Senior Counselor at Cienega High School
The Advanced Placement (AP) exam is given to over 400,000 students each Spring. It’s a platform that allows our scholars to compete against scholars nationwide for a true assessment of college readiness. At Cienega High School, I have seen the AP program grow from four courses to our current total of twenty courses being offered. Enrollment has increased from 5% in the 2004-05 school year to 22% in the 2015-16 school year. Our vision for students at Cienega is not to be afraid of AP courses, but to embrace the challenge of University level courses. According to College Board, the chances of being successful in college increases when students challenge themselves by taking AP classes. Students who score a 3 or higher on the AP exam are statistically more likely to earn a college degree than those who do not.
The Cienega counseling department encourages academic rigor for all students. We recommend students who are university bound to challenge themselves to take at least one AP course to prepare themselves for a successful transition to college.
In May of 2016, Cienega administered 576 tests to 337 students. 59.1% of our students scored a 3 or higher which exceeds the state average and will potentially earn the student college credit. The cost of taking one credit at the University of Arizona is currently $684.00. The cost of taking an AP exam for a high school student is $92.00 thus saving families approximately $1,960 per course.
AP coursework is a risk worth taking when students are provided the support they need to be successful, as reflected in our data.