Approximately 430 of our students here at TJHS are enrolled in Advanced Placemat (AP) classes.
While Students who are enrolled in AP and IB (
International Baccalaureate) classes self-report higher levels of perceived stress when compared to their peers in general education classes, there are also many benefits to taking AP classes. Let's discuss both sides and how best to support these students!
What are the benefits of an AP class?
Students who participate in accelerated courses are more likely to:
- Receive higher scores on the American College Test and Scholastic Aptitude
- Attend college
- For Hispanic and African American students or students from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, enrollment in AP classes, particularly before 11th grade, also relates to higher high school graduation rates.
Also, students who have completed accelerated courses in high school:
- Often experience higher college grade point averages and save money based on course credits earned for their AP/IB exam performance.
What else should I know if my student is in an AP class?
- Although AP/IB students may not be the most obvious group of adolescents in need of extra supports, this population has salient and unique risk factors in need of specialized services, such as elevated perceived stress levels. Compared to their peers in general education, multiple studies with different samples have documented that AP/IB high school students report significantly higher levels of stress than their peers in general education at the same schools.
- Higher stress levels for youth in accelerated curricula are associated with less life satisfaction, more frequent school absences, and lower grades.
- Even the most talented and hard-working students in middle school typically need to revise their study habits, time management, and help-seeking strategies to successfully acclimate to the AP/IB course load in high school. By the time some students get the fundamentals of how to be successful in an AP class, like managing their time and studying every night, it can sometimes take until 3rd quarter. By this point in time, they are so far behind and can't pull their grade up.
How can I support my student enrolled in an AP class?
Prepare students for the transition from middle to high school
- talk about expectations and rigor ahead of time; attend available transition meetings or orientations at the high school; have them familiarize themselves with the school's website
Educate students on the signs, symptoms, and consequences of heightened stress
- talk to them about what stress can look like. Need help with that, visit one of our previous tips
Teach students coping strategies they can use to effectively deal with academic stress-
Help students become more engaged in their schooling experience
- encourage them to establish relationships with their teachers, classmates, administrators, coaches, counselors, and other school personnel.
Offer supports to students who are struggling academically or emotionally
- reach out to school mental health and counseling department if you are worried about your child struggling.