Opportunities for College Credit

To increase probability of success in AP, IB, and college courses the following steps are necessary:

  • Find out more about each course by talking to the teacher and reviewing course syllabus, course objectives, and expectations.
  • Receive teacher recommendation for the course.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of “C” or above.
  • Be prepared to analyze and evaluate objectively student’s own products (writing, research projects, etc.) and works by peers and experts.
  • Assume responsibility for comprehension of advanced level reading materials and writing from various vantage points in a number of styles for a variety of purposes.
  • Understand that the pace of a college credit bearing class is faster than that of other courses.
  • Consider the application for the course content to student’s future plans.
  • Be aware that success in more advanced courses enhances the chances of being accepted by colleges and universities and also being prepared to do college/university level work.

The Reynolds Advance College Academy

The Reynolds Advance College Academies (ACA) provide outstanding high school students the opportunity to earn an associate degree while completing the requirements for their high school diploma. We have carefully selected and sequenced the college curriculum and courses in the program in order to satisfy the requirements of the high school diploma and associate degree at the same time. Students will apply to ACA in the 8th grade, enroll in advanced high school courses in the 9th grade, and take the required college coursework for the associate degree during the 11th and 12th grade. Students in the ACA program are required to attend a four-week session of college courses during the summer between their sophomore and junior year.

Advanced Placement Programs

Because of the very challenging course content and time necessary to complete assignments, students and parents/guardians should select Advanced, Advanced Placement (AP), and college courses advisedly. Sufficient enrollment is required for an Advanced Placement course to be offered. The AP courses are taught at the college level and follow the syllabus developed by the College Board. The AP Examination is an option, not a requirement, for students. Through a satisfactory score on an Advanced Placement (AP) Examination, a student may earn college credit. Examinations are given at the individual schools in May according to a testing schedule and fee requirements established by the College Board.

Students who want to take Advanced Placement exams and need to request financial assistance for the testing fees should make an appointment to meet with the school counselor to discuss the request. Students are encouraged to consider the following potential benefits of completing Advanced Placement (AP) courses and taking the AP Examination.

  • Introduction to college or university level work
  • Exemption, by decision of the college or university, from beginning courses and permission to take higher level courses
  • College credit for acceptable score on AP Examination, as determined by the college or university
  • Tuition savings
  • Consideration at the college level for honors and other special programs open to students who have received AP recognition

International Baccalaureate Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is a demanding pre-university course of study for students in grades 11 and 12 that leads to examinations. It is designed for highly motivated eleventh and twelfth grade students. The program has earned a reputation for rigorous assessment, giving IB Diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities.

The International Baccalaureate Organization’s Diploma Program was created in 1968. The program was born of efforts to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential for students moving from one country to another. International educators were motivated by practical considerations but also by an idealistic vision. They believed that students should share an academic experience that would emphasize critical thinking, intercultural understanding, and exposure to a variety of points of view.

The two-year curriculum allows students to earn the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which fulfills requirements in a number of countries. Students who successfully complete IB courses and examinations but do not seek the IB diploma may qualify for IB course credits, which also receive international recognition.

Diploma candidates will choose one course from each of the first five groups and one additional course from either group six or groups one through five. Students thus are able to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly. The science oriented student is challenged to learn a world language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures. Active citizenship and global perspectives are encouraged in each area of the curriculum.

Each HCPS high school is an IB World School, separate from each other. Course offerings vary at each school and are based on student requests and enrollment.

The subjects are continually reviewed and revised to meet contemporary needs. The list below serves as a current guide.

Group 1 - Studies in Language and Literature

Students will study literature, including selections of literature in translation. Students will choose to study their Group 1 subject(s) in a language in which they are academically competent. The range of texts studied in language A courses is broad, and students grow to appreciate a language’s complexity, wealth and subtleties in a variety of contexts. A specific aim is to develop a student’s lifelong interest in language and literature and a love for the richness of human expression.

  • English HL-A IB
  • English HL-B IB

Group 2 - Language Acquisition

The main emphasis of the modern language courses is on the acquisition and use of language in a range of contexts and for different purposes while, at the same time, promoting an understanding of another culture through the study of its language. The language acquisition courses are designed to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. The Latin course focuses on the study of the language, literature and culture of the classical world.

