HARTFORD- State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) last week testified in the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on a bill to address the current challenges regarding High School Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the emphasis these courses are given in our public higher education institutions.
The legislation as drafted, S.B. 354, An Act Concerning the Acceptance of Advanced Placement Course Credit at Public Institutions of Higher Education would require public institutions of higher education to accept and award college credit for advanced placement course examination scores of four or greater.
“This proposal is a good first step in addressing some of the challenges around Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The bill will require a higher education institution to “accept and award credit in the appropriate course offering to any student who scores a 4 or 5 on an advanced placement examination,” said Rep. Ferguson. “This will help to bring consistency within our public higher education institutions, and gives students the comfort of knowing that this will be consistent across the board no matter which public state school they attend.”
Rep. Ferguson added, “I see additional areas where further conversations can be had involving AP courses. CollegeBoard, a college preparation organization which runs AP courses, has reports showing the transfer policies at each of our state colleges. However, this information needs to become more well-known and publicized for students and their families while in high school. The lack of coordination and consistency among Connecticut higher education institutions is a worry for many school districts. I still believe that a state university system should at least be compatible regarding AP courses and the grades which are accepted at each university”
According to the Education Commission of the States, an organization which tracks education policies across the fifty states, Connecticut does not require collaboration on AP between K-12 and higher education systems.
Rep. Ferguson noted that at Danbury High School, 45% of juniors and seniors take at least one AP course, and 30% of those students qualify for free or reduced lunch. CollegeBoard currently has 38 AP courses, 24 of which are offered at Danbury High School, meaning that students seeking to earn various types of degrees would have the possibility of completing nearly a full year of credits prior to entering college making college more affordable for students.
Ferguson recommended that we should, at the very least, develop a state task force to see what the AP policies of schools across the state, as well as develop ways to bring more consistency.
“At the end of the day, this is about creating a universal standard among Connecticut’s public colleges so that every student has a chance to prosper, regardless of which public state school they choose to attend,” said Rep. Ferguson.
The bill now awaits further action in the Higher Education committee. Their committee deadline is March 20th.