William AllenHigh School

Advanced Placement Courses

Advanced Placement Courses

The Advanced Placement Program (AP), administered by The College Board, offers college-level courses that are taught at local high schools by those high school teachers. In 1955 the AP program was initiated in the United States. Since then, approximately 8 million students have taken advantage of this program. The ASD offers 24 Advanced Placement courses to its students. The AP program allows students to experience post-secondary coursework and its increased academic rigor while still in enrolled in the supportive environment of their local high school. The advantages of taking AP courses for students are many:

  • College credit can be given to students who pass the AP exam (passing is generally considered scoring three or higher out of five, though some schools only accept a four or a five score for credit.
  • Students master in-depth content at the college level more easily after completing AP courses by acquiring sophisticated academic skills and increased self-confidence in preparation for college.
  • These courses offer an accelerated skill development curve, College breaks down into two main academic skills, mathematics and language, which spread into almost all other disciplines. AP classes will improve and fine-tune these abilities at a faster rate than college preparation or honors courses by sheer quantity of information and higher expectations.
  • Real college conditioning - students will be prepared for college as AP courses will mold students into college survivors by setting a higher pace and standard.
  • Offers students a seamless pathway between high school and college.

Students are required to take the AP exam at the conclusion of their course taking. The cost of these exams are assumed by the ASD.

Please see PA TRAC: Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Center: www.patrac.org.

Throughout the United States, high schools are increasingly urging students to enroll in high school advanced placement or dual enrollment classes so that they can accomplish significant goals in their career development, academically and economically. With 75 percent of U.S. high school graduates entering college, on average, the nation is steadily democratizing entrance to college. But high college dropout rates and the fact that about half of all college first-year students are taking at least one remedial course show us that it is not enough simply for secondary schools to help students gain admission. If we are to succeed in democratizing what really counts—successful college degree completion—the gap between high school graduation standards and first-year college course requirements must be eliminated. Recent research from the University of California at Berkeley and the National Center for Educational Accountability finds that an AP Exam grade, and a grade of 3 or higher in particular, is a strong predictor of a student’s ability to persist in college and earn a bachelor’s degree.