  • French SL/HL-A IB
  • Spanish SL/HL-A IB
  • French SL/HL-B IB
  • Spanish SL/HL-B IB
  • Latin SL-A IB
  • German SL/HL-A IB
  • Latin SL-B IB
  • German SL/HL-B IB

Group 3 - Individuals and Societies

Studying any one of the Group 3 subjects provides for the development of a critical appreciation of human experience and behavior, the varieties of physical, economic and social environments that people inhabit and the history of social and cultural institutions. In addition, each subject is designed to foster in students the capacity to identify, to analyze critically and to evaluate theories, concepts and arguments relating to the nature and activities of individuals and societies.

  • History of the Americas HL-A IB
  • Psychology SL IB
  • History of the Americas HL-B IB
  • Psychology HL-A IB
  • Philosophy SL IB
  • Psychology HL-B IB
  • Information Technology for Global Society SL IB
  • Economics SL IB

Group 4 - Sciences

Students explore the concepts, theories, models and techniques that underpin each subject area and through these develop their understanding of the scientific method. A compulsory project encourages students to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science. This exercise is collaborative and interdisciplinary and provides an opportunity for students to explore scientific solutions to global questions. Computer science is an elective subject in Group 4.

  • Chemistry SL IB
  • Physics SL IB
  • Chemistry HL-A IB
  • Computer Science SL IB
  • Chemistry HL-B IB
  • Computer Science HL-A IB
  • Biology SL IB
  • Computer Science HL-B IB
  • Biology HL-A IB
  • Design Technology SL IB
  • Biology HL-B IB

Group 5 - Mathematics

The three Mathematics options serve to accommodate the range of needs, interest and abilities of students, and to fulfill the requirements of various university and career aspirations. The aims of these courses are to enable students to develop mathematical knowledge, concepts and principles, develop logical, critical and creative thinking, and employ and refine their powers of abstraction and generalization. Students are also encouraged to appreciate the international dimensions of mathematics and the multiplicity of its cultural and historical perspectives. All DP mathematics courses require students to appreciate the use of technology and become proficient with graphic display calculators.

  • Mathematical Application and Interpretation SL IB 
  • Mathematical Analysis and Approaches SL IB
  • Mathematical Application and Interpretation HL-A IB
  • Mathematical Application and Interpretation HL-B IB
  • Mathematical Analysis and Approaches HL-A IB
  • Mathematical Analysis and Approaches HL-B IB

Group 6 - The Arts

It is a requirement of the program that students choose one subject from each of the academic Groups 1–5. Alongside these live courses, a students can choose to study a Group 6 subject, or to study an additional subject from Groups 1–5. The subjects in Group 6 allow a high degree of adaptability to different cultural contexts. The emphasis is on creativity in the context of disciplined, practical research into the relevant genres. In addition, each subject is designed to foster critical, reflective and informed practice, help students understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts, explore the diversity of arts across time, place and cultures, and express themselves with confidence and competence.

  • Music IB
  • Film HL-B IB
  • Visual Arts SL IB
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) A-IB
  • Visual Arts HL-A IB 
  • Visual Arts HL-B IB
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK) B-IB
  • Film SL IB
  • Film HL-A IB

Assessing student work and awarding the diploma

Every IB student’s work is assessed by the classroom teachers and examiners worldwide. Each subject is graded on a scale of 1 to 7. To receive the IB diploma, a student must meet defined standards and conditions, including a minimum total of 24 points for the six content areas and a passing score on the Extended Essay. In addition, the diploma candidate must complete a 4,000 word (maximum) extended essay, the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, and the required Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) activities. The maximum score of 45 includes three points awarded for an exceptional extended essay or outstanding work in TOK.

Exams are mandatory. Students enrolled in IB courses are required to take the IB exam.

Dual Enrollment and Concurrent Enrollment Options

Dual Enrollment
Definition: Dual enrollment is a plan which allows high school students to  meet the requirements for high school graduation while simultaneously earning college credit. The student who is dually enrolled is taking an approved college level course through an approved post-secondary community college or university. The dual enrollment course is listed in the Hanover County Public School Program of Studies. Six or more semester credits in a college course must be completed successfully to earn one (1) Carnegie Unit credit toward graduation requirements.

The student is responsible for any fees identified with the course.

The grade earned in the course will be added to the student’s transcript regardless of the grade earned. The grade/weighted credit will be calculated in the students’ GPA (see Regulation 6-4.7(A): Procedures for Computing Class Rank). The add/drop course period established by Hanover County Public Schools and the partnering school will be followed/honored.

The grade earned in the course will follow the grading practices of the partnering post-secondary college or university.

