Students taking classes for college credit rose by 29 percent during the 2012-13 school year, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Department of Education.

A total of 23,435 students took a course during the current school year, up from 17,496 last year.

In addition, participation in Advanced Placement exams, called AP, went up by nearly 33 percent, officials said.

Louisiana ranks 49th in the percentage of public high school students who earn college credit, according to 2012 figures.

However, state officials have taken steps to improve the picture.

Louisiana’s new high school accountability system rewards schools for students who graduate after taking an AP course and those who meet certain scoring levels on the AP test.

Nearly 800 teachers are enrolled in summer training to teach the classes, up from nearly 400 last year, according to a prepared statement issued by the department.

The state also pays the test fee for students from low-income families.