By Mary O’KEEFE
At a recent Glendale Unified School District board meeting Assistant Superintendent Katherine Fundukian Thorossian presented the board with information on how the district is increasing its Advanced Placement class participation.
“This allows our students to be college ready,” Thorossian said.
Advance Placement classes are college level courses where students have a choice to take a special for fee test at the end of the year. Not all students are required to take the tests. Those who choose not to still receive regular class credit. Those who take the tests and get a passing grade receive college credit.
“Over the last five years we have had almost 1,000 more students participate in these courses,” Thorossian said.
The number of students enrolled in an AP course increased by 1004 students district-wide since 2005.
“There was an increase of 281 students between 2009 and 2010,” she added.
Crescenta Valley High School led the way in participation with 885 students taking AP courses. Glendale had 476 students, Hoover 365 and Clark 152. CVHS also has an impressive pass rate at 72% and a participation rate in testing at 92%. While other high schools have fluctuated in their AP growth, CVHS has remained on a steady uphill track.
The number of students that are taking the classes in Glendale are increasing overall in addition to more of those students receiving a passing grade on the final AP tests.
According to the district, “The Equity and Excellence Report show the proportion of the senior class at each high school who scored a three or higher on an AP exam at any point during high school.”
Crescenta Valley High School had 55% of its students in this category.
“CV High School exemplifies the mission of the team. The amount of students and their success of passing the [AP tests] shows the leadership from the school site and the commitment from the students,” said Greg Krikorian, school board president.
He added the classes help students prepare for higher education not only with the college level workload but also with the credits received. Those credits translate into courses not needed to be taken, or paid for, in college.
“The classes help students by crediting their GPA (grade point average) and being cost effective toward college,” Krikorian said.
In this economy finding ways to cut college costs is always an advantage.
“We are constantly looking for ways to advance our students and to prepare them for college,” Krikorian added. “These classes [are an example] of how serious some students are about college and will help them especially with how competitive [college acceptance] is now. College administrators do look at these classes and it does make a difference.”