Process for Enrollment:

  • The student is enrolled in the dual enrollment course through the school course registration process.
  • The student must complete and submit the dual enrollment paperwork required by the partnering post-secondary community college or university available through the school Counseling Department.
  • The student must meet the criteria for enrollment from the approved post-secondary community college or university.
  • The student must have approval for participation from the school principal.

Concurrent Enrollment
Definition: A student who is concurrently enrolled is taking a college level course off-site that is not offered in Hanover County Public Schools Program of Studies, through a post-secondary community college or university; the course and the course grade will not be placed on the high school transcript.

The agreement to take concurrent courses and the scheduling of those courses is between the student and the post-secondary community college or university. HCPS cannot guarantee that a student’s schedule will be altered to accommodate the schedule of the concurrent course. The student is responsible for any fees identified with the course.

Process for Enrollment:

  • The student must follow the enrollment/application process outlined by the post-secondary community college or university.

Distance Learning

F905DL American Sign Language I
F906DL American Sign Language II
F907DL American Sign Language III
F908DL American Sign Language IV
Grades 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 – Year - 1 Credit
Per the updated Code of VA (2017) §23.1-905 Academic Credit for American Sign Language (ASL), Hanover Schools shall accept credit from students taking ASL with an outside provider. The provider must meet the following criteria:

  • An accredited school division or post-secondary community college or university offering a full course for credit. Not accepted are specialized learning camps, workshops, or conferences.

Students are encouraged to check with prospective colleges and universities to ensure ASL will be accepted as a world language requirement for admissions.

Longwood University

LUEPF Economics and Personal Finance Dual Enrollment
Grades 10, 11, and 12 - Year - 1 Weighted Credit
Freshman and sophomore students are required to have at least a 3.0 GPA and must have successfully completed at least Algebra I.
Seniors and juniors, including rising juniors, do not have a minimum GPA requirement.

Dual Enrollment Economics and Personal Finance is an introductory college level course offered during the summer in an online module format. Students are required to attend the final course session on the campus of Longwood University in Farmville. The course is designed to familiarize the student with the application of mathematics for the individual in the role of a consumer and/or investor. Special attention will be given to mathematical formulas and their application to realistic situations in economics and finance, in particular personal finance. Topics will include banking, budgeting, credit, taxes, insurance, mortgages, automobile loans, annuities, and investments such as stocks and bonds. Consideration will be given to how changes in the macro and micro economic environment affect these topics. Emphasis is on interpretation of results and the effect on decision making. This course satisfies the requirements for both an online course and Economics and Personal Finance.

Randolph-Macon College

RMC01 College Preview Program
Grade 12 - Year - 1 Weighted Credit per 6 college semester hours

RMC02 College Preview Program
Grade 12 - Year - 1 Credit per 6 college semester hours

RMC03 College Preview Program
Grade 12 - Semester - 1/2 Weighted Credit per 3 college semester hours

RMC04 College Preview Program
Grade 12 - Semester - 1/2 Credit per 3 college semester hours

Through the cooperative efforts of the Hanover County School Division and Randolph-Macon College (R-MC), qualified seniors are provided an opportunity to enroll in one course per semester approved by an admissions officer. Seniors who meet the established criteria may select from over 150 courses (some with prerequisites). Students receive college credit which may be transferred to most fully accredited colleges throughout the country. Please contact Randolph-Macon College for information on associated costs.

Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) allows concurrent high school juniors or seniors to take up to two classes at Randolph-Macon College as college preview students. Tuition is covered by R-MC but fees are still charged. These students must present academic credentials (i.e., high school transcript) comparable to those of admitted full-time students, and a student seeking college preview status should meet all of the following requirements:

Rationale for College Preview Program:

  • The range and depth of academic courses available to eligible students in surrounding counties will be greatly expanded. Over 150 additional courses (some with prerequisites) will be available to outstanding students who wish to enrich their learning opportunities while still in secondary school. Most of these college level courses and subjects are not offered at the secondary level.
  • College Preview at Randolph-Macon provides opportunities for well-qualified students to obtain a preliminary experience with actual college courses while in high school. This experience may help to ease the transition for especially able seniors between secondary school and what may be very competitive academic environments at the colleges they choose.
  • Qualified students may acquire up to the equivalent of one full semester’s worth of college credits which will be portable throughout the country—thus enabling the student to accelerate progress toward a baccalaureate degree or to reduce the pressure of an intensive college course load for one or more semesters.
  • College Preview is offered by Randolph-Macon College as a service to the community. It is intended as a supplement to, not a substitute for, the regular education program of the high school.

