As high school students start thinking about next year, Advanced Placement is an opportunity that often comes up. Many times, parents might have additional questions about the benefits of AP, especially when courses are offered online through the Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA). Why might IOAPA or other AP opportunities be a good fit?
- AP courses show colleges a strong work ethic. Researchers in higher education have found relationships between AP participation and achievement, readiness, and completion of college. Reporting a commitment to academic challenge like taking AP courses early on reflects positively on students’ drive to succeed post-high school. In addition, the Center for Public Education notes that students who took AP exams tended to have higher five-year college graduation rates compared to those who did not take AP courses. It’s easy to determine how credits might transfer regardless of where you attend college using the database managed by The College Board.
- IOAPA encourages a rigorous high school education. The Center for Public Education’s recent report described that access to rigorous high school courses such as AP courses is often challenging for students who live in rural areas, as well as for minority students. IOAPA provides students with the opportunity to pursue AP coursework regardless of location or school size.
- IOAPA provides resources targeted to student success. IOAPA’s unique structure allows schools to designate IOAPA coordinators and mentors to act as on-site contacts for support when dealing with IOAPA related issues. These individuals are in direct contact with IOAPA staff at the Belin-Blank Center so they are in the know about AP- and IOAPA-related announcements. In addition, IOAPA provides Iowa students with free AP Exam Review sessions through Apex Learning. These sessions encourage students to prepare for and take AP exams while giving them additional tools for study.
If you are interested in IOAPA’s course offerings for middle or high school students, please visit belinblank.org/ioapa for more information. For parents who want to learn more about AP, this handout from College Board is a good starting point.