Freshman and Sophomores

Your freshman and sophomore years are a great time to build up volunteer experience and extracurricular activities. Colleges and universities like to see a well rounded application, which means that they look beyond your test scores to gauge whether or not you will be a good fit. Take this time to explore things you are passionate about and find out what motivates you!

Dual Credit

As you look toward this summer and into next year, we highly recommend that you consider taking a Dual Credit class. As you may already know, Dual Credit is the opportunity to take college level courses at Santa Fe Community College, IAIA, Central New Mexico Community College or The University of New Mexico, and receive both high school and college credit. In addition, New Mexico state law now requires that all high school students successfully complete an AP, Honors or Dual Credit class in order to graduate. We highly recommend that you meet this requirement by taking a Dual Credit course!

There Are Many Reasons To Take A Dual Credit Class, Including:

An opportunity to experience first hand what it is like to be a college student—you are able to study alongside a wide range of students within a diverse college community, to learn from them and work collaboratively and constructively with them.

An experience doing this while still having the support of your high school and CCP advisors—you are able to learn to balance your commitments as a high school student with your commitments as a college student and to take responsibility for your own success by utilizing the support structures available to you.

An opportunity to explore a new interest or deepen your understanding of an interest you already have.

From a college admissions perspective, an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to succeed in an actual college-level course.

An opportunity that allows you to gain perspective on your high school experience while you are in college and perspective on your eventual college world while you are in high school. Reflecting on your lessons, successes and struggles, you will develop valuable insight and wisdom to carry with you as you continue on your educational journey.

The Process:

Go online to the particular college website and type in Dual Credit to learn the specific requirements for that particular institution.

Inform your counselor that you are interested in taking a Dual credit course to ensure that this makes good sense with your other commitments. The campus you attend will depend on your particular background, goals and needs.

Set a time to meet with your high school college guidance advisor—there will be application forms and information that your high school must provide.

Complete the necessary application—in most cases, you can do so online.

Complete the required orientation—this may be online or on campus, depending on the institution.

Complete the necessary Compass or Accuplacer test—your results will determine which classes you are able to take. The dates, costs and requirements for testing vary somewhat at UNM, CNM, SFCC and IAIA—it is your responsibility to check the website to be clear about what is expected of you. If you have already taken an ACT, you may be able to use this score in order to place into a particular dual credit class.

Explore the course catalog to determine which courses might work best for you. Ideally, your dual credit course selection provides the opportunity to explore a specific academic and/or career interest. As a Dual Credit student, you will be able to choose from a wide range of courses. It is important that you meet with a Dual Credit advisor at UNM, CNM, IAIA or SFCC to determine the courses for which you are eligible and the courses that best serve your interests and goals.

Register for your class.

With the assistance of your high school college guidance advisor, purchase your books. The process for doing so varies depending on your high school—therefore, it is key that you take initiative to set this meeting prior to the start of your Dual Credit class!

Get a copy of the college handbook to ensure that you have access to key dates, deadlines and information that you need.


Although you are not required to take the ACT/SAT, freshman and Sophomore can take this time to build up their college applications in different ways. There are tons of free prep sites available. When using a fee waiver to register for the ACT, all students receive the test prep for free (a huge value).

Testing resources