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Advanced Placement African American Studies Launches Pilot Summer Institute at Howard University

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WASHINGTON – The Howard University School of Education announced it will host the Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI) from July 11-15 for the College Board’s African American studies course pilot program. Howard is the only HBCU in the country to host the Summer institutes. The School of Education is committed to attracting Black and Latinx high school teachers to the institute in an effort to increase the diversity of AP educators nationwide.

The College Board AP Program affords high school students the opportunity to earn college credit for courses taken during high school. After over a decade of interest in offering African American studies, the AP Program is conducting a two-year pilot for the course to incorporate student and teacher feedback, test and refine a robust suite of course resources, and deepen engagement with African American communities. The course will be offered in approximately 60 high schools in the first year of the pilot program and will expand to over 200 schools in its second year.

I am excited to learn that the College Board has finally made this move. African American history, and more broadly African American studies, is an essential core body of knowledge that cannot be ignore,” said Nikki Taylor, chair of the Howard University history department. “A solid understanding of how African Americans have shaped America, its history, laws, institutions, culture and arts, and even the current practice of American democracy, sharpens all knowledge about our nation. Moreover, African American history educators tend to be very strong as a whole, so I am confident they have the expertise and skill needed to move students forward as they prepare for college.”

The proposed new course in African American studies will deepen and strengthen the AP program’s longstanding commitment to serve diverse communities with culturally relevant and challenging coursework. Both students and teachers will reap benefits from this course. Benefits include increased funding for schools serving low-income students to acquire college-level textbooks and professional development opportunities.

Educators are required to attend Summer institutes to teach AP courses. During the four-day event they will receive intensive training on the curriculum and AP teaching methods. The first day of training will conclude with an evening reception featuring guest speakers from Howard University and the College Board.

“We are thrilled to welcome AP African American studies teachers to Howard, an institution that has played a pivotal role in African American history and scholarship. We are excited to partner with Howard specifically, given its leading reputation for serving Black students and educators,” said Brandi Waters, Ph.D., director of AP African American studies. “This course will offer students across the country a rigorous and inspiring introduction to African American studies, and Howard is the perfect place to begin that work.”