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Accelerated Programs

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement courses are college-level courses offered by trained high school teachers in the regular high school setting. AP® courses guarantee rigor in our classrooms. The high school teachers who offer AP® courses are trained by The College Board to offer the course at a college-level and have a syllabus approved by The College Board. AP® courses are challenging and require significant study time on a daily basis. Assessments in these classes require sophisticated critical thinking skills. In May of each year, AP students take the AP® exam(s). Students who score at the 3, 4 or 5 level may be able to earn college credit for these courses taken in the high school. Policies for credit differ from college to college, so take care to check college admissions and credit policies.

Performing well on an AP® exam means more than just the successful completion of a course. Research suggests that students who complete an AP®
Coursework are:

  • Better prepared for college-level work
  • Stand-outs in college admissions process
  • More likely to continue beyond their freshman year in college
  • More likely to graduate within 4-5 years
  • More competitive in qualifying for scholarships

There are currently 35 AP courses that high schools in the US may choose to offer. Not all courses are offered in each high school. Communicate with your local school’s counseling department to learn which of these courses are offered in your high school.

 

Cambridge Assessment International Education

 

International Baccalaureate

 

Dual Enrollment and Accelerated Programs

 

Title IV, Part A Funding

Superintendents/Principals/Counselors

With the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2016, the federal Advanced Placement Test Fee Program expired. Mississippi used the AP test fee program to reduce the cost of AP test fees for students from low income households in districts throughout the state.

ESSA consolidated 40 previously funded educational programs, including the AP test fee program, into one unrestricted Title IV block grant distributed to the districts. The purpose of Title IV, Part A, of ESSA is to improve student academic achievement by increasing the capacity of districts to

  1. provide all students access to a well-rounded education
  2. improve school conditions for student learning
  3. improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students

Districts may use up to 20% of their Title IV, Part A funds to support “well-rounded educational opportunities” for students. Well-rounded educational opportunities include accelerated learning programs like AP, IB or Cambridge, STEM, Music and Arts, Foreign Language instruction, Dual Credit and Dual Enrollment, Civics instruction, College and Career Counseling, Social/Emotional Learning, and Environmental education. Specifically, these funds can be used to pay for AP test fees for students.

The MDE encourages the federal programs directors and district leadership teams to plan carefully for the allocation of Title IV, Part A funds, using the requirements set forth in ESSA. Administrators should ensure that funds are dedicated for accelerated program opportunities for students. This will secure a funding source to promote student participation rates in accelerated programs in the district for accountability purposes.

If you have questions concerning the use of Title IV, Part A funds, contact Quentin Ransburg, Office of Federal Programs at qransburg@mdek12.org or 601-359-3499.

If you have additional questions regarding Accelerated Programs, please email Heather Morrison at hmorrison@ihl.state.ms.us.

 

Heather Morrison

Director P20 Partnerships, Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning