General Information

College Board’s Advanced Placement®(AP) Program


NC Public School Course Offerings
NC Public Schools offer a variety of courses to meet the needs of all students and to personalize
learning for students. In North Carolina high schools, students have opportunities to participate in
advanced coursework, including college-level courses in career technical education and other
disciplines and to earn college credit and professional credentials while still in high school. These
courses may be delivered in face-to-face, online, and/or blended course environments.

The State Board of Education (SBE) determines the NC Standard Course of Study (NC SCOS) which
guides K-12 education and course content. The SBE also determines the minimum graduation
requirements for all public high school students.

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) determine which courses to offer beyond those that address the NC
SCOS in order to meet the needs and interests of their students/families and ensure that students have
access to advanced opportunities in high school. These non-SCOS courses may be developed by
local educators, NC community colleges and universities, or other organizations and companies, such
as Microsoft, Adobe, US Armed Forces, College Board, International Baccalaureate Organization (IB)
and Cisco.

College Board’s Advanced Placement®(AP) Program
The College Board is a not-for-profit organization that works towards expanding access to higher education.
College Board offers many programs – including AP courses - to support students to be ready for college,
including AP courses. Currently, there are over 30 AP courses. College Board AP courses have been
offered in NC courses since 1960.

AP Courses are taught by highly qualified high school teachers who use the College Board’s AP Course
Descriptions to facilitate course planning. Teachers use these course descriptions to develop course
syllabi that must be approved by college faculty through the AP Course Audit process. AP teachers
have the flexibility to determine how the course content is presented within the course framework and
learning objectives.

Why choose an AP Course?
For students who are ready for more advanced coursework, AP courses offer the opportunity to
experience college-level rigor and to earn college credits through the AP Exams, administered by the
College Board each spring. For some students, this can save them and their families college tuition
later and allow students to begin college in higher level courses. The presence of AP courses on a
student’s high school transcript also can enhance the student’s competitiveness in college and
university admissions.

Legislative Support for AP Courses
The General Assembly established the North Carolina Virtual Public School in order to ensure that
students across the state have access to high quality courses and teachers. The aim of expanding
access to Advanced Placement courses is stated in the NCVPS authorizing legislation.

In 2013, the General Assembly passed legislation to develop the NC Advanced Placement Partnership
(NCAPP). Through a competitive selection process, DPI entered into a contract with the College Board
to form the NCAPP. Designed to broaden access and successful participation in advanced placement
coursework, NCAPP has begun to work with LEAs in furtherance of this legislation. By law, beginning
in 2014-15, exam fees will be covered for all AP and IB courses for NC public school students. Prior to
this year, DPI received a USED grant to support eligible low-income students’ test fees for AP and IB
courses to ensure equitable access to advanced placement coursework.


Current AP U.S. History Course Redesign
 College Board began redesigning all its AP courses in 2006. Since 2011, eleven AP courses
have been redesigned.
 The AP U.S. History course was redesigned and published in 2012 to support implementation in
2014-15.
 Over 400 teachers and 58 college and universities provided direct feedback on the redesign to
the AP Development Committee, which is made of high school teachers and college faculty.
 Based on College Board data, 85% of AP U.S. History teachers supported the changes made to
the course and 91% of AP U.S. History teachers feel the course is appropriately paced
supporting a full survey of American history.


Current State of AP U.S. History
Current enrollment for 2014-15: 12,862 students
May 2014 Exam Participation: 12,168 students
May 2014 Exam Results: Over 50% of students earned a 3 or higher score, leading to
college credit or placement, depending on the university or
college’s policies.

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