For Release April 14

Advanced Placement Institute in Calculus at SDSU 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 calculus at South Dakota State University from June 21 to 26, 1998. The institute will be offered to high school teachers who want to prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) examination in calculus.

The Regents are hosting this institute and three others this summer in response to requests from leaders in elementary and secondary education who indicated that the school districts wanted assistance in preparing teachers to offer College Board AP courses. "The Board of Regents has a specific system-wide goal of promoting cooperation with the school districts in South Dakota. When the representatives from the public schools asked for AP training, the university presidents were happy to develop the training institutes," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. The universities are supporting these institutes in part with funds redirected in their budgets as a result of the Reinvestments Through Efficiencies program, implemented by the Regents in 1996.

The AP program offers high school students an opportunity to study a course, such as calculus, at the college level. The students study a subject in a special AP course, in an honors class, or in independent study. Then they demonstrate their knowledge and skill by taking the College Board’s AP examination. Colleges and universities award credit based on AP examination scores. "High school students who achieve acceptable scores can earn college credit or skip lower level courses. This way they can reduce the cost of college education by reducing the number of courses they need to complete a degree," said Perry.

The calculus institute will be under the direction of Dr. Jan Vandever, SDSU professor of mathematics and statistics. Vandever serves as advisor to most mathematics undergraduates who seek teacher certification. Active in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, she established a chapter at SDSU.

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 calculus institute at SDSU will provide them with course content, teaching methods, and information on how to prepare their students for the AP examination. They can use this information to help their students get ready for the exam, said Perry.

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 calculus in the 1998-99 school year. Applications should be mailed to SDSU. The deadline is Friday, May 15.

More information about the AP calculus institute can be obtained by contacting Dr. Ken Yocom at SDSU at (605) 688-6196. Yocom, head of the Mathematics Department at SDSU, said, "High school administrators and teachers tell me that parents are pushing for calculus in high school. AP calculus is the best way to do this. The AP credit is accepted at most major universities." All South Dakota public universities award credit for acceptable scores on the AP calculus exams.

Other AP institutes will be held this summer: Economics at the University of South Dakota from June 14 to 19; 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 at (605) 773-3455. The Regents’ AP policies are available on the Internet at the Board’s web site .

AP exams are offered nationally in May each year. In 1997, 16 percent of South Dakota high schools offered AP preparation. Nationally that number is 53%. "Of course, we would hope that more school districts take advantage of this opportunity to let their college-bound students get started on their college education early. The Regents want to do their part to help South Dakota schools enrich their curriculum," said Perry. Last year 882 South Dakota students took 1165 AP exams.

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