which the student intends to enroll, the number of postsecondary credits of each course, and whether the student will be taking the course(s) for high school credit, postsecondary credit, or both.

2. As soon as such information is available, the student shall further notify the student’s high school counseling office:
a. That the student has been admitted to IHE to which the student applied;
b. That the student has been successfully enrolled in and registered to attend individual courses; and
c. If any of the course information provided on the initial notification has changed.

3. Students are required to cooperate with the District in providing any information that may be necessary to determine their eligibility for the program and process individual course requests.

4. Upon receiving a student’s written notification of intent to participate in the Early College Credit course program, the CAO or an ACI administrative-level designee shall process the student’s request, including determining the following:
a. Whether a student meets the minimum eligibility criteria for participation in the program;
b. Whether the student will be eligible to receive high school credit for the successful completion of a proposed course and, if so, how much high school credit;
c. Whether a proposed course is comparable to a course already offered in the District; and
d. Whether the proposed course and any resulting credit meets any of the District’s high school graduation requirements.

5. The CAO or an ACI administrative-level designee shall notify the student, in writing, of the District’s determinations regarding awarding of high school credit (including the amount of credit), course comparability, and satisfaction of high school graduation requirements. The District shall also notify the student of his/her right to appeal any negative determinations on these issues to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
a. Provided that none of the course information provided on the student’s initial notice of intent has changed, such notice shall normally be issued by May 15 for initial notices that were received by March 1 for summer or fall courses, by November 15 for initial notices that were received by October 1 for spring courses.
b. If the District determines that it is impractical to provide notice of the District’s course-related determinations in the regular timeframe identified immediately above, such notice shall, at a minimum, be issued at least 30 days before the beginning of the IHE semester in which the student will be enrolled for the course(s).

6. Appeals of District Decisions. If an applicant for the program disagrees with a District decision regarding course comparability or the satisfaction of high school graduation requirements, State law provides that the applicant may appeal the District’s decision to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction within 30 days after the District’s decision.

C. Satisfaction of Graduation Requirements; Awarding High School Credit for College Courses

1. The determination of whether a course satisfies a high school graduation requirement shall be made with reference to District policies that set forth such requirements and by applying the standards and guidelines that the District applies to its own course offerings and to courses that are submitted for a similar assessment by students who are transferring into the District.

2. Pending the development of any new State regulations applicable to the Early College Credit Program that address the granting of high school credit for a course taken at an IHE under this policy, or the adoption of other specific local standards for such credit determinations, the District shall apply the mandatory and discretionary standards for granting credit that are found in PI 40.07(1) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, as such standards were in effect as of December 31, 2017.
a. The District may deny high school credit for an IHE course if any of the following apply:

  • The District offers a comparable course.
  • The course repeats the course content for which a student has already received a passing grade and high school credit.
  • The course repeats the content of a postsecondary course that the student has already taken and failed.
    b. If credit is not denied for any of the reasons identified above, the District will grant high school credit for an IHE course if the course meets any of the District’s high school graduation requirements, as identified in the Board-approved high school graduation credit policies, and if any of the following conditions apply:
  • The course is complementary to, consistent with, or expands on a course of study or sequence of courses offered by District.
  • The course expands an opportunity for the student to move to another level of an academic or vocational course of study.
  • The course curriculum meets or exceeds the same standards for rigor and content as other courses approved by but not offered by the District for credit toward graduation.
  • The postsecondary course supports rather than prevents a student from completing high school graduation requirements.

3. In order for a student to receive high school credit for a course taken at an IHE under the Early College Credit Program, the student must complete the course and receive a passing grade, as determined by the IHE.

4. To the extent required by State regulations a student shall be granted 1/4 high school credit per 1 semester of conversion-eligible postsecondary credit for a course taken under the Early College Credit Program.

5. Early College Credit coursework grades will be documented on the student’s official transcript; such transferred grades will not be incorporated into the student’s high school cumulative high school grade point average for purposes of determining honors, class rank, and scholarship eligibility.

