Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

College-Credit Options: Explain the Differences

December 04, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

While it is appropriate for the College Board to have held a national audit of Advanced Placement course syllabuses, instructor qualifications for Advanced Placement teachers are not given the significance that is basic to college teaching (“Number of Schools Offering AP Falls After First Audit of Courses,” Nov. 14, 2007). AP teachers generally are very good high school instructors, but many do not have the graduate-level credentials required by postsecondary institutions to teach college courses.

Teaching from a collegiate-level syllabus does not ensure that one has the content knowledge required to teach a college course. Moreover, AP teachers are sometimes assigned courses that are not even in their areas of academic background. A syllabus can provide curriculum guidelines, but it is not a substitute for the instructor’s content expertise.

This deficiency is at the root of the problems students experience at many colleges and universities when AP test scores are not accepted for credit as anticipated.

As the director of the University of Connecticut’s office of educational partnerships, I oversee its large concurrent-enrollment program, Early College Experience, which is accredited by the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships. Our students earn University of Connecticut transcripted grades for the courses they take at their high schools from instructors who have been certified by university faculty members from more than 25 departments. (Ongoing professional development at the university is required for continued certification.)

While many instructors also teach AP classes, we must often turn down the applications of otherwise excellent teachers with AP experience. It is not uncommon for us to have an instructor with a physics degree apply to teach chemistry for us on the strength of having taught AP chemistry, which is not a sufficient academic background for certification.

College-credit options for high school students are proliferating. It is important for the public to understand the differences among them.

Gillian B. Thorne

Director

Office of Educational Partnerships

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Conn.

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2007 edition of Education Week as College-Credit Options: Explain the Differences

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read