Battle Mountain kids earning college credit |

Battle Mountain kids earning college credit

Scott N. Miller
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailySeniors Walker Loetscher, 17, left and Josie Sutner, 17, are two of several students looking to better their chances at getting into their college of choice by taking advanced placement courses at Battle Mountain High School.

EAGLE-VAIL – Getting into a private college on the East Coast takes a lot of work. Walker Loetscher and Josie Sutner have been working on their goals almost since middle school.Loetscher wants to attend Georgetown, near Washington, D.C. Sutner has her sights set on Columbia in New York City. To get there, Sutner and Loetscher have been taking “advanced placement” classes at Battle Mountain High School, from which both will graduate next May.Sutner, Loetscher and fellow senior Lauren Agett take advanced placement classes as part of a national program. They’re not alone. Nearly 40 percent of all the 11th and 12th graders at Battle Mountain take the college-level classes. But as juniors, Sutner, Loetscher and Agett scored well enough on tests given last spring to earn a “scholar” rating from the national program. Loetscher earned the highest possible scores on his tests.Those high scores are good news for both students and parents. Since the program is recognized across the nation, students who score well on their tests can earn college credit.

Kids who go to college in Colorado can earn a lot. Between advanced placement and classes available through Colorado Mountain College, a student can graduate from high school as a college sophomore.For those who want to get into one of the country’s elite colleges, the door isn’t open quite as wide.”The elite schools generally don’t give as much credit,” Loetscher said. But advanced placement classes can give students a leg up on college applications. That’s why Loetscher and Sutner signed up for the higher-level classes as soon as they could.”You have to know at the beginning of high school you want to do this,” Sutner said. “Everything counts so early now.”Even taking the hardest classes a school has is no guarantee.”At Columbia, 18,000 people apply every year and only 1,000 get in,” Sutner said.

Not all the kids who take the advanced classes are aiming to get into the country’s top colleges. And, of course, not all the students who take the year-end tests score well enough to earn college credit.”But kids who don’t get college credit still tend to do better in college than kids who don’t take the advanced classes,” Battle Mountain High School Counselor Jan Abbot said. Those who do well on the exams have worked hard, and are good test takers”If you can’t write within the time limit on the exam, it can be difficult,” Loetscher said. “You’ve got to dive right in on the essays. You don’t have 10 minutes to think about it.Just as important as preparation is focus, especially during a time when many seniors are strolling, not sprinting, toward graduation.”It’s difficult to find motivation right now,” Sutner said.

“Senior slacker-itis is definitely starting to set in,” Loetscher added. “Calculus is the toughest thing right now.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14624, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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