For Release April 14

Advanced Placement Institute in English at SDSM&T This Summer High School Teachers to Receive Training to Prepare Students

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 21 to 26, 1998. The institute will be offered to teachers who want to prepare high school students for the Advanced Placement (AP) examination in English.

"The AP institute offers South Dakota School of Mines and Technology a chance to work together with the elementary and secondary teachers of this state to improve opportunities for our young people," said Dr. Karen Whitehead, Vice President for Academic Affairs at SDSM&T. "The Advanced Placement program encourages our high school students to achieve at their highest level of ability," she added.

The Advanced Placement program is administered by the College Board. It offers high school students an opportunity to study courses that are equivalent to first-year college 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 South Dakota public universities award credit for acceptable scores on the AP English exam.

"High school students who plan ahead by taking AP exams may actually enter college with some of their general education courses already completed," said Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director of the Board of Regents. "If they attend a college or university that accepts AP credit, they may earn credits or they may be allowed to skip lower level courses and start at more advanced levels."

The College Board does not require that high school teachers, who teach the AP courses, have any special training, but it does encourage attendance at workshops and courses. Teachers learn subject content, teaching methods, and information about the AP exam. The English literature and composition institute at SDSM&T is one such course.

The English institute will be under the direction of Dr. Kathy Antonen, associate professor of English at SDSM&T since 1987. Dr. Antonen, who graduated from Augustana College and the University of Minnesota, developed "Walking the Red Road," a program on the Lakota culture, available on CD ROM.

The Regents are hosting the institute at SDSM&T and three other AP institutes this summer: Economics at the University of South Dakota from June 14 to 19; Calculus AB at South Dakota State University from June 21 to 26; and United States History at Northern State University from July 12 to 17.

The Regents are responding to requests from high school representatives who asked for assistance in preparing teachers to offer the Advanced Placement courses. The universities are supporting the institutes in part with resources from the Reinvestments Through Efficiencies plan. The universities are redirecting financial and human resources to specific system-wide goals in an effort to be more efficient and innovative. One of those goals is increased collaboration with the public elementary and secondary schools. "The Regents and the university presidents are happy to assist teachers to prepare high school students for AP exams. One of the side benefits of taking AP courses is that high school students are better prepared to do college work. The students have a more realistic idea of what will be expected of them when they get to college," said Perry. "These institutes also create a network among secondary and university faculties. They have common interests in their subject area and a common purpose in challenging students to push themselves," he said.

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 English literature and composition in the 1998-99 school year. Applications should be mailed to SDSM&T. The deadline is Friday, May 15.

More information about the AP English literature and composition institute can be obtained by contacting Karen Whitehead at SDSM&T at (605) 394-2256. 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. Regents’ AP policies are available on the Internet at the Board’s web site

High school teachers who enroll in the AP institutes have the option of earning two hours of graduate credit. Some South Dakota teachers may be eligible for a reduction in tuition.

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