Public high school enrollment in classes that can translate into college credit rose 18.6 percent in the current school year, the state Department of Education announced Thursday.

Students enrolled in 33,231 of the classes — called Advanced Placement — compared to 28,009 during the 2013-14 school year.

Louisiana has long ranked at or near the bottom nationally in AP participation.

Scores on AP exams arrange from 1 to 5.

Students have to earn at least a 3 to qualify for college credit, and what colleges accept varies.

The state has launched a push in recent years to promote AP classes.

Under new rules, AP results are liked to school accountability scores.

Those classes, which are more rigorous than rank-and-file courses, also provide additional weight in the calculation of grade point averages.

The state pays AP test fees for students who meet income requirements.

Summer training is provided for teachers and administrators.