Offering challenging courses is one thing. Getting students to sign up — and take responsibility for all the extra homework — is quite another.
As the Detroit district attempts make the advanced courses known as APs available to more students, it has recruited a group of high-achieving seniors to convince their peers to enroll in the courses.
Called Detroit AP mentors, the group will travel to district high schools across the city to talk about the benefits of college AP courses.
AP classes (the acronym stands for “advanced placement”) are seen as a good deal for college-bound high-school students. The challenging coursework prepares them for college, and there’s an added financial incentive for those who can master the material and pass an end-of-year test. Many colleges will give students credits — each of which is worth thousands of dollars — for each AP test they pass.
High schools in Detroit offer relatively few AP classes, and many offer none at all, leaving the city’s brightest students at a disadvantage. But the district is trying to change that, with Superintendent Nikolai Vitti saying he wants to see APs offered at every high school in the district.
As the district begins to increase its offerings, the AP Mentors’ task will be to make sure students sign up.
The students have offered a preview of their pitch on Twitter. Chioma Ugochukwu, a senior at Renaissance High School, has taken nine AP classes, including biology, chemistry, and statistics, with an eye toward a career in medicine.
"I love my rigorous course load because I believe it will best help me in my aspiration of Neonatalology. I believe that equity in the distribution of the AP classes in @detroitk12 is key to overall student success."— DetroitAPMentors (@DetroitAPMentor) January 6, 2019
~Chioma #APforDetroit Secretary pic.twitter.com/jV5oJatcZZ