What: The Advanced Placement (AP) Program gives students the opportunity to take college-level courses and exams while in high school. "Students enjoy the challenge of taking AP courses with enthusiastic classmates and teachers; high school faculty, find that AP courses enhance their student's confidence and academic interest as well as their school's reputation; and college faculty report that AP students are far better prepared for serious academic work." (College Board, 2001). In a recent study, the College Board found that 59% of AP students received at least a B average in their freshman year while only 37% of non-AP students did.
Who: AP is a program for students willing to apply their inquisitiveness, ability and persistence. AP challenges students, rewards their achievements, eases the transition to college, and may assist with the financial commitment of college. Over 90% of the nation's colleges and universities, including the most selective, offer credit and/or placement into advanced courses. Each year more than 30,000 AP students are eligible for sophomore standing which is granted by about 1,400 institutions.
Why: Benefits for students who take AP courses include studying subjects in which they are interested in, completing a challenging course, and working with students and faculty who are similarly motivated. AP often assists students who are unsure about their future plans in determining post high school experience. "This gives students a head start and increases their future options. AP prepares students for the future by giving them tools that will serve them well throughout their college careers" (College Board, 2001). At Grandview AP coursework is valued, and therefore, the weighted grading scale is used.
When, Where and How:
In general, AP courses are designed for sophomores, juniors and seniors. During the preregistration process students will receive information from their teachers about AP opportunities. In addition, Grandview offers an informational workshop during pre- registration time for parents and students. The College Board also offers on their website (www.collegeboard.com
) assistance for parents and students. Students who register for AP courses may be expected to complete summer assignments before the course begins.
AP Examinations: AP examinations are administered on national test dates in early May of each year. Every examination is graded on a 5-point scale:
5 = extremely well qualified
4 = well qualified
3 = qualified
2 = possibly qualified
1 = no recommendation
Examinations are graded in the summer by a combination of college and high school subject specific teachers.
Special AP Examinations: The Advanced Placement Program encourages students with disabilities to take AP examinations. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the AP Program offers a variety of testing procedures and lifestyle accommodations that optimize testing conditions for students with disabilities.
Distinguished Scholar: To qualify, a student must demonstrate academic success in three or more Advanced Placement courses, complete Socratic Seminar, achieve a grade point average of 3.75 unweighted, demonstrate evidence of community service, school involvement, and good citizenship.
Valedictorian: To qualify, a student must complete at least twenty-four credits, maintain a 4.0 unweighted grade point average, and have taken three Advanced Placement courses