AP Summer Institute Unveiled

AP Summer InstituteSummer's in full swing, but some teachers are streaming back into the classroom.

Over 100 high school instructorsfrom the local area and beyondare converging on Central Oregon Community College (COCC), Aug. 15-18, to receive Advanced Placement (AP) training at the all-new AP Institute of the Cascades. Attendees of this AP Summer Institute, the only such College Board-endorsed offering in Oregon, are journeying from Alaska, Canada, and as far away as South Korea to refine their AP skills at these sessions. The last time Oregon offered an AP Summer Institute was in 2006.

Teachers who seek to instruct students at the AP levelcollege-level coursework designated by the nonprofit College Boardcan tap into some 30 hours of professional development at this training. Attendees also benefit from the atmosphere in general, where participants are part of a rolling dialogue on instructional ideas and methods.

The AP Institute of the Cascades is offering courses in 10 subjects this summer, including chemistry, environmental science, psychology and statistics. Sessions are led by consultants officially endorsed by the College Board.

For many local educators, it means not having to travel to receive their training. This also saves local school districts money as they often help subsidize AP training.

And more AP educators leads to more high school success; students can notch college credit for their efforts. "If they pass their AP test with the required score, they could qualify for college credit," explains Catherine Halliwell-Templin, who manages grants as the school improvement coordinator for the High Desert Education Service district (HDESD) and serves as organizer for the AP Institute of the Cascades.

Established by a partnership between the HDESD and COCC, the four-day AP Institute of the Cascades coalesced around an Oregon Department of Education grant. The HDESD applied for the required endorsement last summer and officially launched the institute in February.

Revenue raised from the AP Institute of the Cascades (which has a $700 registration fee) will cycle back into maintaining a COCC/school district dual-credit partnership called Cascades Commitment. The result is an education-creating-education symbiosis. And the hope is to offer the institute again next summer; with Central Oregon seen as a surefire summer destination, that seems promising.

COCC's campus is already proving to be a nice fit for the programof the 121 attendees presently registered, nearly 40 are booked to stay at Wickiup Hall, the college's new residence hall that reverts to special functions during the summer term. "For those that stay with us, it creates a convenient yet immersive environment, connecting teachers from across the region to each other and providing a rich student experience,'" says Stephanie Bilbrey, COCC's housing marketing coordinator.

The College Board, founded in 1900, is comprised of over 6,000 educational entities from around the globe with a mission of expanding access to higher education. Every year, some seven million students benefit from the AP program in their transition to higher learning.

Written by Mark R.Johnson, COCC College Relations. For more information, contact CatherineHalliwell-Templin at catherine.halliwell-templin@hdesd.org or 541-693-5713.