Regents By SD Board of Regents The Advanced Placement Program administered by the College Board offers high school students a chance to study courses that are equivalent to first-year college courses.
Following instruction in special AP classes, in honors classes, or in extra independent study, the students can take examinations that demonstrate that they have obtained the knowledge and skills of comparable college courses.
When those students later enroll in a college or university that accepts AP credit, they can present their AP scores. Currently all South Dakota public universities award credit for acceptable exam scores.
In 1998 more South Dakota students seized the opportunity to earn college credit through the Advanced Placement exams. Both the number of schools offering AP preparation and the number of students taking exams to earn credit increased from 1997. A total of 1,086 South Dakota high school students took 1,536 AP examinations in May 1998. In 1997 882 students took 1,165 exams.
Among South Dakota high school students, the most popular Advanced Placement exams were English literature, English composition, calculus AB, and United States history. Nationally, these are also the exams taken most often. Other exams taken by South Dakota students included: art, chemistry, economics, European history, German, physics, Spanish, and statistics.
South Dakota State University received the greatest number of AP scores for resident students. Eighty-nine students asked that 117 scores be sent to SDSU. The University of South Dakota received the second largest number of scores at 94 from 64 students. Augustana College received 81 scores from 49 South Dakota students. The remaining four regental universities received a total of 119 scores from 91 students.
Forty South Dakota high schools offered some type of AP instruction in the 1997-1998 school year, up from 33 schools the previous year. That is a 21 percent increase in one year. The Board of Regents is encouraging more high schools to be involved with the Advanced Placement Program. In an effort to assist the high schools of the state in preparing teachers to instruct AP courses, four regental universities conducted AP institutes in the summer of 1998. The institutes were held in response to requests from leaders in elementary and secondary education who indicated that the school districts wanted assistance in preparing teachers to offer College Board AP courses.
All South Dakota public universities award credit for acceptable scores on AP exams. Allowing high school students to jump-start their college careers with AP credit represents good academic planning and good financial planning. The Regents urge more schools to offer students an opportunity to prepare for these exams and urge more students to take advantage of this option. School districts should make the investment in resources necessary to provide students with this option.