OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Education System

Acceleration Programs

What is the purpose of acceleration programs?

Acceleration programs are intended to shorten the time necessary for a student to complete the requirements associated with the conference of a high school diploma and a postsecondary degree, broaden the scope of curricular options available to students, and/or increase the depth of study available for a particular subject.

What acceleration programs are available?

Section 1007.27, Florida Statutes, provides that a variety of acceleration programs be available for high school and college students attending public educational institutions. Acceleration mechanisms include, but are not limited to, dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, Advanced International Certificate Education Program, and credit by examination.  Some of these accelerated options are available through the Florida Virtual School.

What are the benefits of acceleration programs?

Acceleration programs benefit students and families in the state. Participating in acceleration programs may save students time and money since they are able to earn academic credit that may apply toward postsecondary degree/certificate requirements. Furthermore, because Florida law exempts high school students from paying tuition for acceleration courses, exams, and instructional materials, these programs offer considerable cost savings to students and families.  If students apply the academic credits earned through the various acceleration program options toward degree requirements, they may graduate more quickly from colleges and universities. 

What is the Advanced Placement (AP) Program?

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program provides high-achieving and self-motivated high school students the opportunity to enroll in advanced courses and earn college credit and/or advanced placement credit while still in high school. The AP Program provides students the opportunity to complete college-level studies in multiple courses and subject areas. Successful completion of AP courses and course exams qualifies students for college credits at many postsecondary institutions. Students can use a searchable database to view institutions' AP credit policies. In Florida, students are recommended for college credits if they receive a specific score on the corresponding accelerated course exam.

What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Progamme is designed to create a better world through education by promoting intercultural understanding and respect. The IB has an internationally recognized curriculum that is aimed at developing students who have excellent depth and breadth of knowledge. The curriculum consists of six core subject groups: studies in language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, and the arts. The program has assessment procedures to measure the extent to which students have mastered advanced academic skills. Students are recommended for college credits if they receive a specific score on corresponding subject exams.
The program is promoted and supported by the Florida League of International Baccalaureate Schools, Inc. (FLIBS). The organization supports the state's IB-authorized schools by promoting program expansion, offering teacher and administrative training, and advocating to local and state government officials.

What is the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Program?

The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Program is an international curriculum and examination system that emphasizes the value of broad and balanced study, including in-depth understanding of a variety of subjects and mastery of a broad range of skills critical for success in university study and employment. The program offers a broad curriculum with a balance of math and science, languages, arts and humanities, and interdisciplinary subjects.  Students are tested in these subject areas twice a year, and must receive a passing score on the AICE exam to receive college credit.

What is dual enrollment?

Dual Enrollment allows high school students to enroll in a course and receive both high school and college credit. Students may enroll in either college credit courses or career certificate courses. Early Admission, a form of dual enrollment, enables eligible high school students to enroll in a postsecondary institution on a full-time basis in courses that are creditable toward a high school diploma and an associate or bachelor's degree.
To dual enroll in college credit courses, a student must pass the College Placement Test and have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA. Students who wish to dual enroll in career certificate courses are not required to pass the College Placement Test and must have a minimum 2.0 high school GPA. Dual enrollment students are exempt from college registration, enrollment, and laboratory fees.

Who pays for the cost of dual enrollment courses?

Section 1007.271, Florida Statutes, requires school districts to pay the standard tuition rate per credit hour for dual enrollment students who take courses on the college or university campus. When a dual enrollment course is provided on the high school site by the postsecondary institution faculty, the school district must reimburse the college or university the costs associated with the proportion of salary and benefits of that faculty member and other actual costs of the postsecondary institution to provide the instruction. When a dual enrollment course is provided on a high school site by high school faculty, the school district is not responsible for payment to a postsecondary institution. Also, subject to the General Appropriations Act, public postsecondary institutions receive an amount of funding equivalent to the standard rate of tuition per credit hour for each dual enrollment course taken by a student in the summer term.

What is credit by examination?

Credit by examination is the mechanism through which high school and postsecondary students earn credit by achieving a specified minimum score on a nationally standardized general or subject area exam. Colleges and universities may award college credit based on student performance on exams developed within and recognized by individual colleges and universities. Student scores earned through the CLEP and DSST Examination programs are recognized by Florida institutions for awarding college credit.

What is the Department of Education's role in accelerated programs?

Sections 1007.01 and 1007.27, Florida Statutes, requires the Department of Education's Articulation Coordinating Committee to establish passing scores and credit equivalencies for the AP, IB, AICE, CLEP, Excelsior College, DSST, and Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) examinations to assist colleges and universities in guaranteeing the minimum number of credits is awarded to accelerated students. Florida's public colleges and universities are required to award the minimum recommended credit for AP, AICE, IB, and CLEP exams as designated. If a student achieves the score listed on an AP, IB, AICE, CLEP, Excelsior College, DSST, or DLPT exam, state colleges and universities must award the minimum recommended credit for the course or course numbers listed, even if they do not offer the course. The Florida Legislature encourages District School Boards to declare an Academic Signing Day and a College and Career Decision Day to recognize students pursuing advanced pathways in postsecondary education and career training.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapter 1007 Part II and ss. 1007.01, 1007.27, 1007.271, 1007.35, 1008.38, and 1011.62, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Florida Department of Education, Office of Articulation, 850-245-0427, email:  articulation@fldoe.org