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Thousands of Michigan students are qualified for AP courses, according to Dept. of Edu

Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education
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Earning credits in high school can help reduce the cost of college. State Superintendent, Dr. Michael Rice, said notifying parents prior to or during a student’s sophomore year helps expand opportunity, particularly for historically underrepresented groups

Not all Michigan high schools offer AP courses. School leaders can learn more about how to start an AP Program on the College Board’s website.

More than 40,000 letters are being sent to households in Michigan notifying parents and guardians that their high school students have shown potential for Advanced Placement courses (AP), which could earn students college credit.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has partnered with the College Board to utilize the Advanced Placement (AP) Potential Tool that identifies students who are likely to score a 3 or higher on a given AP exam, based on the student’s performance on the Spring 2022 PSAT 8/9 or PSAT 10. Scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam can qualify high school students to receive college credit while in high school.

“Notifying parents and guardians prior to or during the sophomore year of students’ education helps to expand the number and percentage of students in rigorous coursework in high school, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups, including economically disadvantaged students,” explained State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “This opportunity also supports students in earning college credit, which can help change a student’s sense of capability and life direction and reduce the cost of college.”

The AP program enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.

“Secondary school principals are always looking to expand opportunities for students to earn college credit in high school,” said Wendy Zdeb, executive director of the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. “While there are many potential pathways, Advanced Placement coursework provides the opportunity for families to reduce the financial burden of post-secondary education. MASSP continues to support credit and certification options that help all students to be college and career ready.”

There are 38 AP courses offered by the College Board in seven subject categories. Each AP course is modeled on a comparable introductory college course, culminating in a standardized college-level assessment, or AP exam, given in May each year.

“There are significant numbers of students who can succeed in AP without high PSAT scores,” Dr. Rice said. “PSAT scores are one way to predict success in advanced coursework. In addition, there are other rigorous academic paths available for students. We want our children to challenge themselves, with support from educators, and to reach for the highest level of education.”

Additional opportunities for students who are prepared for college-level coursework include dual enrollment and Early Middle College (EMC) programs, many career and technical education courses and programs, or an International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP), if available. MDE’s letter to parents and guardians encourages students to consider these rigorous options, and school counselors are urged to share about these options in local school districts, as available, as well.

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