Summer training rewards AP teachers

Senior Vice President of the College Board Trevor Packer addresses the room full of educators on Wednesday, where he discussed the new changes of to the Advanced Placement exam.

Eastern Kentucky University welcomed more than 200 educators for a week-long summer program that refreshed their skills, introduced new ways of teaching and learned about the new Advanced Placement (AP) resources that are available to them.

For the first time, EKU is serving as one of three AP Summer Institute training locations, the other two being in Louisville and Bowling Green, according to John Williamson, Dean of K12 Student Programs. The program saw a large number of people from the region, but also a few international guests as well. The purpose of the program is to engage AP teachers with trainers to strengthen how they teach.

It also allowed for some exploring of the course framework, the exam and the new AP classroom resources that will help them plan and focus instruction. The teachers spent time learning in depth about their content areas as well.

Williamson also noted the importance of the new scholarship opportunity that will begin in the fall for those who will receive the most benefits from the summer program this week — the AP students.

Students taking the AP exams can earn the Study Strong scholarship to EKU based on their score. Study Strong recipients earn $300 for every AP exam score of five, $225 for every four and $150 for three, up to the maximum award.

"We want AP kids on our campus," Williamson said. "We've always wanted dual-credit, that's always been important to us, but we've missed an opportunity to recruit AP students, those kids who are also taking college credit, just in a different avenue."

During a luncheon on Wednesday, where the senior vice president of the College Board Trevor Packer was in attendance, educators were awarded a certificate for a $500 scholarship to EKU to be given to a student of their choice.

The scholarship also works to complement the existing benefits of EKU's Dual Credit program, which awards college credit to high school students that in turn, shortens their time drastically for college graduation. The EKU Dual Credit program pairs with more than 50 high schools and serves more than 1,100 students.

Awards can be stacked on top of EKU's new merit awards, which range from $2,000 to $16,000 per year. Combined with other scholarships and financial aid, a student's semester becomes more affordable.

In 2018, EKU saw 2,600 new students, but only 348 of them submitted AP scores, something Williamson said they could do better on and hopes that the new scholarship opportunity will encourage more to apply.

Reach Kaitlyn Brooks at 624-6608; follow her on Twitter @kaitlynsbrooks.

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