Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey approved a comprehensive 2016-2017 budget that included strong support for College Credit incentives, a program that rewards schools and teachers for helping students successfully complete Advanced Placement (AP) and other college-level courses.
“Today’s students will be driving tomorrow’s economy. Advanced course work can make a positive and significant impact on a student’s path to college and career. The College Credit incentives program provides teachers and schools with the resources to help Arizona’s students rise to the challenge of college-level courses,” said Patricia Levesque, CEO for the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “We applaud Governor Doug Ducey for his commitment to funding education programs that drive student achievement and building a brighter future for Arizona students.”
Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate, among others, introduce high school students to college-level coursework. Students may earn college credit by passing a challenging subject matter exam. Most American colleges and universities grant credit for qualifying AP exam scores.
Further, advanced course work opportunities can help underserved students in overcoming significant barriers to college education. Low-income students who complete an AP exam gain multiple benefits. These include higher four-year college-going rates, retention rates, grade point averages and SAT scores compared to their non-AP peers. One study of the Dallas Independent School District found that African-American and Hispanic students in the district who succeed in AP courses are four times more likely to graduate from college. A separate study uncovered a dramatic difference for Hispanic students pursuing bachelor’s degrees – 47 percent of those who had taken prior learning exams earned a degree versus only 6 percent of those who had not. The opportunity to take AP or other advanced coursework allows a greater diversity of students to be college and career ready.*
*Read the policy brief by the Arizona Chamber Foundation and the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Expanding Access to Advanced Coursework in Arizona High Schools.