Why are AP classes essential in preparing for college?

The mission of John Adams High School is to prepare students for collegiate success.  As such, our goal is to not only help students graduate from high school, but also help them to be prepared for the rigors of college.

One of our goals at JAHS is to have all students take at least 3 Advanced Placement (AP) courses by the time they graduate. Some students may take more. Other students may find this challenging, but our highly qualified teachers and college counselors will do everything to help them get there. In addition, JAHS will provide students with assistance via study hall and tutoring.

Taking AP courses yields a wealth of benefits for all students. Studies have shown that the rigor of a student’s high school curriculum is the single best predictor of success in college. AP examinees who score a 3 or higher are more likely to graduate from college, while those who score lower on AP tests still outperform students with no AP experience. And there is no doubt AP courses give students an advantage in the admissions process. The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s annual State of College Admissions survey consistently finds that student performance in college preparatory classes is the most important factor in the admission decision. Admission officers look for students that took on the challenge of AP courses instead of an easy route to straight A’s. In fact, a study of selective colleges and universities found that 85% of those institutions agree that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admissions decisions.

Many of you may be asking yourselves, “Is this challenging curriculum right for my child?” I ask myself the same question as well. When deciding if JAHS is right for your student, I highly recommend taking some time and taking a look at the College Board website (collegeboard.org). For those who are not familiar with the College Board, they oversee the SAT and AP programs and help to connect students to college success and opportunity. This website provides plenty of information on why AP classes are so important to collegiate success.

One of our fellow board members, Bill Gustashaw, frequently points out that he took AP courses in high school and did not score a 3 or above. Despite that score, it prepared him for college and just like all other students who participate in AP courses, it helps polish up your time management and study skills. It teaches students how to tackle challenging issues and problems. It rewards students with confidence and that they can overcome just about anything in college and beyond. And where is Bill Gustashaw now? He’s an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education, Early Childhood Education and Linguistically Diverse Education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. To say he succeeded in college and beyond is an understatement.

While we are still refining the courses that will be offered at JAHS, I highly recommend all parents take a look at our course offerings. This will give you an example of the courses we will offer, including AP courses.

I hope this information gives you a brief understanding of why JAHS chose to make AP courses a core part of the school’s approach to achieving its mission and vision. AP courses are critically important to the success of students in college and beyond. If you have any questions for us, please email us at info@johnadamshs.org.

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