Each year, Century High School has among the most diverse offerings of AP courses in the county. As a Blue Ribbon School, Century has an obligation to offer rigorous, high-quality instruction to students. The seventeen courses that serve as the core of Century’s AP program are an integral part of that mission. AP teachers are among the most dedicated and experienced educators on a faculty and they receive excellent training and support through College Board and through local and state professional development opportunities. As colleges and universities continue to solicit information about students’ involvement in Advanced Placement course work and testing, Century will continue to make every effort to accommodate the community’s desire to see the widest range of AP courses possible. Unlike the good ‘ol days, it’s critical that parents know that AP courses are not only for gifted students. Instead, AP courses present an exceptional opportunity for ANY bright, motivated student who wishes to grow as a learner as they anticipate the challenges all college-bound students will face.
The emphasis Century High School has placed on AP courses rests not only in a desire to see students challenged at the highest level, but on a growing body of data that suggests that students who take rigorous courses in high school, even in areas outside of their intended field of study, are more likely to be successful in college beyond their freshmen year. In many regards, tackling challenging content while in high school inoculates students against the myriad of challenges that can derail students in their freshmen year, challenges that go far beyond mere content knowledge:
· high-level research and evidence-based writing and rhetorical skills across disparate content areas
· a much greater reliance on independent learning, self-advocacy and self-care
· more fluid and adaptable study skills and a solution-focused mentality
· excellent time management and personal discipline in an environment of greater freedom and independence
· a willingness and ability to access resources outside of the classroom and beyond the teacher
· a reliance on classmates and mentors for support, guidance and tutoring
· more complex, high-stakes and long-term collaborative assignments and cumulative exams
· resilience and stress-management in the face of adversity and uncertainty
Absent rigorous coursework in high school [relative to the student’s native ability and maturity], many students find they are not equipped to handle such challenges in college unless those skills have been identified and developed in high school. AP course work nurtures those skills in a stimulating and demanding – but supportive – environment.
As colleges become increasingly competitive, there is little doubt that admissions offices look towards evidence of AP course work as a reliable indicator that students possess the maturity and the work ethic to manage college-level work. Our students perform well in AP courses, and their test results are the best in the county and well-above state and national averages. Century High School will continue to develop new and creative ways to involve students, train teachers and coordinate resources so that all of our college-bound students have an opportunity to take at least one AP-level course before graduating.
We sincerely appreciate your support in that endeavor.