More students than ever are taking advanced placement (AP) classes at Evanston Township High School, and that group of students is more diverse, according to school officials.
Between 2001 and 2002, 23 percent of students taking AP courses were non-white, according to a release from the district. Four years later, the population of non-white students in AP classes grew to 28 percent, and during the last school year, 36 percent of the 865 students taking AP classes were non-white.
“We want every student at ETHS to successfully complete at least one AP class in an area of their interest,” said Dale Leibforth, Advanced Placement Recruitment & Retention Coordinator. “My goal is to help ensure that this happens. Increasing access to AP classes is a school-wide initiative that requires the collaborative efforts of students, families, counseling, academics, college and career, curriculum and instruction, academic supports, research and evaluation.”
Scores on AP tests have also gone up, according to the release. In 2012, the school recorded the highest number of AP exam scores of 3 or higher, officials report.
This January, the school hosted its first-ever AP Winter Combine, a Saturday program that drew more than 200 students who were considering taking AP courses. Teachers were on hand to talk about the 27 AP courses offered in English, fine arts, history, math, science and world languages.
The school will offer other programs to attract students to AP courses and explain the classes in the spring and summer, according to the district.
ETHS college and career coordinator Beth Carey said the increase in students taking AP classes bodes well for their futures beyond the high school.
“Course selection is the first thing colleges review in an applicant. You are expected to be prepared for the rigors of college,” Arey said in the release. “Taking challenging courses will better prepare you, therefore easing the transition from high school.”