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Home » Student Success » Support Programs » Dual Credit Programs » Advanced Placement » Developing an Advanced Placement Program in Your School

Developing an Advanced Placement Program in Your School

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Advanced Placement

Barbara Dittrich
  1. Trained teachers are essential.

    • Annual Summer Institutes in Washington state are 4-5 day trainings for subject area AP and Pre-AP teachers. Locations are:
      • Bellevue School District, Bellevue
      • Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma
      • Spokane School District, Spokane
      • Vancouver Public Schools, Vancouver
      • Everett School District, Everett
    • Annual Fall and Spring Workshops in Washington state are 1-day trainings for subject area teachers, counselors, and administrators.
    • Additional information is available at College Board's AP Central website.
    • Prospective AP teachers and coordinators will find outlines of each of the 34 AP courses on the College Board AP Central website.
  2. Administrative support is critical.

    • While the program is in its infancy, the administration may need to deal with class size issues, student and parent concerns about the demands of the course, staffing issues, and money for training and materials.
    • The administration will need to provide moral support to teachers, students, and parents.
    • Administrators may need to address the myth that Advanced Placement is elitist and help teachers open the gates to encourage more and more students into the AP program.
  3. Counseling support is necessary.

    • Counselors will need to help recruit and support students in the program.
    • Counselors will need to advise students and parents about the value of taking rigorous course work in high school.
    • Counselors may be involved in setting up tutorials and after school help for students who are dealing with the challenges of AP courses.
  4. Money will need to be available.

    • For training teachers.
    • For the purchase of appropriate texts and materials for students.
    • For the purchase of appropriate materials for the teacher.
  5. Internet access for the teacher is critical.

  6. Internet access would be helpful for students.

    • There are many websites that help students study and prepare for the AP exams.
  7. Building support within the departments that offer AP courses is important if the AP program is to be sustained and expanded.

    • Departments need to develop vertical teams of teachers that understand the demands placed on students when they enter the AP program. Preparation for students cannot fall only to the teacher in the actual AP course. Students need to be developing a continuum of knowledge and skills from the 7th grade on.
  8. Working with the feeder schools will help increase the pool of AP students.

    • Challenging students in younger grades prepares them for rigorous academic work.
    • Teachers from the high school, middle schools, and elementary schools can work together to develop an aligned curriculum and raise expectations for students.
  9. Educating parents is important.

    • Starting in elementary and middle school, parents need to be aware of what programs are available and how their children can prepare for AP.
    • Parents need to understand that taking rigorous courses in high school is the best preparation for high school graduation and college.
  10. Success of the Advanced Placement program should be based on participation in AP courses.

    • Encourage students to take AP classes and AP exams.
    • Success should be measured by how many students take the classes and are exposed to rigorous college level work not the exam pass rate.
  11. To participate contact the College Board.