Prepárate 2024

Strategies for Expanding Access to AP

During this session at the 2024 Prepárate™ Conference, senior directors of the Advanced Placement® Access team, Renata Elvey and Judith Vigue, shared strategies for expanding access to AP®. They highlighted four courses designed to invite a wider range of students to Advanced Placement: AP Computer Science Principles; English 10: AP Seminar; AP African American Studies; and AP Precalculus. 

AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to foundational concepts of computer science. Students learn how computers and technology impact our daily lives from the apps we use to how our personal data is collected to the positive and negative consequences of AI. Students work collaboratively to creatively address real-world issues using the tools and processes of computation while learning a coding language selected by their teacher and completing a yearlong performance task that counts as part of their final AP Exam score. AP CSP students build skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. And research shows students who take this course are more likely to major in a STEM field, particularly Black, Hispanic, and first-generation students. 

AP Seminar is an interdisciplinary course that focuses on developing students’ skills in research, analysis, collaboration, writing, and presenting. It was the fastest-growing AP course in 2023, with a 30% increase in student enrollment. Even with such significant growth, 85% of AP Seminar students earned scores of 3 or higher, the same as the previous year. Today, almost 3,000 schools offer the course, with the most adoptions taking place in English departments. More than half of participating schools have designated AP Seminar as their English 10 course because teachers can meet state English language arts standards while providing students with cross-curricular exposure through evidence-based reading, writing, and speaking. Students who take the course fulfill a core English course requirement and benefit from a seminar-style approach that builds the skills they need to succeed in high school, college, and career. 

AP African American Studies is a rich, interdisciplinary course that draws from a variety of fields—history, literature, the arts, geography, and science—to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans. It offers direct engagement with primary sources to give students a strong foundation in African American history and culture.

AP Precalculus was designed for every student who’s ready to take precalculus in high school. It can be offered in place of a school’s current precalculus or trigonometry course. AP Precalculus can help more students get ready for the math and science courses required for most majors—before they graduate from high school. 

To round out the session, Renata and Judy shared a link where participants could request more information about these courses.