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Aiming for College. Making the Best High School Choices to Meet Your College-Going Goals. Lisa Meyer Director of Social Studies and Advanced Academic Programs. Topics. Recommended High School Program vs. Distinguished Achievement Program Pre-Advanced Placement Advanced Placement

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Aiming for College

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Aiming for college

Aiming for College

Making the Best High School Choices to Meet Your College-Going Goals

Lisa Meyer

Director of Social Studies and Advanced Academic Programs



  • Recommended High School Program vs. Distinguished Achievement Program

  • Pre-Advanced Placement

  • Advanced Placement

  • Dual Credit

  • Auditing Classes

  • Making the top 10% -- and what to do if you don’t

  • The College Admissions Game

  • Improving your chances for scholarships

  • PSAT/SAT/ACT Tests

The deer park hs program of studies

The Deer Park HS Program of Studies

Find the DPHS Program of Studies at the Deer Park ISD website ( under Parent Quick Links

Aiming for college


Texas high school graduation plans

Texas High School Graduation Plans*

*Subject to change during the current legislative session…stay tuned!

Recommended high school program

Recommended High School Program

  • 26 credits

  • The default curriculum for Texas high school students

  • Includes a “4x4” of core area class: 4 English; 4 Social Studies, 4 Math and 4 Science courses

  • Offers courses that give you the best opportunity to succeed in technical school, community college or a four-year university in Texas.

Distinguished achievement program

Distinguished Achievement Program

  • The State of Texas seeks to recognize those students with exceptional achievement in high school. The DAP is for those students whose accomplishments are of such caliber as to be acknowledged on a national level.

The distinguished achievement program

The Distinguished Achievement Program

  • Goes beyond the RHSP by requiring advanced schoolwork that reflects college- or professional-level skills by completing any combination of four advanced measures:

    • Score 3 or above on a College Board Advanced Placement Exam. Each exam counts as 1 measure.

    • Complete original research or project under the direction of mentor(s), judged by qualified professionals and reported to a qualified audience.

    • Earn a PSAT score that qualifies you as an award recipient in a variety of College Board or NMSQT programs.

    • Earn a grade of 3.0 or higher on dual-credit courses.

Distinguished achievement program1

Distinguished Achievement Program

  • Other requirements include an

    additional year of foreign language (3 rather than 2) and more stringent requirements as to course choices in math and science. This also drops the required number of elective courses from 4 to 3 (the foreign language replaces an elective).

Weighted courses

Weighted Courses

Pre-AP, AP, Honors and Dual-Credit Courses

Honors level courses

Honors Level Courses

  • PAP English I

  • PAP World Geography

  • AP Human Geography*

  • PAP Geometry

  • PAP Algebra II

  • PAP Biology

  • PAP Spanish/French/German

    *AP Human Geography is a college-level course

Courses available at North Campus for 9th Graders

What is a pre ap or honors course

What is a Pre-AP or Honors Course?

  • A more rigorous course offering, which moves more quickly, covers content at a greater depth, and builds critical-thinking and reading skills.

  • Pre-AP courses provide excellent preparation for later Advanced Placement® courses

  • Honors and Pre-AP courses (and dual-credit and AP courses) receive a weighted GPA.

Aiming for college

DPHS Program of Studies, Page 4

How many

How Many?

Advanced placement courses

Advanced Placement Courses

  • AP classes offer unique learning experiences that will help you succeed in college. Through AP courses and exams, you can earn college credit and stand out in the admissions process.

  • AP classrooms engage students in intense discussions, collaborative problem-solving, and learning to write clearly and persuasively.

Ap courses

AP Courses

  • AP courses help students acquire the

    skills and habits needed to be successful in college.

  • Students improve writing skills, sharpen problem-solving abilities, and develop time management skills, discipline, and study habits.

  • Most four-year colleges in the US and in more than 60 other countries give students credit on the basis of AP Exam scores.

Ap courses at sc

AP Courses at SC

  • English Literature

  • English Language

  • World History

  • U.S. History

  • Government

  • Economics

  • Calculus AB/BC

  • Statistics

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Physics C

  • Studio Art

  • French Language

  • Spanish Language

  • German Language

  • Computer Science

Dual credit

Dual Credit

  • Open to juniors and seniors

  • Taught by San Jacinto College professors at SJC

  • Students who receive a 70 or better receive high school and college credit*

  • Deer Park ISD pays the tuition for selected courses taken during the regular school year

  • Students must meet SJC entrance requirements

Dual credit courses

Dual Credit Courses

  • U.S. History

  • Sociology

  • Psychology

  • English IV

  • Government

  • Economics

  • Automotive Technology

  • Cosmetology

  • Geology

  • BCIS

  • Math (College Algebra and Trigonometry) if Pre-Calculus completed at DPHS – Dual enrollment but not credit

  • Other CATE courses as approved

Auditing courses

Auditing Courses

  • When a student audits a course, they

    receive a pass/fail rather than a grade.

