New AP Courses Offered Next Year, Along with Other Rigorous Courses

April 24, 2018




By Jordyn Contrucci and Hannah Flory

Next year students will have access to a wider variety of courses at ASK. The new classes being offered on campus are Digital Electronics, AP Computer Science, AP World History, Data Science, and  a CNM dual enrollment College Success Experience (CSE) next year. 

The goal is to encourage scholars to take more enriching and challenging courses, whether that be an AP course or a regular elective.

While many scholars are  excited for these new offerings, others are not sure what to expect. Freshman Zanier Griego stated, “I mean, for the most part they seem cool, but I don’t know if there going to be beneficial in real life.”

Nadyne Shimada, Director of Special Services, said taking AP and other challenging courses is an important aspect of high school. “I think the AP classes are a good thing and a  competitive quality against the other high schools. If we’re going to be an academic school, we need to offer harder classes that will help scholars in college.”

AP classes earn scholars an additional point and if scholars complete the class with an A+ in the class, scholars will receive an extra .5. “An A+ in Computer science is 5.5 grade points.”

The AP classes are given so high school students develop college-ready critical thinking and writing skills. All AP classes have constructed response sections, even math. “They give you a scenario and ask how you would go about solving the problem,” Shimada said.

Although the classes are difficult, most of them are a full year rather than a semester, which gives the scholar and project manager time to develop the important skills needed. “The classes are rigorous, but accessible,” says Shimada. The only classes that don’t have the full year advantage is AP Government and AP Macroeconomics.

Senior Michael Allan decided to take an AP course because he said that if he passes  he will have potential college credit for the future. He says that there are a few ups and downs but overall it’s enjoyable.

“I really enjoy Garcia’s teaching style, the concepts are kind of annoying but it’s not too bad,” he said. 

He believes that the class got him more interested in things like the stock market. “It’s something I’ve been fascinated in for a while and it reinforced those feelings.”  

Senior Madalyn Snyder wanted the extra writing experience and she liked that her AP courses were a challenge. “I chose to take AP classes for the credit, because I wanted to take the test and potentially get college credit,” she said. 

She believes that she learned a lot more in her AP classes than she would have in a normal class. “On the other side, it was incredibly time consuming and I got discouraged a few times throughout the year because of how much work I needed to do.”

It helped her with her writing, it helped her become more comfortable with English assignments and helping others. “I also feel like it helped me with my presentations because my wording and explanations became more in depth, and helped me become more flexible and reflective in addressing questions,” she said.

Not all students take AP courses. “I decided not to take one because they are really time consuming, and time is not something I have a lot of,” said senior Milee Smith. She doesn’t feel like she missed out on anything important, but she does believe that it wasn’t the smartest choice to not take the class. “I think it may have been a better choice to take one because I could need it in my future,” she said.

While not all of the new offerings next year are AP, they are all rigorous courses that will challenge ASK scholars and help prepare them for the demands of college.

Digital Electronics is a course that will provide a foundation for electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. The Data Science course will teach scholars how to comb through large amounts of data and and make use of it.

Junior Jaclyn Ritter said she was encouraged by her academic advisor to sign up for the Data Science course.  “It makes me excited because I already like to look at statistics, so I think the class will further my knowledge in how to read them.”

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