Hall County students enrolled in certain college courses can now expect a bump to their high school grade point average.
District Board of Education members voted Monday for students enrolled in nearby colleges in “core academic courses or world languages” to have those grades weighted on a 5.0 scale, up from the original 4.5 weighting.
“All grade points are not equal,” Superintendent Will Schofield said, pointing out these changes will have no impact on how students are evaluated for HOPE scholarship eligibility. He also said many major universities have different criteria as well, so they don’t look at how local districts calculate GPA.
“However, it is fair to say that there could be instances of our 1,500 graduates, for some of those to go to an out-of-state, private college and someone looks at class ranking,” Schofield said. “All else is the same, but because of the way that we weight GPAs for class ranking, someone turns out to be 17 (in class) instead of 10 ... that could make a difference.”
Dual-enrolled students are those taking classes at a local college, like the University of North Georgia, for both college and high school credit. Previously, a student making a 95-100 in that class had that grade weighted as a 4.5.
On the other hand, a student in an Advanced Placement class with a 95-100 would have that weighted as a 5.0 in his or her GPA. Advanced Placement classes are given in high schools and may count as college credit, as well.
“I think if we’re going to encourage the kids, and we have done so over the last several years, to take dual enrollment classes, it ought not penalize them,” board member Bill Thompson said. “We need to do something and at least give them the same credit.”
Any grade below 70 remains a 0 GPA.
School officials are still looking at other college-level classes a student may take, like welding or art history, to decide how those classes would be affected. Monday’s vote only counts for core academic classes, like math or science, and world languages.
The new system will be in place for the 2014-15 school year.