D. Course Comparability

1. For purposes of determining whether a course that a student wishes to take through the Early College Credit Program is comparable to a course offered by the District, and pending the development of any new State regulations applicable to the Early College Credit Program or the adoption of other specific local standards for determining course comparability, the District shall apply the standards found in PI 40.07(1m) of the Wisconsin Administrative Code, as such standards were in effect as of December 31, 2017.

2. Although a student may still elect to take an IHE course that the District has determined is comparable to a District course, the District is not responsible for paying any portions of the costs related to such a course.

E. Responsibility for Costs; Limitations on District Payments

To the extent required by State law and as applicable to each course that a student takes under the Early College Credit Program, the District shall pay the appropriate tuition amount to the IHE and such other costs (if any) as may be specified by law. The student or the student’s parent or guardian shall pay the amounts (if any) specified as the student’s responsibility for each course under State law and District’s policy.

The following also apply:

1. If a student takes a course at an IHE that is comparable to a course offered in the District, the District will make no payment for the course. Instead, the student taking the comparable course is responsible for paying the tuition and fees for the course.

2. If a student takes a course at an IHE for postsecondary credit only, and the course is not comparable to a course offered in the District, the student or the student’s parent or guardian shall pay to the District 25% of the tuition amount that the District is required to pay to the IHE, unless such 25% payment is determined to pose an undue financial burden on the student’s family under standards and procedures set by the Department of Public Instruction. If applicable to a course and not waived pursuant to State law, the following provisions further govern the timing and method for making such 25% payments to the District:
a. The student or his/her parent or guardian may make payment for such courses via a personal check or a bank (cashiers) check, made payable to the Appleton Area School District or a cash payment to the high school business office. If a check is returned as non-payable due to insufficient funds, a stop-payment order, or any other reason, any related fee(s) charged to the District by a financial institution will be added to the amount due.
b. Student, parent or guardian payment of the 25% share of tuition costs, such as “Unless the District’s Business Office has agreed in writing to a different plan of scheduled payments, payment is due in full within 30 days of the date on which the District provides the student (or student’s parent or guardian) with an invoice of the specific amount due.
c. If the District receives any payment from the student or the student’s parent or guardian as a share of tuition, and it is later determined that the District is not responsible for paying tuition for the course, or if the amount received as payment exceeds the amount of the student’s actual payment obligation, the District will refund the appropriate amount to the student or his/her parent or guardian.
d. Any past-due payments for a share of course tuition that are owed by a student may result in the denial of certain school-related privileges in the same manner that applies to other past-due school fees and charges.

3. The District shall pay for no more than the equivalent of a combined total of 18 post-secondary semester credits per student for any courses that are taken through the Early College Credit Program or Start College Now program offered by the Wisconsin Technical College (section 38.12(14) of the State Statutes). Courses that the District paid for under the former Youth Options Program and/or Course Options Program count toward this 18 credit limit. However, the limitation on total paid credits does not prohibit a student from (1) taking other courses through a postsecondary institution where the District has authorized the coursework under a separate program or separate source of authority; or (2) taking other District-approved high school courses, outside of the specific State programs, that may result in eligibility for postsecondary credit(s).

4. The District shall only pay for courses that are successfully completed. If a student receives a failing grade in a course or fails to complete the course, the student’s parent or guardian or the student, if an adult, is responsible for reimbursing the District for the costs paid by the District. If this reimbursement is not made upon request, the student is ineligible for any further participation in the Early College Credit Program and Start College Now program offered by the Wisconsin Technical College.

5. In order for a student to avoid a payment obligation (where applicable) for a course taken through the Early College Credit Program, it is the sole responsibility of the student and his/her parent or guardian to ensure that the student withdraws from the course prior to the applicable IHE’s deadline for doing so such that the IHE will not charge the District any tuition for the course.

6. Unless otherwise required by law, the District is not responsible for providing transportation to IHE courses taken under this policy or paying for transportation-related costs.

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