College US study enhanced

Harrogate’s Ashville College has enhanced its offering to pupils who wish to study in the US by becoming one of the few schools in the UK to offer the internationally-recognised Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 11:47 am

The AP Exams were introduced to US high schools to make the curriculum more rigorous and give students an advantage when applying to college - the term commonly used in the US to mean university - through the college-level experience and skills they gain.

Dr Pauline Younts, Director of International Studies at Ashville College said: “To be able to offer AP courses and give our pupils an additional advantage when they apply for university is a fantastic step forward for Ashville.

“We are confident AP will bring significant benefits to those pupils, with research suggesting that AP students are often better prepared for college than students who don’t take AP.

“AP also presents an attractive alternative to all pupils, including those going on to higher education in the UK or internationally, by boosting their UCAS points, giving them valuable experience of US college-level studies and offering something different on their CVs.”

From September, Ashville will offer the AP Seminar and AP US History courses to Year 10 and Lower Sixth pupils.

In addition, from the following September, pupils in Year 11 and Upper Sixth can take the AP Research and AP US Government and Politics courses.

Each year-long course culminates in a formal, external exam which usually takes place in May.

AP Seminar and AP Research run in a two-year sequence and together make up the AP Certificate, helping pupils to develop skills that are valuable for university preparation and have real-world applications.

Ashville College has a well-established US International Studies department serving about 160 American pupils each year.

Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the department supports all pupils who wish to gain a US High School Diploma and those who plan to pursue higher education in the US.

AP enhances Ashville’s offering to US, UK and international pupils alike. The courses are an asset for applying to US universities, are included on transcripts for international college applications, and also earn UCAS Tariff points.

This could be useful for pupils who want to study at a UK university, but who do not want to complete a full complement of A Levels, or for whom a mix of BTEC and AP would be more appropriate to their future plans.

AP Exams are graded on a scale from 1 to 5, the results of which count towards graduation credit, college credit in some US institutions, and UCAS Tariff points in the UK.

For example, the highest AP Exam score of 5, ‘Extremely well qualified’, is equivalent to an A* at A Level or 28 UCAS Tariff points.