More than 3,000 AP® Educators to Gather in Nevada to Share Best Practices in AP Education

Highlights Include New Plans To Enhance AP Computer Science And AP STEM Access For Underrepresented Minority And Female Students

NEW YORK — From July 18 to 20, more than 3,000 Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) educators will gather at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas for the College Board’s 2013 AP Annual Conference — the largest professional development gathering for AP and Pre-AP® educators, counselors and administrators. During the three-day conference, AP educators will share teaching strategies, learn about methods to increase access and equity to AP course work, and have the opportunity to network and share best practices with other dedicated AP educators from throughout the U.S. and around the world. In addition to plenary sessions featuring John Quiñones, host of ABC newsmagazine What Would You Do?, and Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, AP educators will have the opportunity to participate in more than 300 sessions and professional development workshops geared to promote innovation in AP education.

“The AP Annual Conference provides a unique opportunity for educators to participate in professional development activities that will support their work in AP and Pre-AP classrooms throughout the world,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of Advanced Placement and Instruction for the College Board. “Thanks to the continued hard work and dedication of the AP community, more students than ever are participating and succeeding in AP, and gaining the critical thinking and analytical skills they need to succeed in college and today’s highly competitive global job market.”

Nevada ― the state hosting this year’s AP Annual Conference ― has made great progress with its AP programs. In the past decade, the state has more than tripled the number of public high school students taking AP courses and more than doubled the number of students scoring a 3 or a higher on their AP Exams.

“As an AP teacher with six years of experience, I can see how the AP Program has benefited my students. It is important to give them the college experience. Many students come to my class thinking college is out of their reach. But with AP, they realize that with hard work, they have the potential to succeed in college,” said Beatrize Christensen, AP Spanish Language and Culture teacher at Liberty High School in Las Vegas. “Attending College Board conferences like this one enables me to learn new methods of student engagement and how to effectively support my students, giving them the incentive to pursue their dreams for the future.”

Research consistently shows that AP students who earn advanced placement into college courses through their AP Exam scores perform as well as — or better than — college students who first completed the introductory course at a college or university. In fact, students who succeed on AP Exams during high school typically experience greater overall academic success in college and are more likely than their non-AP peers to graduate from college and to graduate on time, experiencing lower college costs than the majority of American college students.


  • Trevor Packer, senior vice president of the AP Program for the College Board, and Jan Cuny, program officer at the National Science Foundation, will announce the first new AP course since AP Chinese and AP Japanese debuted in fall 2006: the innovative new AP Computer Science Principles course and exam. The course was created to offer hundreds of thousands of students — particularly female and minority students who are traditionally underrepresented in college computing degrees and industries — access to a computational education and to prepare them for careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. (Thursday, July 18, 5–6 p.m.)
  • Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania who studies non-IQ competencies, will share her research on why grit (perseverance despite setbacks, sustained effort and practice) leads to success both academically and professionally. Her research has included West Point cadets, National Spelling Bee finalists, novice teachers, salespeople and students. Duckworth received a bachelor’s degree in neurobiology from Harvard in 1992, a master’s degree in neuroscience from Oxford, and a doctoral degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. (Friday, July 19, 23 p.m.)
  • The College Board’s Voices of AP panel, to be moderated by John Quiñones―host of ABC newsmagazine, What Would You Do?―will celebrate the third annual AP District of the Year winners from Glendale Union High School District, Glendale, AZ; Chelsea Public Schools, Chelsea, MA. and North East Independent School District, San Antonio, TX. The panel discussion will focus on the strategies these districts used to open AP classrooms to a significantly broader pool of students while simultaneously improving students’ AP Exam performance. (Saturday, July 20, 1:152:15 p.m.)


  • Tara Allegra Canobbio, a people programs manager for Google’s K–12 Education Outreach Team, will share best practices to recruit and engage underrepresented students in AP courses that focus on the STEM disciplines, and discuss how to use these courses to inspire students’ career aspirations. The AP STEM Access program ― funded with a $5 million grant fromGoogle Google to DonorsChoose.org ― was created to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority and female high school students who participate in AP courses in STEM disciplines. The program will implement more than 500 new AP math and science courses in over 300 public high schools across the country in fall 2013.  

(Thursday, July 18, Noon–1 p.m.)

  • Trevor Packer will present “Upcoming Developments and Changes in the AP Program and Open Q&A” and offer educators an update on the first year’s exam results from the AP Biology redesign; the new formative and interim assessments for AP teacher use; and the new AP | Cambridge Capstone™ diploma that approximately 150 schools worldwide will offer in fall 2014. (Friday, July 19, 910:15 a.m.)
  • David Coleman, president of the College Board, will lead a town hall discussion and invite educators to share their thoughts on how the College Board might best fulfill its social mission of delivering opportunity for all students. (Friday, July 19, 10:45 a.m.–noon)

For a complete list of AP Annual Conference sessions, visit https://apac.collegeboard.org.


 About the Advanced Placement Program®

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies — with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both — while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue — skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores — more than 3,600 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores. In the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP Exams have nearly doubled. In May 2013, 2.2 million students representing approximately 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took nearly 4 million AP Exams.