Welcome to Accelerated
Academic Programs

Polk County Public Schools offers several accelerated programs for students who are performing above average academically, including Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning (ACCEL), Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge’s Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), dual enrollment, and International Baccalaureate (IB).

To learn more about these programs, select one of the options below.

ACCEL

Students in grades K-12 in Polk County Public Schools are eligible to participate in an ACCEL option when they have successfully completed academically challenging coursework in the previous school year or performed at the 93rd percentile or higher on a series of SAT10 subtests taken during the summer.

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP courses are rigorous high school courses that may count for college credit, in addition to high school credit, upon successful completion of the appropriate AP exam.

Cambridge AICE

The Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) is an accelerated method of academic study offered solely through the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). AICE provides a flexible, broad-based curriculum that is offered at schools and colleges in over 161 countries and is recognized by the Florida Department of Education as a rigorous curriculum.

Dual Enrollment

The dual enrollment program is an accelerated program that allows high school students to simultaneously earn credit toward high school completion and a career certificate, or an associate or baccalaureate degree at a state public institution.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

International Baccalaureate offers a unique educational experience to students through international education programs that challenge and motivate them both academically and personally.

High School Accelerated Program Comparisons

High School Accelerated Program Comparisons:
Advanced Placement (AP) Dual Enrollment (DE) AICE Cambridge International Baccalaureate (IB) Industry Certification
Description Rigorous college-level high school courses offered in multiple subjects. Nationally recognized exams College courses taught at college, high school, or online, that count toward high school credit Rigorous comprehensive college-level curriculum offered at the high school level. Internationally recognized exams Rigorous comprehensive college-level curriculum offered at the high school level. Internationally recognized exams Assessment by an independent certifying entity based on standards for knowledge, skills, and competencies
Availability All high schools offer at least some AP courses; schools with larger student enrollment typically offer more courses and opportunities All high schools offers at least some Dual Enrollment courses; schools with larger student enrollment typically offer more courses and opportunities Available ONLY at Winter Haven High School and Tenoroc High School; students must apply and qualify during the district OPEN ENROLLMENT period during a student’s 8th grade year Available ONLY at Bartow High School and Haines City High School; students must apply and qualify during the district OPEN ENROLLMENT period during a student’s 8th or 9th grade year All High Schools offer at least some Industry Certification Opportunities through their Career and Technical Education programs and Career Academies. Students have the opportunity to apply for High School Career Academies beginning with the Open Enrollment period during 8th grade
Provider The College Board Individual College Articulation Agreements Cambridge International Examinations International Baccalaureate Organization Industry Agencies, instructed and monitored through Career and Technical Education programs
Targeted Students Students with interest in the subject who are considering a college education Students with interest in the subject who have met the requirements in the Articulation Agreement Students willing and interested in earning a more rigorous academic diploma Students willing and interested in earning a more rigorous academic diploma Students with interest in subject and enrollment in specific Career Pathway
High School Credit and Graduation Implications Additional 1.0 weighting in GPA per course Additional 1.0 weighting in GPA per course Additional 1.0 weighting in GPA per course Additional 1.0 weighting in GPA per course Qualifies for graduation with state distinction and in some cases as GPA 0.5 weighting
Postsecondary Credit Determinant* Score on AP Exam Passing final grade in the course Grade in courses and scores on AICE Exams Grade in courses and scores on IB Exams Determined by postsecondary institution
Scholarships Determined by postsecondary institution or scholarship descriptions Determined by postsecondary institution or scholarship descriptions Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars available upon receiving Program Diploma Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars available upon receiving Program Diploma Florida Bright Futures CAPE Scholarship available to students meeting the criteria.