Early Post-Secondary Opportunities

  • In Jackson-Madison County, we offer options and opportunities for our high school students by offering as many Early Post-Secondary Opportunities, or EPSOs, as possible. These opportunities are created to help students graduate with college credit and/or industry certifications. For more information about specific courses, please contact your school's guidance counselor.


    Dual Credit

    Local dual credit is a high school course aligned to a local postsecondary institution’s course and exam. Students who pass the exam earn credits that are accepted and/or recognized by the local postsecondary institution. Courses are taught by licensed high school teachers or certified college instructors approved by the school system and the postsecondary institution.


    Dual Enrollment

    Dual enrollment (DE) is a postsecondary course, taught either at the postsecondary institution or at the high school, by postsecondary faculty or credentialed adjunct faculty. Dual enrollment instructors must meet postsecondary requirements, but do not have to meet specific TN teacher licensure or endorsement requirements.


    Dual enrollment courses can be taught at the postsecondary campus, the high school, or online. The location of the course does not affect its status as a dual enrollment course. Students are enrolled at the postsecondary institution and earn postsecondary credit upon completion of the course. High school credit is awarded based on local policy.


    Industry Certification

    Industry certifications (IC) are earned through secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs and courses. High school students are encouraged to focus their elective credits on robust, career-aligned learning pathways. Robust learning pathways should culminate with the achievement of nationally recognized industry certifications, meaningful work-based learning experiences, and/or attainment of postsecondary credit hours through early postsecondary opportunities. As it pertains to industry certifications, all department-promoted certifications are aligned with postsecondary and employment opportunities and with the competencies and skills that students should have acquired through their chosen programs of study.



    Developed by the College Board, College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams can be taken by students and adults to assess mastery of postsecondary-level material acquired in a variety of ways, including through general academic instructions, significant independent study or extracurricular work. Students can earn credit for postsecondary coursework in a specific subject. Examinations are currently offered in 33 subjects at test centers across the state.


    Advanced Placement

    The College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program provides an opportunity for high school students to experience postsecondary-level coursework across multiple subjects. Each course is aligned to a subject-specific AP exam, which provides students the potential to earn credit for postsecondary coursework in that subject. Each May, the AP examinations are administered at participating high schools. There is a fee for each exam. Examinations are graded by the College Board and grades are returned by July to students and the colleges they wish to attend. 


    For more information on AP, visit AP Central, the College Board's official online destination for AP teachers, coordinators, and education professionals. They offer unique tools and resources as well as the most current exam and program information.