External Courses Credits: How do you Take Them?



External courses is a little boost for your high school career.

Cynthia Lan, Photojournalist

Compared to middle school and elementary school, life in high school is not always that easy. Everyone starts to have more and more things to do in a day besides going to school. Students’ schedules may become extremely full. Sometimes students wish that they could have good self-management because they know it will make their high school journey easier, and external courses should be the ones that you consider. However, if you accidentally fail a class and you want to make it up, external courses can also be a good option. Why can this course support you to finish a class in a shorter time or make up the courses you already failed? This is because you need to have enough credits in order to graduate. To check your current credit, go to Aeries > Students Info > Profile > Graduation Status.


What is APEX?

Mr. Gerasimou (S), the teacher who teaches Apex, explained, “APEX is a credit recovery course for students who have either failed a course and need the class and or credits to graduate, or have earned a grade that is too low to qualify for Cal State/UC Schools. Students can take multiple courses throughout the year at their own pace. It is done through the APEX online system. I enroll them in each class, for example (Language Arts 11 – Second Semester). They work through the course completing the assignments and I monitor their progress, grade assignments, and just kind of facilitate and troubleshoot. Once they have completed the course to their standard (they can earn any grade they’d like to work for) they can enroll in the next class they need.”


What is an external course?

According to the YLHS’s official website, eternal course credits are credits taken outside of PYLUSD, and there is a maximum cap of 20 credits for all four years. Unlike the YLHS’s summer school, you need to pay for the classes you take. Nevertheless, If you find some courses that are free, please pay close attention to see if it is accredited, UC a-g approved, or NCAA-approved. 


How to apply

To check if the course is UC a-g approved, use this (University of California A-G Course List) website. After taking the course, you are responsible to bring an official transcript back to get the grade/credit on your high school transcript (ylhs.org).


To check if the course is NCAA eligibility, go to: www.eligibilitycenter.org → High School Administrators → List of NCAA Courses. Then enter your state, city, and high school name, then click search. You need two documents printed out and attach to your counselor for approval. 1. The page that shows that the institution meets NCAA nontraditional core-course legislation. 2. The page that lists the course you are taking (ylhs.org).


Who can apply: (examples)

  • If a student passed Algebra 1 in PYLUSD and wants to take a college accounting class, this will be approved as long as the student is planning on taking another math class in PYLUSD.


  • If a student received a D in Biology and wants to take an online biology course to make up their grade, the counselor will also approve this because the student already passed a class and meet the basic requirements for a college class.


  • If a student wants to take online PE so they don’t need to take PE in 10th grade, it will not get approved because PE is a graduation requirement and you have to complete it at school.

For more information, check the ylhs.org information: External Courses – Counseling & Student Services