College Board to Help Boost A.P. Access

Three high schools in the Long Beach Unified School District are eligible to receive funding to boost participation in Advanced Placement STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classes, the College Board announced.  LBUSD plans to pursue this funding, which would go toward the creation of additional AP math and science courses.

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Millikan High School and Poly High School are among 800 schools invited to participate in the College Board’s AP STEM Access program, created to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority and female high school students who participate in AP STEM disciplines.

A $5 million grant from Google as part of its Global Impact Awards to DonorsChoose.org will make it possible for high schools across the country to start new AP math and science  courses and to encourage traditionally underrepresented minority and female students who demonstrate strong academic potential to enroll in these courses.

“We’re focused on creating equal access to advanced math and science courses, and ensuring that advanced classrooms become as diverse as the schools themselves,” said Jacquelline Fuller, director of giving at Google.

The College Board is collaborating with DonorsChoose.org to work directly with AP teachers in the eligible schools to help them obtain the classroom resources and professional development they need to start new courses.  AP courses offer willing and academically prepared high school students the opportunity to study at the college level, enabling them to earn college credit while in high school.

Grants will be used by teachers for professional development and to acquire classroom materials, lab and technology equipment, college-level textbooks, and other resources.  These grants will vary from $1,200 to $9,000, depending on the subject area.

Participating schools will start the new AP math and science courses in fall 2013 and will make a commitment to offer these new AP courses for a minimum of three years.

The 800 public schools that qualify for this program have historically had a population of underrepresented students who were academically prepared for an AP STEM course that is not offered by the school.