What you can do: Take the lead at your school. Draw up an action plan to ensure that 100% of students of color with AP potential are enrolled in AP classes or are on track to do so.
There's no one right way to do this. However, counselors like you are doing this important work and have shared best practices that have been proven effective in schools like yours.
Key things to remember:
- Repetition is key. For many students, taking AP courses is a big and scary step, so you'll probably have to bring it up more than once.
- College and success should be part of the message. In focus groups and polls, students report they’re motivated to take AP classes because they feel the courses give them a "leg up in college" and will make them more successful in the future.
A few ideas to get you started:
- Set goals: With your school's administrative team, set aggressive but attainable goals for increasing the proportion of underrepresented students with AP potential who are enrolled in AP classes.
- Identify your students: Use the College Board AP Potential™ tool to help identify students in your school who have the potential to succeed in AP classes and who otherwise may be overlooked. If you’d like more information on how to use AP Potential, visit our free demos and webinars.
- Conduct face-to-face outreach: Meet individually or in groups with every student who shows AP potential to encourage them to take the AP class for which they have shown they’re likely to succeed. Consider holding these meetings over breakfast or lunch, in evenings, or on Saturdays. Invite parents.
For more resources on talking to parents and students about AP, use:
- Establish a buddy system. For each discipline, arrange meetings between current or former AP students from underrepresented communities and current students who show AP potential.
- Communicate widely:
- Generate letters for parents using the AP Potential tool. Make follow-up calls to those parents.
- Meet with AP teachers, and mention the underrepresented students who have shown potential in their discipline. Ask the teachers to meet with those students to encourage them to take AP classes.
- Amplify your message on bulletin boards, school newsletters, websites, morning announcements, Twitter, and the school Facebook account. But remember—none of these things are as effective as in-person, face-to-face contact with students.
- Monitor enrollment in AP classes or prerequisites and follow up with students who haven’t enrolled.