Changes are planned for how Plano ISD courses that provide college credit will count toward students' cumulative grade point averages, or GPAs, which have no impact on class rank.

School district staff during a June 25 meeting informed the PISD board of trustees the changes, which increase the weight of dual-credit courses, will take effect for the 2024-25 school year. The new weighting will impact members of the class of 2028 and beyond, said Kristyn Edney, executive director of counseling, career and military readiness.

“The majority of students won’t feel the impact of this change for two years, [until] they become juniors,” Edney said.

Two-minute impact

Edney said district staff found an inequity with how dual-credit courses were weighted, specifically that they counted toward a cumulative GPA similar to an honors course but below that of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. The changes apply to any dual-credit courses offered through Collin College or OnRamps, which is offered through The University of Texas at Austin, according to board documents.

The new weighting for the courses will mostly impact a student’s cumulative—or unofficial—GPA, and will only affect GPA calculations used for class ranking purposes when a dual-credit course is considered “core” for graduation requirements. Edney said conversations have already occurred with numerous campus staff members, and the next phase of communication will take place with students and families.

"We do not expect wide fluctuations in the makeup of the top students in future graduating courses,” Edney said.

What they’re saying

“In my experience, the consensus among students, teachers, counselors and parents is that dual-credit classes are, in general, easier in [Plano] ISD than Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate classes,” PISD parent Heidi Cook said. “The rigor and grading of dual-credit classes is solely determined by Collin College professors, not Plano ISD [teachers]."

“We have a moral imperative to support opportunities and pathways to college, career and military readiness where families and students have voice and choice to pursue the best pathway for themselves,” Edney said.

Looking ahead

Courtney Gober, assistant superintendent for student, family and community services, said there could be a slight decline in enrollment for Advanced Placement courses, but the overall effect will be different options for college credit.

Changes will also progress with students in the district’s collegiate academies, including the Health Science Academy, Industries Academy and Wildcat Collegiate Academy.