A report finds more than 5,100 Iowa high school seniors took at least one Advanced Placement class last year, an increase of nearly ten-percent from the year before.
Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education, says he’s thrilled that more Iowa students are taking AP classes which he says help prepare them for success in college, in careers and as citizens.
“It’s really a way that high school students can get college credit before actually going into college,” Glass says. “It’s a method that we can start to move the college experience down into high school and connect kids with some learning opportunities that they may not otherwise have.”
While AP participation is still relatively low in Iowa’s high schools overall, Glass says more students are clearly seeing the value in challenging themselves with the accelerated classes.
“With our dual enrollment, AP Online and traditional AP courses, along with some community college offerings, these are ways that we really can graduate kids from high school with a significant number of college credits before they even start college,” Glass says. “It’s kind of like a pre-scholarship that we can graduate kids from our schools with.”
The 5,135 Iowa students in the Class of 2010 who took AP courses represent about 14% of all Iowa high school graduates. Glass notes that nationwide, the figure is twice that at more than 28% on average.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do in improving this and growing this and this is an area where we can absolutely get better,” Glass says. “If you look even five years ago, we would’ve probably been half that again so the numbers are going in the right direction.”
The report says the number of Iowa students who took AP courses last year has more than doubled in a decade. Learn more at: www.collegeboard.com/apreport