SAN ANTONIO -

Southwest Independent School District made the College Board's AP District Honor Roll for 2013.

Districts make the list for expanding enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) courses -- especially among minorities -- while maintaining or increasing the number of students who pass the AP course exams.

Southwest ISD is committed to getting their student prepared for college.

"We are trying to increase access to more rigorous college preparatory courses for students and increase their success on the exam that they take a the end of it," said Liz Ozuna, director of advanced academics at Southwest ISD.

One of the benefits of students taking and passing AP coursework: less time spent attaining a degree.

"These kids go into college prepared. Sometimes -- often -- they go into college prepared as a sophomore going in because of the number of credits," said Southwest High School AP Math Instructor Oscar Casteneda.

"I want to get my Master's in Chemical Engineering and so this will cut out a lot of time. So I'll spend a lot less time getting my basics done and I'll be able to spend more time focusing on my major," said Southwest AP Chemistry student Kathleen Deluna.

Getting through college faster will help them save on tuition as well.

One thing that administrators stressed about these courses is their importance in succeeding in the next stage of the students' education.

"The College Board data shows that the students that complete an AP course - even if they don't make a 3, 4, or 5 - will actually persist longer in college and will earn a degree in their major," said Ozuna.

Southwest ISD has a partnership with Palo Alto College, where students can earn college credit, but unlike the AP courses, those classess can't always be applied to colleges outside Texas.  

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