  • This is of benefit to students who are in the race to the top 10%.

  • Only Juniors and Seniors who have a GPA of 4.9 or better can participate.

  • Maximum of 2 courses/year.

  • No core academic courses or foreign language courses may be audited.

Making the top 10

Making the Top 10%

  • Start strong

  • Grades matter

  • Number of weighted GPA courses matters (PAP/AP/Dual Credit/Honors)

  • Auditing courses may make a difference

  • In general, juniors at large begin to “kick it in” – that means that those who started strong have an advantage, but only if they stay on track.

Class of 2013 s top 10

Class of 2013’s Top 10%

  • Average 15 weighted courses per student

  • Are 42% identified gifted & talented students

  • Are 61% female

  • Include students from a wide variety of backgrounds

The top 10 students

The Top 10 Students

Average 20 weighted credits

Ranges between 16-23 weighted credits

Is 70% female

What to do if you don t

What to do if you don’t

  • Don’t give up hope

  • Check the admissions criteria (know those websites!) for your colleges of choice

  • Have all of the other ducks in a row

    • Rigorous coursework

    • SAT/ACT Scores

    • GPA

    • Volunteer Hours

    • Extra-curricular Activities

The college admissions game

The College Admissions Game

Taking your best shot at getting into your first choice

College admissions what counts

College Admissions:What Counts?

  • Grades in AP Courses

  • Difficulty of student’s course curriculum

  • Admission tests scores (SAT and/or ACT)

  • Overall grade point average

  • Essay or writing sample

  • Student’s demonstrated interest in attending a particular college

What counts

What Counts?

  • Class rank

  • Counselor recommendation

  • Teacher recommendations

  • AP subject test scores

  • Interview

  • Extracurricular activities

  • SAT Subject Test Scores

Trends in college admissions

Trends in College Admissions

  • 2012 was the hardest year to get in to College

  • The average public university accepts 65% of its applicants

  • The average private institution accepts 63% of its applicants



  • 73% of colleges and universities experienced an increase in applications in 2010

  • The typical school accepted 65.5% of its applicants

  • 48% of schools use a wait list – more selective schools are most likely to use them



  • The acceptance rate for students who applied early-decision was 57% versus 50% for regular applicants.

  • 100% of colleges and universities are using social media sites to recruit students\

  • Many schools check applicants on-line presence. Heed the warning! Post CAREFULLY!



  • Public schools are accepting more out-of-state students

  • Approximately 20.4 million students are enrolled in college

  • 56% of enrolled college freshmen are female

  • The average application fee is $40



Getting scholarships

Getting scholarships

  • Keep a journal of your awards,

    volunteer hours, etc…

  • Start researching scholarships now

  • Don’t start applying until your senior year

  • If you qualify, absolutely make sure you are on the free/reduced lunch records

College admissions testing

College Admissions Testing


The psat nmsqt


  • Take the PSAT in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades

    • Currently DPISD pays for all 10th graders to take the PSAT

  • Nationwide, students who take the PSAT perform better on the SAT test than students who did not, and each subsequent testing tends to improve students’ SAT scores.

  • Juniors who take the PSAT are entered into the National Merit Scholarship Competition.

The sat test

The SAT Test

  • Most Texas colleges and universities

    will use SAT scores as a college-entrance exam

  • The SAT is a timed test made up of 3 sections

    • Critical Reading

    • Mathematics

    • Critical Writing

  • Students who take the SAT more than once tend to improve their scores

  • The SAT is offered multiple times each year

The act test

The ACT Test

  • Most Texas colleges and universities

    will use ACT scores as a college-entrance exam.

  • The ACT is a timed exam made up of 4 sections

    • English

    • Mathematics

    • Reading

    • Science

  • The ACT is also offered several times each year.

Helpful information

Helpful Information

  • Websites






Contact information

Contact Information

  • Lisa Meyer

    Director of Social Studies and Advanced Academic Programs


  • DPHS – North Campus Counselors

    Meagan Kiefer & Christine Frames


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