More Iowa Seniors Participate, Succeed in Advanced Placement Courses
The number of Iowa high school seniors who participate and succeed in Advanced Placement courses continues to grow, according to the 7th Annual AP Report to the Nation released by the College Board. A total of 5,135 members of Iowa's Class of 2010 took at least one AP exam while in high school, a 9.5% increase over the previous year and more than doubled the number ten years ago.
"Iowa students show time after time that they can compete with students across the country and around the world," said Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education. "One part of our plan for success is to increase access to rigorous and relevant programs, such as AP, so that more and more Iowa students can take part in classes that will help prepare them for success in college, in careers, and as citizens."
Not only did more students in the Class of 2010 take AP exams than in previous years, their success was well above the national rate. Of Iowa students graduating in 2010, 65.4% who took an AP exam in high school scored a 3 or better. This is higher than the national average of 56.1%. Many colleges and universities award college credit or placement into higher-level courses to students with AP exam scores of 3 or above. AP exams are scored on a 1-5 scale, with 5 being the highest possible score.
Iowa's increased participation and success in Advanced Placement courses is due, in part, to the availability of the Iowa Online AP Academy. The Iowa Online AP Academy was established to deliver courses to high school students, primarily in rural and small schools across the state, using online technology. Students from 61 Iowa school districts took AP courses through the online academy during the past school year.
The 5,135 students in the Class of 2010 who took an Advanced Placement course represent 14.4% of Iowa high school graduates. That is an increase from last year's figure of 13.2%, but below the national average of 28.3%. However, Advanced Placement courses are just one option for Iowa students to potentially earn college credit while still in high school. To help more high school students access college credit, the Iowa legislature passed the Senior Year Plus program in 2008, which provides access to not only Advanced Placement courses but also to Concurrent Enrollment courses, Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act courses, Career Academy courses, and Iowa Communication Network (ICN) and Iowa Learning Online courses.
The Advanced Placement program is administered by the College Board, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1900 to expand access to higher education. Additional information is available online at http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/Controller.jpf.