The Value of Advanced Placement Courses

An AP exam costs $89 these days and when learners take lots of these classes, cost can really load up.  Advanced placement course are rich with possibilities. They offer dissatisfied honor students with a more challenging intellectual environment. They allow college candidates to happily litter their transcript and resumes with courses considered extensive by admission authorities. They can even permit learners with great ratings on the AP examinations to earn college credit in high school, saving money and time later.

advanced_placement_coursesBut with those opportunities comes a price. Not a monetary cost, but a price in terms of time, tolerance, and peace of mind. To succeed in advanced placement courses, learners have to be entirely dedicated to achieving their goals in such a class and be willing to read voraciously, write regularly and study industriously. These objectives result in lost time, eagerness (and even anger) and pressure at different degrees throughout the course. That being said, AP is totally beneficial. Not for their college credit opportunities or their appeal on programs, but for the intellectual stimulation they offer for the future.  Advanced placement courses reveal learners to the level of reading, writing, studying and thinking that will ultimately be expected while attending college and the pressure that will go along with the academic work.

Regardless of the school credit that one actually gets, AP programs undoubtedly will assist learners in their pursuit for a degree; they minimize the shock of college expectations. The AP experience can be extended beyond college study. The close evaluation of relevant details in each AP discipline better shows learners of how the world works. For instance, teachers’ labor unions immediately remind you of socialist reforms in response to British industrialism. Education and learning improves one’s life experience and the College Board has provided an outlet for learners to receive an excellent education at an earlier age.

Advanced Placement Courses in Other States

Possibilities keep increasing for kids to have greater access to college-level advanced placement courses throughout Des Moines, as the school district will be providing new programs at Central Academy while continuing other AP programs available at all five extensive great academic institutions. These changes result from significant registration increases the school district has seen recently in advanced placement courses as both learners and instructors have stepped up to meet the task of this college-level program.

advanced_placement_coursesDMPS is pleased to declare, for the first time ever, four new AP programs to be provided to Des Moines learners through Central Academy beginning with the 2014-15 school year: AP Art History, AP Computer Science, AP Microeconomics, and AP Spanish Literature. These new AP promotions are unique, specific programs that will be available only at Central Academy to be able to provide access to all DMPS learners. (Previously, AP Art History and AP Microeconomics were available only to learners at Roosevelt High School.) In order to accomplish the growth of their advanced placement program at Central Academy, DMPS will reduce some replication of AP programs. From 2014-15, AP Environmental Science, AP Statistics, and AP US Government will no longer be provided at Central Academy but will continue to be provided at all five comprehensive high schools.

“Des Moines Public Schools is a leader in Iowa and the country when it comes to providing learners access to high-level academic programs, such as Advanced Placement and our learners are to be recommended for taking on these world-class academic opportunities,” said Superintendent Tom Ahart. “The school district’s effort to make advanced placement courses available to more and more learners throughout Des Moines is showing that our learners and instructors are stepping up to the task. We are providing thousands of learners access to class that will help prepare them for higher education and beyond.”

Advanced Placement Courses Empowerment

The College Board, a not-for-profit account company dedicated to quality and value in education with a goal to link students to college achievements and opportunity, lately granted 21 Sauk Prairie High School students for showing college-level accomplishment through advanced placement courses and examinations. Sixteen members from the class of 2013 and five members from the class of 2014 qualified for these distinctions.

Advanced_Placement_CoursesRecipients of the AP Scholar award, granted to students who get grades of 3 or greater on three or more advanced placement examinations, are Casandra Bradley, Emma Kreitzmann, Abigail Liverseed and Andrew Stangl for the class of 2013, and Rachel Leege for the class of 2014. Recipients of the AP Scholar with Honor award, granted to students who get an average ranking of at least 3.25 on all advanced placement examinations taken and grades of 3 or higher on four or more of these examinations, are Michaela Pfeiffer-Mundt and Brendan Sullivan for the class of 2013, and Sue Albers, Bailey Breunig and Lianna Mack for the class of 2014.

Recipients of the AP Scholar with Distinction award, provided to students who get an average ranking of at least 3.5 on all advanced placement examinations taken and ratings of 3 or greater on five or more of these examinations, include Dallas Breunig, Kassandra Hodges, Chloe Johnson, Tara Loether, Elizabeth Molitor, Angus Mossman, Anthony Renger and Zoey Shultz for the class of 2013, and Tyler Ballweg for the class of 2014.

The receiver of the National AP Scholar award, provided to students in the United States who get an average ranking of at least 4 on all examinations taken and ratings of 4 or greater on eight or more of the advanced placement examinations, is Anthony Renger for the class of 2013. Advanced Placement courses encourage students to get a feel for the rigors of college-level studies, while they are still reinforced in the Sauk Prairie High School environment. When students take AP programs, they illustrate university entrance authorities that they have sought out an academic experience that will prepare them for achievements while attending college and beyond.

Taking the CLEP Exam

Should my kid use the CLEP assessments to get credit for college courses? This question resonates with many families looking to reduce the price of college. The CLEP program has increased in popularity over the last few years. Be home more, reduce costs and get college credit. Sounds like a win-win situation, but consider all the facts before moving head first into this new effort.

CLEPThe College-Level Examination Program ® or CLEP is a program that allows learners of any age the chance to gain college credit through a series of examinations in undergrad higher teaching programs. Like AP programs, there are several advantages to doing well on CLEP assessments. The CLEP program is not necessarily used as replacement for college. Many learners take these assessments to prepare and improve their college experience.


