Calcasieu will more than double AP classes

April 16, 2007
Reported by Pam Dixon

Westlake High senior Joey Sedlock is taking an advanced placement English literature class to get a head start on college. Joey says, "It's the level that college kids and college professors expect you to be writing in. You're starting college as a freshman with almost college experience."

Calcasieu Parish currently has 19 AP courses in calculus, history, government, English and other subjects in just over half its high schools. But come this fall, the number of advanced classes will increase to 50 and include every high school thanks to a three year one million dollar AP incentive grant program. AP grant coordinator June Burke says, "They can take college level classes, get college credit with the test and go into college with 15 hours credit."

Even students who don't pass the college AP credit exam can still get ahead. Westlake senior David Royal says, "Gain confidence that if I do go to college, if I put in the right attitude and work ethic that I can accomplish anything that I need to." Westlake senior Sami Richmond says, "Better expectation of what college is going to be and how to juggle a hard workload with every other aspect of my life. It's just preparing me for college." Burke says, "They go into a college class and there's a hard class. They go I did that before, I know how to do that. It gives them confidence."

The AP grant also will be used to add at least three online advanced placement courses in history, psychology and biology for certain high school students. It will pay for training dozens of teachers who will be teaching the new advanced classes in Calcasieu Parish high schools and for incorporating advanced teaching strategies for middle school classes as well.