News Release
Contacts: Robert T. Tad Perry, Executive Director
Tracy Mercer, Information Research Analyst
T: 605.773.3455
F: 605.773.5320

For Immediate Release 10 May 1999

USD to Host Summer Advanced Placement Institute in United States History

 PIERRE-The South Dakota Board of Regents will host an Advanced Placement Institute in United States history at the University of South Dakota from July 25 to 30, 1999. The institute will be offered to teachers who want to prepare high school students for the Advanced Placement examination in U.S. history. The institute will be under the direction of Professor Robert Hilderbrand and Assistant Professor Kurt Hackemer of the Department of History at USD.

The Regents are hosting the institute at USD and five 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. These institutes will increase communication between the university faculty and high school teachers. It is a win-win situation with students benefiting by earning college credit," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.

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. All six South Dakota public universities accept AP credit.

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 project content, teaching methods, and information about the AP exam. The U.S. history institute at USD is one such course.

Mary Lea Hennies, a teacher at Vermillion, attended the economics institute held at USD last summer. "I enjoyed the institute. We were able to relearn the content and material that should be taught in an AP class and look at segments of the AP test and the AP essays. This calmed some of my fears as a teacher. We also did some Internet activities that reinforce learning."

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 applicable tuition rates.

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. More information about the AP history institute can be obtained by contacting Judith Sebesta, Chair, Department of History at (605) 677-5218 or via the Internet

Other AP institutes will be held this summer: English Literature and Composition at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology from June 20 to 24; Chemistry at Northern State University from July 12 to 16; Physics at South Dakota 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. 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 Regent’s AP policies are available on the Internet at the Board’s web site


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