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Home > The Advanced Placement Program

The Advanced Placement Program

In This Section
In this section you can find general information about the mission and history of the AP Program, information about starting an AP Program at your school, AP Research and Data, and more about the AP initiatives in Achieving Equity, AP International, and the AP Scholar awards.

The Program
The Advanced Placement Program® is a cooperative educational endeavor between secondary schools and colleges and universities. Since its inception in 1955, the Program has provided motivated high school students with the opportunity to take college-level courses in a high school setting. Students who participate in the Program not only gain college-level skills, but in many cases they also earn college credit while they are still in high school. AP courses are taught by dedicated and enthusiastic high school teachers who follow course guidelines developed and published by the College Board.

The Program's success is rooted in the collaborative efforts of motivated students, dedicated teachers, and committed schools. By participating in the Program, secondary schools make the commitment to organize and support at least one class that is equivalent to a first-year college course.

There are currently more than 110,000 teachers leading AP courses in high schools worldwide. AP teachers are some of the world's finest. The Program is strengthened by their participation in professional development workshops and Summer Institutes and in the annual AP Reading where thousands of AP teachers and college faculty gather at college sites across the United States to score the AP Exams using rigorous guidelines.

The Program's Role
The AP Program plays a creative role as well as a facilitative one. As an intermediary among participating institutions, the Program does the following:
  • Chooses college faculty and AP secondary school teachers who develop college-level Course Descriptions and examinations, and facilitates this development process.
  • Administers and scores examinations based on the learning goals described in the Course Descriptions.
  • Sends AP Grade Reports to the students, their schools, and their designated colleges.
  • Prepares publications, online materials, and other resources to supplement and support the Program's activities.
  • Provides conferences, consultants, and curricular materials to help interested schools establish college-level courses.
  • Assists schools and teachers in their efforts to prepare students through professional development initiatives such as AP Vertical Teams®.
  • Conducts research and strives to develop new services and products that enhance quality education.
AP Program Facts
  • The AP Program offers 35 courses in 20 subject areas.
  • Nearly 60 percent of U.S. high schools participate in the AP Program.
  • In 2005, 2.1 million AP Exams were administered worldwide.
  • More than 60,000 teachers worldwide attended AP workshops and institutes for professional development last year.
  • Over 90 percent of the nation's colleges and universities have an AP policy granting incoming students credit, placement, or both, for qualifying AP Exam grades.
Not surprisingly, an increasing number of parents, students, teachers, and schools are turning to the AP Program as a model of educational excellence.

AP Participation Form
If you are considering joining the AP Program this year or are expanding your present AP offerings and would like information on obtaining the AP Order Form, please call AP Services toll free at 877 274-6474 or at 609 771-7300 outside the U.S. and Canada, or write to:
Advanced Placement Program
P.O Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671





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