Author Archives: mcandler

The IOAPA website has a new look!

Have you visited the Iowa Online AP Academy website lately? Our site has undergone a re-design to make it easier to navigate and access from mobile platforms. Look for:

  • Easier step-by-step process for site coordinators when registering students for IOAPA courses and Exam Review
  • Support materials, FAQs, and the IOAPA handbook for guidance during the semester
  • A newly redesigned course catalog for high school and middle school courses offered by our course vendors
  • additional information on professional development through APTTI and links to above-level testing information (recommended for students considering middle school IOAPA courses)

We hope you’ll take some time to look around our new site. Make sure to check out our changes at!

Have you registered for the Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute?

Early registration for the Advanced Placement Teacher Training Institute (APTTI) is still open, and offers a great opportunity for teachers interested in teaching AP courses to gain training and expertise at the Belin-Blank Center. This year, our summer institute is July 5 – July 9 on the University of Iowa campus.

We are excited to offer 12 different course options taught by College Board-certified AP consultants for interested AP teachers to gain experience and work towards the AP Course Audit required by the College Board. These courses include AP Macroeconomics, a new offering for 2016, and AP Computer Science A for schools interested in promoting Computer Science curriculum (a full list of courses can be found here).

Participants have a wide range of credit options, including Iowa Licensure Renewal Units or taking the seminar for University of Iowa graduate-level credit. The Iowa Online AP Academy also provides grants for Iowa teachers to attend APTTI and increase the AP offerings at their schools.

You can learn more about APTTI, course offerings, registration, and credit policies by visiting our website at


Iowa Online AP Academy versus Iowa Learning Online: What’s the Difference?

Iowa students have a wide range of options when it comes to online learning, and it can be hard to distinguish between what the best options might be for students. One particular program, Iowa Learning Online, offers online programming like IOAPA, but what makes these two programs different?

Target Audience: The Iowa Learning Online program and Iowa Online AP Academy offer very different courses intended for specific student groups. Specifically, Iowa Learning Online courses aim to supplement student learning at their current grade level. IOAPA’s courses are geared towards providing above-level opportunities for high ability students in Iowa.

Advanced Curriculum: Likewise, because Iowa Learning Online seeks to serve all Iowa students, their class offerings do not include AP or other advanced learning options. The Iowa Online AP Academy’s primary goal is to offer above-level coursework to middle and high school students (through the use of AP courses for students in grades 9-12 and courses intended for high school students for students in grades 6-8).

Costs: Iowa Online AP Academy courses are offered at NO cost for Iowa students. IOAPA’s primary goal has always been (and continues to be) to provide access to AP and other advanced coursework for students whose schools do not offer these courses on-site. The Belin-Blank Center does not oversee the Iowa Learning Online program, and thus cannot provide information on their current or future associated costs.

To learn more about IOAPA, check out our website or follow us on Twitter (@kflanaryIOAPA)!

IOAPA: Connecting with AP and the Belin-Blank Center this Summer

Now that AP exams and IOAPA courses are wrapping up, what are the next steps for IOAPA mentors and AP teachers to take before fall? Here are a few suggestions for how to prepare for AP next year!

Right Now:

After AP exams are finished, the College Board ( releases free response items from this year’s exam. Discussion of these items and how students responded can be a great learning opportunity for your students, and can help them engage with how to prepare for future AP exams.

Some schools choose to celebrate AP success by hosting special lunches or receptions to recognize students for their hard work. Make sure your students know that they have worked hard!

AP exam scores will be released in July. Make sure that your students have their College Board account set up so that they can access their scores promptly!

Check in with students about their plans for Iowa Online AP Academy courses next year. Registration is open, and seats fill quickly! Making decisions about courses now can help students plan for the upcoming school year and how AP courses fit into their plans for after high school.

This summer:

A great way for teachers to continue to learn about AP course content and development is to participate in an AP Summer Institute ( These institutes are designed to give you information about your area of interest and to help teachers develop their syllabus in preparation for the AP course audit process. The Belin-Blank Center is hosting an AP institute on July 5-9—more information can be found on our website (

Summer is also a great time to ensure that all of your paperwork is completed for IOAPA courses for next year. This includes re-registering your school and submitting your IOAPA mentor form from the IOAPA handbook.

Educators might also be interested in attending the AP Annual Conference ( on July 13-17, 2016.

For students looking ahead to next year, this post ( provides some helpful suggestions for students looking to jump start their AP experiences.


Interested in learning more about IOAPA opportunities for students? Check out our website ( for more information about online learning for middle and high school students.

A Visual Guide to High School IOAPA Courses

Although Iowa Online AP Academy has been offering Advanced Placement classes to high school students in Iowa since 2001, students and schools often wonder which students may best benefit from certain IOAPA classes. Check out our visual guide to AP classes based on Fall 2015 data below!

With the introduction of our middle school courses in Fall 2015, many students and teachers may still have questions about the types of courses offered by the Iowa Online AP Academy, who these classes might benefit, and how to select students who will be prepared and challenged by online coursework. Based on the information and experiences we have gathered from current and past students, we are excited to provide a visual guide to our high school classes!

If you are looking for more information about IOAPA, visit our website. For a visual guide to our middle school courses, check out last week’s post.

IOAPA Fall 2015 HS Data Infographic

A Visual Guide to Middle School IOAPA Courses

With the introduction of our middle school courses in Fall 2015, many students and teachers may still have questions about the types of courses offered by the Iowa Online AP Academy, who these classes might benefit, and how to select students who will be prepared for and challenged by online coursework.

Based on the information and experiences we have gathered so far, we are excited to provide a visual guide to our middle school classes! These data are based on middle school Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) courses taken during the fall 2015 semester.We hope they will be helpful as you and your students consider plans to register for 2016-17 courses through IOAPA.

If you are looking for more information about IOAPA’s middle school classes, check out our past posts on middle school courses and above-level testing, or visit our website. Make sure to check back here soon for our high school courses recap!

IOAPA Fall 2015 MS Data Infographic


IOAPA Fall Registration Opens Today

Registration for Fall 2016 Iowa Online AP Academy courses begins today (April 19) and continues through August  17, 2016. As in past years, schools will need to re-register with IOAPA in order to enroll their students in IOAPA courses. Be sure to check our website for further updates and information about our IOAPA offerings for 2016-2017, including our three new Computer Science courses!

Additionally, we still have online AP exam reviews available for Iowa AP students, even those who did not take a course through IOAPA. This exam review is a great way for both traditional and online AP students to review and prepare for the AP exams in May. Now that exams are quickly approaching, make sure to register to ensure that your AP students have access to this great (free) opportunity! For further information and to register your students, please contact us.



Interested in IOAPA? Learn more about registration!

Registration for Iowa Online AP Academy 2016-2017 classes open in just one week (April 19), and many teachers want to register their students promptly to ensure access to these courses. Whether you are new to IOAPA or just need a refresher, take a look at the following handy registration guide for pointers on the registration process!

To register, visit our website ( Be sure to read through the Getting Started section for important program information.  You will need to re-register your school each academic year.

When you’re ready to register, take the following steps:

  1. Register your school and assign a site coordinator and mentor. The first step is for principals to register their schools. They can do that on our website ( by clicking on Register on the homepage. As part of this step, schools assign a site coordinator and a mentor. They can be the same person or different people; however, the mentor needs to be a certified teacher at the school. We’ll be discussing this difference more in future blog posts.
  2. Nominate the student(s) taking IOAPA course(s). Completing the school registration page sends the principal an automated email with a link in it to nominate the student. The principal either needs to complete the nomination or forward the link to the site coordinator or mentor to complete.
  3. Confirm that the student has self-enrolled in the course. Once the student has been nominated, an email will be automatically sent to the student to enroll himself/herself in the actual course. Be sure to have students check their junk mail folders, as the automated emails sometimes get filtered there. Students should complete this process and be sure to click submit when they’re done.

Middle school students should also take an above-level test to help determine eligibility, with scores considered current within the past two years. (For eligibility guidelines, see Requirements.) Learn more about above-level testing.

Questions? Check out our website ( for further assistance!