For Immediate Release 23 April 1999
SDSM&T to Host Summer Advanced Placement Institute in English
PIERRE- The South Dakota Board of Regents will host an Advanced Placement Institute in English literature and composition at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from June 20 to 24, 1999. The institute will be offered to teachers who want to prepare high school students for the Advanced Placement (AP) examination in English literature and composition. The institute will be under the direction of Dr. Kathy Antonen, associate professor of English at SDSM&T. Dr. Antonen directed the English literature and composition institute at SDSM&T in 1998.
Administered by the College Board, the Advanced Placement Program offers high school students an opportunity to complete first-year college level courses. Following instruction in special AP courses, in honors classes, or in extra independent study, the students can take examinations that demonstrate they have obtained the knowledge and skills of comparable college courses. When those students later enroll in a college or university that accepts AP credit, they can present their AP scores. All six of South Dakotas public universities accept AP credit. "AP courses are a tremendous opportunity for high school students. The courses prepare students for college level work and can be used to reduce the cost of college by reducing the number of courses they need to complete a degree," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.
AP exams are offered nationally in May each year. The Advanced Placement program contains 32 courses in 18 subject areas. Participation in the program is on the rise throughout the nation and in South Dakota. Nationwide more than a half million high school students took AP examinations in 1998. The total number of South Dakota students who took the exams in 1998 was 1,086 compared to the 882 students in 1997.
The Regents are hosting this institute and others this summer in response to requests from leaders in elementary and secondary education who indicated the school districts wanted assistance in preparing teachers to offer College Board AP courses. "The Board of Regents is
committed to increasing cooperation between the universities and the school districts in South Dakota. When public school representatives asked for AP training the university presidents were happy to develop the institutes which are funded in part with university Reinvestment Through Efficiencies resources. This is the second year the universities have hosted the institutes and it is service they plan to continue," said Perry.
High schools offering AP courses are making a commitment to teach a course that is equivalent to an entry-level college course. The College Board does not require that the high school teachers have any special training but it does encourage teachers to attend special workshops or courses intended to assist them. The English literature and composition institute at SDSM&T will provide teachers with course content, teaching methods, and information on how to prepare their students for the AP examination.
Debbie Harrison, a teacher at Bonesteel-Fairfax High School, attended the English literature and composition institute held last summer at SDSM&T. "I felt that the AP Institute at the School of Mines was very successful for me. The instructors were knowledgeable and willing to help with any issue. It was also wonderful to get a chance to interact with other teachers from around the state concerning their ideas and methods for teaching AP English classes," said Harrison.
Announcements and application materials have been mailed to school board presidents, superintendents, and secondary principals. Any interested teacher should contact his or her school officials. Further information about the AP English literature and composition institute can be obtained by contacting Karen Whitehead, Vice President for Academic Affairs at SDSM&T at (605) 394-2256 or via Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five other AP institutes will be held this summer: Physics at South Dakota State University from July 12 to 16; Chemistry at Northern State University from July 12 to 16; Calculus AB at South Dakota State University from July 19 to 23; Computer Science at the Center for Public Higher Education July 19 to 23; United States History at the University of South Dakota from July 25 to 30. Superintendents and principals may obtain College Board materials on the AP program from Dr. Paul Gough at the Board of Regents at (605) 773-3455. The Regents AP policies are available on the Internet at the Boards web site www.ris.sdbor.edu.
High school teachers who enroll in the AP institutes have the option of earning two hours of graduate credit. Those who do not want to earn college credit will be charged only for materials. Those seeking credit will be required to complete specific course requirements and will be applicable tuition rates.
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