Number of Ascension students earning college credit grows big

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

High school students earning college credit in Ascension Public Schools continues to grow at an accelerated rate with Dutchtown High School leading the state in one-year growth and Ascension accounting for one quarter of the state's growth. The number of students who earned a 3+ on Advanced Placement (AP) exams in Ascension grew 57 percent this year (from 370 in 2017 to 581 in 2018) and 238 percent since 2012 (from 172 in 2012 to 581 in 2018).

"We are so proud of the work of all our high schools as they continue to increase the opportunities and experiences for students during grades nine through twelve that mirror the demands of postsecondary life. We also recognize the significance of the work of our primary and middle schools do to prepare students for more rigor in high school," said Superintendent David Alexander.

Leading the state in growth

In one year, Dutchtown High School (DTHS) significantly grew the number of students taking AP exams (from 393 in 2017 to 600 in 2018) and grew in every measure including a 53 percent increase in the number of students taking the AP test, 60 percent in the number of tests taken, 69 percent in the number of students scoring 3+ and 73 percent in the number of tests with a score of 3+. By almost doubling the number of students earning a score of 3+ (194 to 328), DTHS led the state in growth and accounted for 16.5 percent of the entire state's total increase of 811 students.

"I am extremely proud of the work we do at Dutchtown High. Our latest Advanced Placement results are phenomenal and are a true testament of the rigorous work our teachers and students are engaged in day in and day out. No matter how much we grow, we are always striving to do more and to be better so our students are ready for their postsecondary pursuits, whatever they may be," said DTHS Principal Carli Francois. "The sky's the limit for the Griffins!"

Dutchtown High's significant growth paired with all Ascension Parish high schools accounted for over one quarter (26 percent) of the entire state of Louisiana's growth (211 in Ascension out of 811 total in Louisiana).

Every high school in Ascension showed gains in students earning AP college credit. The following are highlights by school:

Donaldsonville High School showed significant growth in the percentage of students and tests that achieved a score of 3+ from 4.8 percent in 2017 to 26.7 percent in 2018.

East Ascension High School grew by 30 percent the number of students scoring 3+ (from 56 in 2017 to 73 in 2018) and by 43 percent the number of tests with a score of 3+ (from 61 in 2017 to 87 in 2018).

St. Amant High School grew by 48 percent the number of students scoring 3+ (from 119 in 2017 to 176 in 2018) and by 51 percent the number of tests with a score of 3+ (from 145 in 2017 to 219 in 2018).

"This is another mark of great teamwork as our district strives to ensure that students have high quality experiences each day that ultimately result in every child being equipped to successfully pursue the postsecondary plans of their choice," said Superintendent Alexander.

To view all AP data for the state, visit For more information about Ascension Public Schools, visit

Contributed by Ascension Public Schools