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Guide to Courses

Pathways to Your Future

Introduction

Welcome to "Pathways to Your Future," the Guide to High School Credit Courses for Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS). This guide is provided as a tool to enable you to embrace learning, to excel in your work and readiness for a career and education beyond high school, and to own your future!

January is the time of year for students to make plans and to choose courses for the coming school year. As a part of this process, the Guide to High School Credit Courses is provided to assist you with course selections and long-term educational and career planning. School counselors, in collaboration with parents and teachers, assist each student in planning a program of study and selecting courses for the next school year.

How to Use this Guide

This guide is organized in sections as outlined in the top-left menu. It begins by identifying specialty centers offered at the high school level, so you can think about pathways leading to them. The guide further details department subject areas, including course descriptions. Additional sections include enrichment opportunities, course credit guidelines, and general information, including graduation requirements, our grading scale, athletic eligibility, and more.

Course Requests

The Course Request Process for the upcoming year is an opportunity for students to think carefully about their interests, achievements, and educational and career goals. View the process timeline »

Career Planning

All ACPS high school students will graduate with a Career Plan. With the support of school counselors and career specialists, students will develop and refine their career plan through the four-year planning process. Learn more about career planning​ »

A Note About Course Offerings & Locations

In the past, ACPS has required students to attend a specific school on a full-time basis to take advantage of a school-specific course or program. Piloted in 2019-20 and expanding in 2020-21, ACPS will allow students the opportunity to participate in unique courses at another location while maintaining their base high school status. Students will be permitted to attend other county high schools if a class of interest is not offered at their base school.

Beginning in 2022-23

Beginning with the entering freshman class in the fall of 2022, the following changes will be implemented:

  • High school students will take seven academic classes per year, rather than eight.
  • The number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses a student may take will be limited.
  • Grades will no longer be weighted; all courses will be worth the same total grade points. (Note: The unweighting of grades also applies to current middle school students who are taking high school credit courses.)

Also beginning in the fall of 2022, 10th-graders will have the opportunity to explore career pathways that interest them. By eliminating geography from the equation and maintaining a student’s base high school for sports and extra-curricular activities, ACPS is expanding student access to our academies and newly-developed programs like the National Defense Cadet Corps and the Early College Scholars Degree Program. Look for even more academies and career pathways designed around the Department of Education’s Career Clusters as we seek to make our students' high school experience more engaging, more meaningful, and more relevant to their futures!

Departments & Course Descriptions

Academies

  • ESA (Environmental Studies Academy)
  • HMSA (Health and Medical Sciences Academy)
  • MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Academy)

Centers

  • CATEC (Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center)
  • Center I (at Seminole Place)
    • ICTA (Information and Communication Technology Academy) at Center I

Lab School

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