  • Take fewer classes in college. You can get college credit for information you already know. If you have already studied a particular subject, you can route that information into college time and get credit for your secondary school information. CLEP-ing out of starter classes can also help you jump into the more advanced and interesting programs college has to offer.
  • Spend less cash on education and studying. CLEP examinations coast approximately $65, which is cheaper when compared to the price of college credit hour. CLEP examinations are also free to those who are serving in the army.
  • Finish your Degree. If you lack certain programs to be eligible for graduating, CLEP examinations can be great way to help you get those last few college hours.


  • Reliability of your degree. Many families have decided to have their kid do all their college work through some form of “distance learning” program. Although correspondence programs have grown in approval, many companies and institutions of higher learning are hesitant to accept these degrees as genuine.
  • Longer than you think. Some programs claim that a four year degree can be obtained in six months through accelerated studying and then CLEP-ing out of normal college classes. Don’t just take the word of someone who has written a book; do more research to find out if this is actually possible.

Advanced Placement Courses Makeover Part 2

Consider the effort to advertise value through advanced placement courses.  For many, reformers tried to use the system as a handle for giving under-served learners an excellent acceptance edge.  After all, in the last years of the last millennium, institutions seemed positive on learners with AP programs on their transcripts.  But most AP programs were administered at private and suburban academic institutions.  Consequently, reformers desired to improve their advanced placement course programs, knowing they could level the playing field by offering equivalent access to an elite product. Yet, the development of the AP Program did not advertise real equality between the academic haves and have-nots. Because once the AP Program achieved critical mass, it lost its performance as a sign of difference. Soon, ratings of institutions (Dartmouth being the latest) improved their guidelines around giving credit for AP training or favoring it in acceptance opinions.  And eventually, top level suburban and private academic institutions started to drop the system, saying it’s obsolete, overly-restrictive, and too focused toward multiple choice assessments.

advanced_placement_coursesConsider now the recent move by the College Board to recover curricular importance and rigor to the AP product.  Taking seriously the charge that advanced placement courses were no longer in line with educating methods in higher education, the College Board has redeveloped the system.  The new program will motivate more work in technology laboratories and less parroting back of treatments, more work on traditional thinking and less recall skills of traditional details. That all appears to be very good.  But it will do little to improve learning and educating, especially at academic institutions with low-levels of educational and management potential.

To be clear, these are excellent improvements and programs like advanced placement courses should continue to be enhanced and improved.  But they will not take care of the further issues that impact academic quality and opportunity in the United States.

Advanced Placement Courses Makeover

To the many in the world of education and learning change, the newest AP Report to the Nation released lately by the College Board is cause for party on two fronts. The first accomplishment has to do with value.  During the program’s early history in the Sixties, Advanced Placement Courses were generally applied by white students.  Even as late as the mid-1990s, 80 percent of AP examinations were taken by whites or Asians.  Today, however, approximately a third of learners on the program are non-Asian learners of color.  And that number is growing every year.

APThe second accomplishment has to do with learning and training.  By the twenty-first millennium, AP was being assailed by its experts for unable to progress.  While college teachers progressively advised learners through closer examinations of topics with an alignment toward critical thinking and hands-on work, the Advanced Placement Courses continue to highlight survey-style coverage and content recall skills.  This newest report, however, details a course and examination upgrade that brings Advanced Placement Courses back to normal with “current methods while attending college education.”  And according to the College Board, changes in all subject matter will be significant. Both of these improvements are the result of effort, financial dedication (the Department of Education alone has invested one fourth of a billion dollars on its AP Incentive Program), and serious initiatives by everyone concerned to advertise the twin goals of value and quality. The problem, however, is that AP can do very little to actually recognize those goals.

Plan leaders, of course, are conscious of the restricted achievements of their labors, both through the Advanced Placement Courses and through other technically-oriented university enhancement initiatives.  Still, they keep favoring centrally-designed changes that can be applied in a top-down way because they get around the unforeseen and time-consuming work of engaging stakeholders, developing university potential, and creating a politically brave plan.  Consequently, their initiatives, while well-intended, never deal with the actual problems that impact school quality and academic value.  To use a metaphor of Larry Cuban’s, they make storm-tossed wave on the ocean’s surface without distressing the strong current below.

Why Get Advanced Placement Courses

Advanced Placement Courses are college level classes which a student can take in high school. With college education being so costly, learners need all the help they can get. The more Advanced Placement Courses, the less you have to pay for college because you already have some programs covered. But should a high school student take as many AP classes as possible? Some say that it allows a student to stand out in the entrance procedure when applying for college, but should a student battle with an AP class and get a lower final grade in the class or should they just take the frequent non-AP class and do very well in that?

advanced_placement_coursesThere are a number of reasons that usually obliges learners to go with Advanced Placement Courses. There is no doubting to this fact that enjoying an Advanced Placement Course in high school may be less expensive instead of patiently waiting to take it in college. If learners choose these AP programs, then they can quickly display their ability of studying. Doing the high school programs can show schools that you are already at that level of studying. More to the factor, it can quickly confirm that you can understand and handle the particular course work in a hassle-free way.

If you take part in any Advanced Placement Courses, then it will definitely help you in terms of getting entrance into any college of your choice. These programs can make you understand and handle the course work in an enjoyable way. Normally, Advanced Placement Courses keeps members involved in the studying process because this is more challenging in comparison to standard modern university programs. More to the factor, these programs also helps you by directing you towards really getting a college education qualification.