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Pacer NYC

The Student News Site of Pace High School

Pacer NYC

College Classes Versus AP Classes

Opinion: Student Views

Pace High School’s association with Pace University allows students to take college classes on the university campus during their high school career.

Students can also take Advanced Placement or AP classes like AP Biology, AP English Language, AP Psychology, AP Calculus, and more. Which do students prefer?

Pace’s AP classes are rigorous college-level classes that challenge students in course work, organization, and work ethic. Students are taught subjects on a deeper level and pushed to think and act like college students throughout the year.

Pace U’s college bridge program runs during fall, spring, and summer semesters. You must have an overall average of at least 85 to be able to participate. Philosophy, criminal justice, psychology, history, and modern languages are popular choices among the participating student body. Mr. Weber, Pace’s drama teacher, helps run and organize the program.

Pacer NYC interviewed three students who seemed to agree that taking a Pace University class gives students early exposure to the college experience.
Fransheli Rivera, 11th grade, offered this advice on college class: “Take it if you think you’re responsible and you’re eligible. I really recommend it.”

Dahmya Moore, senior

What AP classes have you taken or are you currently taking?

When I was a tenth grader, I took AP Computer Science and I took AP Lit. In eleventh grade, I took AP Language, and this year I’m taking AP African American studies.

Which college classes have you taken or are you currently taking?

I took Italian 101, the beginning class.

Which one did you prefer more, the college class or the AP class and why?

I would prefer the college class because I feel like the college teacher was more lenient. I feel like it was much easier compared to the AP exams. Even for the finals, he allowed us to take notes – to use our notes, only our notes – for the exam. I feel like it was very easy to understand compared to any other course. It was just like Spanish but much simpler than AP. The AP courses – they’re difficult – and it’s really repetitive. You’re taking in so much information compared to a college course where you’re just taking it slow by slow and then the teacher was just really nice about it too. And funny.

Do you think the AP classes or the college classes were better set up for you to feel like you would be prepared for college?

I feel like it [AP] is because it prepares you to – especially with English – write a lot of essays in a short amount of time.

I didn’t take any English college course but when I was taking Italian, the teacher wasn’t really focusing on us writing so much. We were learning a whole different language. We were just learning the words and everything, how to translate stuff.

I feel like my college class was definitely much easier than my APs. I feel like the AP class will definitely prepare me for college. If someone wants me to write an essay within a week, I can definitely do that in three days.

Did you take your college class online or were you on the campus?

I was on campus.

How did that affect anything?

It was kind of embarrassing. It felt so awkward to tell people that I’m literally 16 years old while everyone in the class is in their 20s or mid-20s. It was a nice experience because I got to be more open with adults and get to talk and interact with people a little bit older than me.

At that time, I feel like I was more prepared for college compared to high school because in high school everyone’s running around and noisy. That college class was so quiet and calm and nice and peaceful. You can see how everyone was more engaged to learn compared to here. Here it’s like no one really cares so much.

I would say AP course, yes, people really care about the course but not as much as college students do. They actually sit do

wn and focus and they will actually help you out – especially helping you out with whatever’s going on in the course.

What are the benefits of taking the actual college class as opposed to the AP class?

The benefit is that you get to have a little snip, a little feeling of what the college life would feel like before you actually go in to college. The school is crowded and it’s really nice but you get to feel like you’re in that college field. You get to become a little bit more mature compared to taking an AP course. You’re around your friends and you’re still in high school so it’s like it’s not growing you up to be more mature.

If you were to recommend the choice to underclassmen, would you tell them to take an AP class or college class?

I would say take a college class because I feel like you would definitely get the experience of – the AP prepares you for college but when you’re in a college class, you’re already in college. Take at least one year of APs so you get the feel and the motion of how college is going to be – especially what course you’re taking –because you are going to be handling a lot of work and a lot of responsibilities, and a lot of deadlines.

After you take that AP, I would just say for the rest of your years definitely take a college class. You would be in a m

ore mature setting with people who actually want to learn. It will help you and plus the college credits are really easy. The credit and the class itself was not that hard especially when your professor is open. I had a nice professor and he was really open to people submitting stuff late. I would say it’s much easier plus they don’t give you too much work compared to AP. AP would give you so much work that you would stay up at 3am in the morning and lose sleep. College is not like that. I finished my 10 assignments within 45 minutes because that’s how easy it was.

Tristan Liu, senior

What AP classes have you taken or are currently taking?

I am currently taking AP Calculus, AP Computer Science, and college bridge English which is considered a Pace Univers

ity course.. Previously, I’ve taken AP US History, AP Bio, AP Literature and Composition, and AP Environmental Science.

What college classes have you taken or are currently taking?

I am currently taking college bridge English which is a college class that I get credit for.

Do you prefer AP classes or college classes and why?

College bridge classes because it’s not required to take a test to get the credit, you just have to pass the class. And Weber is just really chill.

Did you take your college classes online or on the campus?

On campus.

What are the benefits of taking the actual college class as opposed to the AP class?

You get to experience the college workload instead of AP which is still high school workload but you’re learning college content.

Did you enjoy the AP classes more or the college classes?

I enjoyed the AP classes more.

Fransheli Rivera, junior

What AP classes have you taken or are currently taking?

So far, I have taken AP Language.

What college classes have you taken or are currently taking?

I have taken a college class at Pace called Italian 101.

Do you prefer AP classes to your college classes or not and why?

I prefer my college class because, for me, it kind of gave me a little more real life experience. As well, I just felt a lot more freedom and more motivated to learn because it wasn’t part of high school. Me personally, I just hate everything to do with high school, so I just didn’t want to do anything. With the college class, I kind of liked going into the building. The atmosphere was just so much better.

Did you take your college classes online or on the campus?

I took my classes on-campus. Me personally, I loved it because the teacher–he was amazing. Online I don’t think I’ll ever learn. It’s not like I learned in-person but I most definitely learned more in-person than I did if I was online.

What are the benefits of taking the actual college class as opposed to the AP class?

In my college class, even though it was pretty advanced, I felt like it was perfect because – I don’t know if it was just my AP class but it was just a bunch of high schoolers. Not to dismiss them or anything but they can be really a handful and really loud.

I feel like in my college class I did learn a lot more. I just felt like the AP class was kind of watered down a little because of the students. Even though I did appreciate it from time to time, I just wish it was a little more cohesive and put together rather than, at least in the classes I was in, it was kind of disorganized.

I just felt like my college class was a lot more put together and I learned more. It’s more like building stones. What you learn the first week, it’s something you’ll be using throughout the time period that you’re taking the class.

Did you enjoy your AP classes more or your college class?

I love my college class. No one can tell me nothing. I would literally walk in there with a cup of coffee and a meal everyday just because I left high school early. It’s not even just because of that. I genuinely like the teacher. The Italian teacher I had, he was amazing.

I just suck at school and I just didn’t like the language, that was the only reason I didn’t do as well as I should have. If you’re planning on taking it, take it. It’s stressful from time to time, yes. I cannot count how many times I’ve been crying because I was so stressed out. I was in Spain and Portugal doing homework. I had to send him a video of where we were so he can not grade the assignment. Take it if you think you’re responsible and you’re eligible. I really recommend it.


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About the Contributor
Nyela Alexander, Reporter
Nyela Alexander is a sophomore writer for PacerNYC and a member of SGO. She enjoys dancing and trying new activities and foods.

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