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How to get certified to teach AP courses

How to get certified to teach AP courses

The College Board Advanced Placement Program allows students to take higher-level courses with an opportunity to earn college credit.  While there are no formal requirements to be an AP teacher, the teacher must teach students at a high level and prepare them to pass the AP test.  The College Council specifies the qualities that an AP teacher must possess.

teach AP courses

Advanced level (AP) courses allow students to enroll in college-wide courses and earn college credit while they are still in high school.  According to the College Board, as of 2008, AP students had a better graduation rate than individuals who did not take these courses.  There is no national certification for teachers interested in teaching AP courses; however, some states may require certification.  At a minimum, teachers interested in teaching these courses must attend educational events sponsored by the College Board to learn how to develop an AP course.

How to get certified to teach AP courses

 Advanced placement topics (AP) are taught by qualified high school teachers.  The College Council does not require teachers to obtain special training but it is recommended.  However, the course curriculum must be adopted.  There are strict AP specific guidelines but they are applied at the course level.

In recent years, there has been a focus on providing rigorous college-wide opportunities for all high school students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.  Some states have regulations on teacher training; they also have funds for training.  Some states offer financial rewards to AP teachers when their students score well on AP exams.  Often decisions are made regarding the recruitment of teachers at the local level.

Meet the general requirements for secondary school teaching

 In order to obtain a license or accreditation to teach secondary subjects, teachers must hold degrees at the bachelor’s level.  Usually, they have specialization, or equivalent specialization, in the subject area.  They complete teacher preparation programs that meet the standards of their country.  This could be part of the undergraduate degree program or a separate step that then competes.  Teachers are generally required to pass several assessments, including assessment of subject matter knowledge.  Some teachers demonstrate proficiency on multiple topics, often those that are closely related.

Teachers generally receive annual reviews from their managers, which are partly based on formal notes of their teaching.  Many countries have a layered system with progression from the initial to the professional level based on experience and successful evaluation.

Professional development continues.  Many teachers seek certification and/or degrees from the National Council at the master’s level.  In some states, these lead to a higher license, a higher professional license.  These are two ways to increase experience and signal in specific areas.  Nor, however, does AP delegation.

Teachers are assigned to teach the subjects to which they are legally eligible and may be assigned to specific subjects on the basis that they are well-qualified.  They may express an interest in teaching certain courses.

Do teachers need special qualifications to teach AP classes?

The College Board does not require the teacher to have any special qualifications to teach AP classes, but there are some training resources in which the teachers of these classes are strongly suggested to participate.  These resources include professional development workshops, summer courses, AP test readings, and AP conferences.

Although teachers do not need to meet certain qualifications on the College Board, some states require teachers to attend one or more of these training programs before they become an AP teacher.

Summer institutes and workshops

Each AP summer institutes cover a specific subject and take place at state colleges and universities.  Since the training courses take place in different educational institutions, the information provided may vary from place to place.  The College Council provides materials and consultants to ensure that the courses meet a certain level of quality.

  Most of these courses cover topics on AP testing, AP course structure, available resources, how to teach students at lower levels, and improving existing AP classes.  The cost of these summer institutes varies from one college to another, but the college council provides free fees for some teachers whose schools do not cover the cost of professional development.

 How to get certified to teach AP courses

  • Explore the home page of your course

The course home page contains all the information you need – timely tips and news about the course, exam, resources to use with your students, and more. You will also find course description and exam.  This is the essential document for your subject, and describes the curriculum and exam.  It also provides information about the AP program in general.

  • Use the AP Course Audit site

AP Course Auditing is the required course licensing process that provides teachers and administrators with guidance and requirements for AP course delivery.

Among the resources, you may want to check right away are the curriculum development guide and the four sample approaches.  You can base your class on one or more curricula and you will also find a list of recommended textbooks.

  • Join the AP teacher community

This is a discussion board for new and experienced teachers, as members ask and answer questions, share lessons, suggest materials and more.  The AP Teacher Community is a great source of support during the start of your course and includes an extensive resource library.

  • Review exam resources

Look at the resources on your course exam page where you can view previous test questions, student answer forms with commentary on the grades received, scoring guidelines and rubrics, and more.

Once your course has been approved through the course review process, you will be able to access one or more full practice exams, which is a great resource for you and your students.

  • Look for professional development

Participate in one-day workshops sponsored by the College Board or use the PD options online.  Funding request to attend the week-long AP AP Institute.