Course Catalog - Advanced Academics

Advanced Placement

Choosing Advanced Academics

Advanced and AP courses are designed to challenge students beyond grade-level academic courses and prepare them for success in future advanced coursework. Students may require additional encouragement and support from both family and campus to be successful in advanced academics.

Students who opt to participate in AP or Advanced must successfully complete prerequisite coursework and demonstrate mastery on course-related state-mandated performance assessments prior to enrollment in the course.

AP/Advanced Course Commitment

Northside ISD recognizes the value of student participation in advanced academic coursework and encourages students to graduate from high school with at least one advanced academic course credit such as Advanced Placement. Participation in advanced academic courses is a foundation of college readiness. Students who participate are more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree in college and typically have higher college GPAs (Hargrove, Godin and Dodd, 2007: Dodd and Keng, 2008). The intent of this commitment is to maximize each student’s potential for success in AP and Advanced Courses.

Campus Commitment

The campus commits to advanced academics by communicating the value of advanced coursework, recruiting students with potential for success, encouraging student commitment, and supporting advanced academics instruction.

Student Commitment

The student commits to advanced academics by recognizing the long term benefits of participation and seeking assistance when needed. As a student enrolled in an AP or Advanced course:

  • I understand that advanced academic courses may seem challenging at first and initial grades may not reflect later grades in the course.
  • In the event that I encounter difficulties with the course content, I will conference with my teacher about my progress and attend recommended tutorials.
  • I understand that course changes will be contingent on space availability, extenuating circumstances, the teacher’s appraisal of my potential for success in the course, and the timing of the request.
  • I understand that successful completion of an AP exam can yield college credit.
  • I understand that participation in advanced coursework prepares me well for college, increases my chances of finishing a college degree in four years and earning a higher college GPA.

Parent Commitment

The parent commits to advanced academics by supporting student learning in the advanced academic course; by supporting teacher efforts to provide rigorous, quality instruction; and by valuing the learning that occurs in the advanced academic course. As a parent of a student enrolled in an AP or Advanced course:

  • I will encourage my child to be prepared for class every day.
  • I understand that advanced academic courses may seem challenging at first and initial grades may not reflect later grades in the course.
  • If my child encounters difficulties with the course content, I will expect my child to conference with the teacher and attend recom-mended tutorials.
  • Prior to initiating a petition for my child to exit the course, I will contact the teacher for his/her input.
  • I understand that schedule changes will be contingent on space availability, extenuating circumstances, and the teacher’s appraisal of my child’s potential for success in the course, and the timing of the request.

Teacher Commitment

The teacher commits to advanced academics by encouraging student participation and success, planning for student learning, providing rigorous, quality instructions, and offering assistance for struggling students. As a teacher of an AP or Advanced course:

  • I will teach the course following the curriculum developed by Northside ISD and as authorized by College Board (AP Courses).
  • I will provide instruction that prepares students for the next level advanced academic course.
  • I will provide quality instruction at an advanced level and give ample opportunities for students to be successful.
  • I will assign work that is meaningful and relevant to the required learning goals.
  • I know that students are enrolled in many other courses and that workload for this course must not be unreasonably time consuming.
  • I will provide appropriate tutorial opportunities for students who have difficulty with course content.

Advanced Placement

By taking an AP course and scoring successfully on the related AP Exam, you can save on college expenses: most colleges and universities nationwide offer college credit, advanced placement, or both, for qualifying AP Exam scores. These credits can allow students to save college tuition, study abroad, or secure a second major. AP can transform what once seemed unattainable into something within reach.

Students may earn college credit through the College Board AP Examinations which are offered in May of each year. There is a fee for each AP exam. Northside ISD pays a supplement for each AP test taken by students who are sitting in the AP courses. For assistance in paying for the test, talk with your counselor or teacher. AP course offerings may vary by campus. Look for descriptions of these Advanced Placement courses in the Course Catalog:

English Language Arts

  • English Lang. & Comp.
  • English Lit. & Comp.


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics 1
  • Physics 2
  • Physics C: Elec & Mag
  • Physics C: Mechanics


  • Calculus AB
  • Calculus BC
  • Statistics

Social Studies

  • U.S. Government and Politics
  • Human Geography
  • United States History
  • World History
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics
  • Psychology
  • European History

World Languages

  • French Language & Culture
  • Latin Language & Culture
  • Spanish Language & Culture
  • German Language & Culture
  • Spanish Literature & Culture

Career & Technical Education

  • Computer Science A
  • Computer Science Principles


Fine Arts

  • Art (Drawing, 2-D, 3-D)
  • Art History
  • Music Theory

AP Capstone

  • AP Seminar
  • AP Research

*IMPORTANT:  The deadline to order AP exams will occur in October/November.  Any student that signs up for an AP exam and cancels after this date will incur a $40 cancellation fee per exam by the College Board.


