Academic Course Types

Academic Course Types


Standard Level Courses

Standard Level Courses are designed to prepare students for entrance into a college and for academic success in the college classroom. Standard courses are open to all students and follow the content standards, learning expectations, and performance indicators approved by the State Board of Education and MNPS Schools.

Honors Level Courses

Honors Level Courses are high school courses that provide additional rigor and substantially exceed the academic standards approved by the State Board of Education. Teachers of honors courses will model instructional approaches that facilitate maximum interchange of ideas among students: independent study, self-directed research and learning, and appropriate use of technology.

All honors courses shall include multiple assessments exemplifying coursework (such as short answer, constructed-response prompts, performance-based tasks, open-ended questions, essays, original or creative interpretations, authentic products, portfolios, and analytical writing). An honors course shall also include a minimum of five (5) of the following components:

  • Extended reading assignments that connect with the specified curriculum.
  • Research-based writing assignments that address and extend the course curriculum.
  • Projects that apply course curriculum to relevant or real-world situations. These may include oral presentations, power point, or other modes of sharing findings. Connection of the project to the community is encouraged.
  • Open-ended investigations in which the student selects the questions and designs the research.
  • Writing assignments that demonstrate a variety of modes, purposes, and styles.
  • Integration of appropriate technology into the course of study.
  • Deeper exploration of the culture, values, and history of the discipline.
  • Extensive opportunities for problem-solving experiences through imagination, critical analysis, and application.
  • Job shadowing experiences with presentations which connect class study to the world of work.
Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs)

Early Postsecondary Opportunities (EPSOs)

EPSOs allow students the opportunity to earn postsecondary credits while in high school and provide various benefits:

  • Become familiar with postsecondary expectations.
  • Develop confidence and skills for success in postsecondary education.
  • Make informed postsecondary and career decisions.
  • Decrease time and cost of completing a certificate or degree.

MNPS offers several types of EPSOs in high school. All students are encouraged to participate and enroll in these opportunities, with additional quality points added to their GPAs as a student incentive.