For Release April 10

USD to Host Summer Advanced Placement Institute in Economics High School Teachers to Receive Training to Prepare Students

PIERRE—The South Dakota Board of Regents will host an Advanced Placement Institute in economics at the University of South Dakota from June 14 to 19, 1998. The institute will be offered to teachers who want to prepare high school students for the Advanced Placement examination in economics.

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program offers high school students an opportunity to do college-level work and earn academic credit for it. After studying a subject in a special AP course, in an honors class, or in independent study, students take the College Board AP exam and then present those scores to a college or university. Minimum passing test scores are accepted by thousands of colleges and universities that participate in the program.

"High school students whose scores on these exams meet the minimum can earn college credit or be allowed to skip lower level courses and start at a more advanced level. AP credit is a good deal for students, both academically and financially. It can reduce the cost of a college education by reducing the number of courses needed to complete a degree," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.

The College Board says high schools that offer students the AP option are making a commitment to organize and maintain a course that is equivalent to a first-year college course. High school teachers who work with the students need to devote more time to preparation and instruction. Although the College Board does not require any special training, it encourages workshops and courses as one way to provide high school teachers with an opportunity to learn content, teaching approaches, and information about the Advanced Placement examination. The AP institute on economics at USD is one such course.

The economics institute will be under the direction of Dr. Robert Reinke, professor of economics at USD for the past eleven years. A former secondary school economics teacher, Reinke worked for the National Council on Economic Education, which helped to develop the AP economics materials and test. "The AP institute presents an opportunity to form stronger partnerships between higher education faculty and secondary teachers. A network of professionals is formed and people start to talk to one another. In the long run, the students benefit."

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 for more information. Enrollment in the institute is limited to 25 participants. Preference will be given to teachers who will be teaching an AP course in economics in the 1998-99 school year. Applications should be mailed to USD. The deadline is Friday, May 15.

More information about the AP economics institute can be obtained by contacting Lynn Rognstad at USD at (605) 677-6497. Other AP institutes will be held this summer: Calculus AB at South Dakota State University from June 21 to 26; English Literature and Composition at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from June 21 to 26; and United States History at Northern State University from July 12 to 17. Superintendents and principals may obtain College Board materials on the AP program from Dr. Paul Gough at the Board of Regents, (605) 773-3455. The Regents’ AP policies are available at the Board’s web site .

The Board of Regents is hosting the institutes in response to requests from elementary and secondary education leaders who reported that school districts were interested in assistance with preparing teachers to offer College Board AP courses. Perry said, "The university presidents agreed to develop AP courses as cooperative links with the public schools. In 1996 the Regents adopted an innovative approach to redirecting certain financial and human resources to specific goals. The whole system initiative is called the Reinvestments Through Efficiencies. One of those goals is to have greater collaboration with the elementary and secondary teachers and students. AP courses bring university faculty and resources together with secondary teachers to establish a program that enables South Dakota high school students to get started on college education while still in high school."

AP exams are offered nationally in May each year. In 1997 thirty-three South Dakota high schools enrolled 882 students who took 1165 AP exams.

Return to 1998 Press Releases