AP Courses Offer Greater Challenge, Greater Reward for Dothan High Students

AP courses offer greater challenge, greater reward

Delani Benjamin is getting a major head start on her college career thanks to advanced placement (AP) courses offered by Dothan High School. D. Benjamin: AP Student

While many students take just one or two AP courses per semester, Benjamin is making the most of the opportunity the program provides by taking five: AP literature and composition, AP biology, AP macroeconomics, AP U.S. government, and AP calculus.

“I loved the idea of being able to take high school classes as college courses,” she said. “If I’m able to do well enough on the AP exams, that’s thousands of dollars I’ll save on college.”

Considering the rising cost of college in Alabama and the nation, Benjamin is making a smart move by taking full advantage of this valuable program offered by Dothan High. AP courses give high school students the chance to take college-level courses. At the end of an AP course students take an exam, and if they score well enough on the exam they receive college credit for that course at institutions that recognize AP courses. Many students use them to knock out introductory courses before they start college, saving them time and money.

“Advanced Placement courses are designed to provide the same rigor as a college course,” Dothan High Principal Bill Singleton said. “At the end of the year students take the AP exam to see if they earn college credit. If I student passes with a score of 3, 4, or 5 colleges and universities may award credit for specific classes.”

Nearly 500 students – close to a third of enrollment – are taking AP courses at Dothan High. Although the program is popular, it’s no easy A for students. AP coursework challenges students and requires self-motivation and active engagement.

Benjamin said she feels that the tougher classes are preparing her for the more challenging pace of learning in college.

K. Baker “There is a lot more writing and discussion than there is in regular classes,” Benjamin said. “Teachers try to get students to dig deeper than the surface level. The answer isn’t going to be one word or a multiple choice selection.”

Katie Baker, who is taking three AP classes, agrees. Baker said the courses have pushed her to improve her writing and reasoning.

“In AP class you write a lot more and there are more discussions,” she said. “There’s no spoon-feeding going on.”

Baker said that having the chance to complete introductory courses inexpensively and early were a big selling point for the AP program, but she also liked the opportunity the courses provide to dig a little deeper into subjects she enjoys.

“I really enjoy history, so I thought I’d like to challenge myself,” she said. “It does take a lot more study and practice, though.”





Click the below video to learn more about Advanced Placement opportunities for students at Dothan High School.

Video: AP Courses Offer Greater Challenges