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At College Board, we’ve spent years listening to educators and students in order to better understand the greatest challenges they face. We want to do more to support educators as they are helping their students access grade-level content. Every student deserves the opportunity to know how much they can grow — in high school, college, and beyond. That’s why we created the Pre-AP Program and designed it to meet every student where they are now.

Our Beliefs

Students Have Big Dreams.

It is our responsibility to help them build the skills to realize those dreams. If college and a successful career are the goals, then let’s help our students have a vision of what that looks like from the moment they start high school courses. Consider:

  • How do successful college (and AP) students read for details and evidence, whether they are reading a piece of literature, a primary source, or a data table?
  • How do they craft sentences and paragraphs to compellingly make claims supported with solid evidence?
  • How do they interpret and use data from charts and maps?
  • How do they make sense of the world and solve problems using quantitative information?

When students know what will be expected down the road and have opportunities to practice with grade-appropriate content and contexts, with ample support and feedback from teachers across different subjects, there are fewer surprises and unknowns. The process is more transparent and fair, giving more students the opportunity to succeed— helping them cultivate the skills to realize their dreams.

It Is Our Job to Prepare All Students.

Students believe that if they do what is asked of them in school, pay attention in class, complete their work, and do well on tests, they will graduate ready for college or career, a critical step on the path to realizing their dreams. Too often, though, this is simply not the case. In the recently released research study The Opportunity Myth, students, on average, were provided on-grade-level assignments only a quarter of the time— and the data is even more heartbreaking when we focus on underrepresented students (The Opportunity Myth, TNTP, September 2018). Even with this daunting data, we have a positive roadmap for change. When students are provided four key resources: grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and high expectations, they can thrive.

All Students Can Learn, Grow, and Succeed.

Pre-AP was created with the following principles in mind:

  • First, every student will receive grade-level coursework and instruction that focus on the most important skills and content for the course.
  • Second, students will see meaningful connections across content areas through shared instructional principles.
  • Finally, every teacher will have access to thoughtful resources that honor their professionalism.

We know that students who are provided on-grade-level instruction see growth. This is especially true for students who have the most need; research finds that students who start the year behind grade level and are given grade-appropriate assignments are able to reduce the gap.

College Board strongly believes that robust, grade-level instruction is not just for students who are on or above grade-level, but for all students. Without it, students who are struggling will never be ready for college. All students should leave high school ready for college and career.

Educator Input

Pre-AP was developed with and will continue to evolve through educator involvement. Each Pre-AP course has been developed by committees of expert educators, including middle school, high school, and college faculty. These development committees work with College Board to design effective frameworks and instructional resources that emphasize and prioritize the content and skills that matter most for later high school coursework and college and career readiness.

Join Pre-AP

Get more information on how your school can offer Pre-AP courses.