Georgia Road to College Initiative to Increase Number of College-Ready Students Across the State

College Board initiative is made possible with support from the Goizueta Foundation

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GEORGIA — The College Board today announced its “Georgia Road to College” (GAR2C) initiative, a suite of academic programs and teacher, administrator and student support resources designed to drive participation in Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) courses and increase college readiness among Georgia public school students, particularly in districts serving large or rapidly growing Latino student populations. The GAR2C initiative —– which will be implemented in 11 Georgia school districts over the next three years — is made possible through a $2.6 million grant from the Goizueta Foundation.

“Roberto Goizueta’s leadership provides a remarkable example of how hard work can achieve success,” said David Coleman, president of the College Board. “It is fitting his foundation now supports students to follow in his footsteps.”

GAR2C will help create a pipeline of teachers who are receiving expanded professional development opportunities that prepare them to teach rigorous course work, will assist administrators in developing cultures that encourage AP participation for all academically prepared students, and will help empower all students to challenge themselves academically through AP.

Current research on AP course work confirms AP’s comparability to introductory college courses in content, skills and learning outcomes. Research consistently shows that underserved minority and low-income students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam are more likely than their non-AP peers to earn higher grades in college and to earn a college degree within five years.

However, while more underserved minority and low-income graduates are participating and succeeding in AP, these students remain underrepresented not only in many of the nation’s AP classrooms but also among Americans earning a college degree. According to the Pew Research Hispanic Center, in 2011 Hispanic students made up 21 percent of all public high school enrollments in the U.S. This growth, however, is not keeping pace with college completion rates. In 2010, only 9 percent of all bachelor’s degrees conferred went to Hispanic students.

Facts about Georgia’s 2012 public high school graduating class:

  • 33,647 students took an AP Exam during high school
  • 17,767 students scored a 3 or higher on an AP Exam during high school
  • 7.9 percent were Hispanic/Latino
  • 7.4 percent of AP Exam takers were Hispanic/Latino
  • 7.7 percent who scored a 3+ on an AP during high school were Hispanic/Latino

GAR2C removes barriers — for districts, schools and students — with regard to completing the PSAT/NMSQT® and the SAT® and with regard to enrolling in AP courses and taking AP Exams. All 10th-grade students will have the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT; receive individual feedback on their performance to be shared with parents; and have access to My College QuickStart™, which provides students and parents with answer explanations for specific questions, a customized SAT study plan, a college search vehicle and an online guidance program — all for the remainder of the students’ high school career. The College Board believes that each of these components is, in its own way, a step toward ensuring that a student is aspiring to work toward postsecondary goals.

In addition, to ensure equity among and access to rigorous academic curricula, all participating districts and schools are required to subscribe to an open enrollment policy regarding AP courses so that all students who aspire to participate in AP are given the opportunity to do so. Attention will be paid to the prerequisite courses listed in each AP course outline, especially for AP science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses.

“I want to thank The Goizueta Foundation and the College Board for making theGeorgia Road to College initiative possible,” said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge. “Advanced Placement courses have been a proven success in Georgia and this initiative will allow us to train more teachers and offer more courses to students to help them be college and career ready.”

As part of this initiative, middle and high school English, mathematics and science teachers will have a sustainable, vertically articulated plan to prepare more students — particularly underserved Latino students — for the rigor of AP courses via grade-appropriate learning activities. District and local school administrators — through trainings and workshops — will have the opportunity to learn about the AP standard and how their faculty can move more students to that standard. Districts participating in GAR2C may also choose to incorporate materials from CollegeEd® — a college planning and career exploration program for grades 7–12 — as part of the effort to build a college-going culture.

GAR2C Participating School Districts:

More information about the AP Program and national data on 2012 public high school graduates can be found here.