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Graduation Guidelines - Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement (AP)
The AP, or Advanced Placement, Program currently offers 38 courses across multiple subject areas. Each course is developed by a committee composed of college faculty and AP teachers, and covers the breadth of information, skills, and assignments found in the corresponding college course. AP courses are taught by highly qualified high school teachers.
The AP Examinations are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of college-level work in a given discipline in a secondary school setting. Rigorously developed by committees of college and AP high school faculty, the AP Exams test students' ability to perform at a college level. Students have the choice of taking the AP Exam or opting out.
Colorado districts choose which AP exams will fulfill the graduation guidelines option.
AP currently offers courses in multiple subject areas that include Capstone Research and Seminar, English, mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, economics, psychology, U.S. and world history, government and politics, world languages, studio art, and music.
Why This Option
In Colorado students took more than 81,000 AP exams in May 2020, and 85% scored a 2 or higher. The program is accessible to many students, and the number of students taking AP exams is growing.
Some colleges, including all state institutions in Colorado pursuant to Colorado Commission on Higher Education policy, offer credit based on a student's Advanced Placement exam score.
Districts and LEPs choose which AP exams fulfill the Graduation Guidelines competencies.
- See the AP and IB Exam Policy from Pueblo 70 Schools (pdf)
- See the approved AP list from Englewood Schools
Districts also have the authority to accommodate for English Learners - based on district policy - by accepting AP exam scores in World Languages for competency in Reading, Writing, and Communicating.
Research best practices and resources:
- Consider applying for the Accelerated College Opportunity Exam Grant Program, that provides funds to high schools, to pay all or a portion of AP and IB exam fees on behalf of eligible students. This grant is administered through the PWR Office at CDE.
- Review specific information for AP coordinators, teachers, counselors, administrators, students, and parents on the College Board website.
- Access Pacing Guides and other supports on the College Board Website.
If your district or high school does not offer AP classes,
- Consider accessing professional development opportunities for future AP teachers, including AP Workshops - by College Board. There are scholarships.
There is a cost for each AP exam. Districts can apply for all or a portion of the exam fees for eligible students through the Accelerated College Opportunity Exam Fee Grant Program.