UT OnRamps

OnRamps works through a dual-enrollment model. Using a hybrid delivery approach, students meet rigorous university-level college readiness standards and have the opportunity to earn UT Austin credit from a UT faculty member and high school credit from their local teacher. All OnRamps courses can be applied to the Texas Common Core and are guaranteed to transfer to any public institution in Texas.

OnRamps' innovative dual-enrollment program brings rigorous courses aligned with the high standards and expectations of The University of Texas at Austin. The key benefit of early exposure to postsecondary education is the authentic entry point to college expectations it provides for students and their families. In addition, earning transferable college credit while in high school accelerates degree completion by reducing the costs and impact of student loans and increasing lifetime earning potential. In OnRamps students learn first-hand all that it takes to succeed in college before they get there.

English Language Arts

  • OnRamps Rhetoric and Writing


  • OnRamps Physics 1
  • OnRamps Physics 2
  • OnRamps Geoscience
  • OnRamps Biology
  • OnRamps Chemistry


  • OnRamps Statistics
  • OnRamps College Algebra

Social Studies

  • OnRamps United States History


Fine Arts

  • OnRamps Arts and Entertainment
  • Technologies

Career & Technical Education

  • Onramps Computer Science

Dual Credit

Students may earn both high school and college credits. Students may accrue from three to thirty hours of college credit depending on the courses. Dual credit students are enrolled in college early and are required to take the TSI. Dual credit courses taught on NISD campuses are offered in partnership with the colleges listed below and are tuition free.

  • Northwest Vista College
  • St. Philip’s College
  • Palo Alto College

Students may take the following dual credit courses on their high school campus. These courses vary by individual campuses and may be offered concurrently as Advanced Placement and Dual Credit.

English Language Arts

  • English III
  • English IV


  • Biology
  • Environmental Science
  • Physics 1


  • Pre-Calculus
  • AP Calculus AB and BC
  • AP Statistics
  • College Algebra
  • Adv. Quantitative Reasoning

Social Studies

  • U.S. History
  • U.S. Government and Politics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Sociology

World Languages

  • Spanish 3

Fine Arts

  • Art Appreciation
  • Theater Appreciation

Career & Technical Education

  • Principles of Arts, AV Tech, and Comm
  • Principles of Law, Pub. Safe, Corr
  • Court Systems
  • Digital Media
  • Digital Communication of the 21st Cent
  • Advanced Audio Video Production
  • Business Management
  • Culinary Arts
  • Advanced Culinary Arts
  • Practicum in Culinary Arts
  • Wildlife Fisheries and Ecology Mgt.
  • Horticulture
  • Livestock Production
  • Advanced Animal Science
  • Advanced Plant and Soil Science
  • Food Technology & Safety

Career & Technical Education

  • Entrepreneurship I 
  • Entrepreneurship II
  • Practicum in Entrepreneurship 
  • AP Computer Science A
  • Advanced Computer Science I
  • AP Computer Science A
  • Computer Science II
  • Practicum in IT-Computer Science
  • Cyber Internetworking I
  • Cyber Internetworking II
  • Practicum in IT Cyber
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Welding I
  • Welding II
  • Practicum in Manufacturing
  • Construction Technology I
  • Construction Technology II
  • Construction Management I
  • Construction Management II
  • Electrical Technology I
  • Electrical Technology II
  • Plumbing Technology I
  • Plumbing Technology II
  • Principles of Architecture
  • Practicum in Construction
  • Practicum in Construction



College Board assessments — including PSAT™ 10, PSAT/NMSQT®, and the SAT — provide benchmarks and consistent feedback for measuring student progress over time, allowing teachers to accelerate students who are either ahead or behind. In addition to measuring readiness, College Board assessments connect students to opportunities, including scholarships, personalized practice, challenging Advanced Placement® course work, and fee waivers.

The redesigned SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and PSAT 10 can be used to expand access to AP classrooms and grow AP programs. Both educators and students can see if students' test scores indicate that they are likely to succeed in specific AP courses. College Board research shows that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree on time than non-AP students.


Industry Certifications

Industry certifications are credentials recognized by business and industry that measure competency in an occupational area. Certifications validate mastery of the knowledge and skills in a particular industry. An assessment, examination or license is administered by an independent party or governing board that has determined the competencies required for successful employment in the industry.