Eligibility Guidelines:

  • Be an enrolled high school student in good standing (the student cannot have obtained a high school diploma prior to the start of the term for which he or she is seeking concurrent status).
  • Have few, if any, grades below a “C” in high school.
  • Have special interest in an area not offered at your high school, have exhausted the high school curriculum in an academic area, or have scheduling conflicts that prevent enrollment in an applicable high school course.

The procedure for applying for college preview status is as follows:

  • Obtain written permission from one’s high school
  • Submit an unofficial transcript with courses and grades to the Office of Admissions.Courses to be taken at R-MC should be in addition to courses taken in high school to satisfy requirements for a high school diploma.
  • Submit the Non-Degree Seeking Application (https://apply.rmc.edu/register/non-degreeapplication).

Virginia Commonwealth University

V0035 Visiting Students Program
Grades 11 and 12 - Year - 1 Weighted Credit per 6 college semester hours
OR Semester - 1/2 Weighted Credit per 3 college semester hours

V0045 Visiting Students Program
Grades 11 and 12 - Year - 1 Credit per 6 college semester hours OR
Semester - 1/2 Credit per 3 college semester hours

The Visiting Students Program (VSP) allows gifted high school students to choose and take courses from a multitude of disciplines at Virginia Commonwealth University. This program is designed so that students treat these courses as Advanced Placement-type classes. They earn high school credit and obtain a feel for being a student at a major university, thus increasing their college success rate.


  • All completed applications must be submitted by the deadlines below:
    • Fall Semester - July 1
    • Spring Semester - December 1
      Applications received after the above mentioned deadlines will not
      be processed and will be returned.
  • Students must be high school juniors or seniors. The number of participating students per high school will be limited.
  • Students will not be allowed to attend classes on the MCV Campus or in the School of the Arts.
  • Students must be nominated by the high school VSP coordinator, submit a completed VSP application, and send an up-to-date high school transcript with PSAT/SAT scores. A minimum score of 95 PSAT or 950 SAT is required.
  • Students must take placement examinations in the areas of world language, math, English, and chemistry, if their intent is to enroll in these areas.
  • No courses above the 200-level may be taken by a high school student unless special permission is granted by the department chairperson.
  • The VCU program coordinator and the appropriate VCU department chairpersons will evaluate all applications. VCU reserves the right to deny any student admission to the program.
  • If a class requested by the visiting student reaches its enrollment limit, the high school student will be withdrawn.
  • VCU will provide each participating student with an ID, which will give the student full library privileges.

V0015 Advanced Scholars Program
Grades 11 and 12 - Year - 1 Weighted Credit per 6 college semester hours
OR Semester - 1/2 Weighted Credit per 3 college semester hours

V0025 Advanced Scholars Program
Grades 11 and 12 - Year - 1 Weighted Credit per 6 college semester hours
OR Semester - 1/2 Weighted Credit per 3 college semester hours

Qualified high school students from Richmond and surrounding area high schools may be permitted to enroll in college level courses at VCU concurrently while completing the high school diploma. Students may select courses of interest and upon successful completion of the courses may receive college credit. However, courses selected should not be available in the high school curriculum.

Candidates must be nominated and approved by the secondary school principal. A maximum of 100 candidates will be accepted for each term, and candidates may enroll for no more than two courses per semester.

As a guide to secondary schools, the following criteria for selection are considered:

  • Each candidate must be nominated and approved by the secondary school principal.
  • Each candidate must have achieved a total of 1180 points (math and critical reading sections) in the College Entrance Examination Board SAT (118 PSAT) and must have maintained a 3.2 grade point average.
  • Each candidate must be a high school junior or senior.
  • The desired courses to study must be available and appropriate.
  • All parties should emphasize that tuition is charged for courses taken as an Advanced Scholar.

If the student plans to take a math course, s/he must take the VCU Math Placement Test. The student is required to contact the VCU Math Lab at 828-1320 to make arrangements to take the test and have the results sent to the Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

If the student plans to take a world language class above the 101-level, s/he must take the World Language Placement Test. The student is required to contact the VCU School of World Studies at 827-1111 or by email to make arrangements to take the test and have the results sent to Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, School of World Studies, 804-827-1111 or via email. If the student plans to take a class within the School of the Arts, s/he must obtain written permission from the chairperson of the appropriate VCU School of the Arts department and have this permission sent to Admissions Counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Once these materials have been received and reviewed, candidates to the Advanced Scholars Program will be notified in writing of their admission decision. VCU reserves the right to deny any student who is not qualified admission to the program.

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