For Release April 17

NSU Hosts Summer Advanced Placement Institute in U.S. History High School Teachers to Receive Training to Prepare Students

PIERRE—The South Dakota Board of Regents will host an Advanced Placement Institute in United States history at Northern State University from July 12 to 17, 1998. The institute will be offered to teachers who want to prepare high school students for the Advanced Placement examination in U. S. history.

The Regents are hosting the institute at NSU and three others this summer in response 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. In an effort to be more efficient and innovative the Regents require the universities to redirect financial and human resources to specific system-wide goals. One of those goals is increased collaboration with the public elementary and secondary schools. "When the public school representatives asked for assistance to enrich their curricular offering with AP courses, the university presidents were pleased to help," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry. "These institutes will increase communication between the university faculty and high school teachers. It is a win-win situation with the students benefiting by earning college credit," he said.

The Advanced Placement (AP) 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. Minimum passing test scores are accepted by thousands of colleges and universities that participate in the program.

"High school students who participate in AP courses save themselves time and money later, when they enroll in college," said Perry. "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 U.S. history institute at NSU is one such course.

The U.S. history institute will be under the direction of Dr. David Grettler, associate professor of history at Northern State. "We are delighted to be hosting the AP institute in American history," said NSU President John Hilpert. "Dr. Grettler is one of our outstanding faculty members. I’m sure the high school teachers will enjoy studying with him." Hilpert added that NSU has produced more certified teachers than any other institution in South Dakota. "We regard the AP institute as another service that we can provide to the state," he said.

The Board of Regents is offering 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 English Literature and Composition at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from June 21 to 26.

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 charged the university’s usual state-support tuition and on-campus fees. Some South Dakota teachers may be eligible for a reduction in tuition.

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 U. S. history in the 1998-99 school year. Applications should be mailed to NSU. The deadline is Friday, May 15.

More information about the AP U.S. history institute can be obtained by contacting Dennis Scott at NSU at (605) 626-2568. 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

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.

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