Rising to their potential: Meet Rhinelander High School AP Scholars
A STAR JOURNAL SPECIAL REPORT
Advance Placement is a program of college-level courses offered at high schools across the country, run by the College Board. AP classes give students the experience of taking an intro-level college class while still in high school, with the added bonus of potentially earning college credit.
In the early twentieth century, according to the College Board, Americans began to realize the gap between secondary and higher education was widening. Following World War II, the Ford Foundation created the Fund for the Advancement of Education in effort to create a better-educated work force. Pilot programs, studies and committees led to the launch of a program with 11 courses. In 1956 the College Board took over, and has been running every since. Today, more than 2.4 million students take AP exams every year in 38 subjects.
AP exams are scored on a one to five scale; college credit can be typically earned by scoring a three or higher.
Students who have achieved scores of 3 or higher on three or more exams are AP Scholars. Students with an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more exams are recognized as AP Scholars with Honor. Those with an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken and a score of 3 or higher on five or more exams are the AP Scholars with Distinction.
Congratulations to these RHS students for achieving the status of 2020 AP Scholars.
Laney Waydick, AP Scholar
I will be attending the University of Texas at Dallas for an undergraduate degree in neuroscience including a minor in German. I hope to attend medical school following my bachelor’s degree to specialize in either forensic pathology or orthopedic surgery.
Taking AP courses was the best decision I could’ve made for myself. These classes not only taught me crucial study skills I will need in college, but also how to work hard to succeed in areas that may be challenging. In addition, I also learned how to manage my time efficiently and how to become better at taking tests. I learned to be confident in myself and my ability, which is something that I will take with me into my future.
To anyone wondering if they should take an AP course, I would recommend listening to yourself. AP courses can be a wonderful thing, but taking too many can become very stressful. It takes a lot of work and commitment, but you can do it!
Payton Johnson, AP Scholar
My future plans are to either attend UW-Whitewater or UW-La Crosse to major in accounting with a minor in finance. I then plan to sit for the CPA exam and become a certified public accountant.
By taking the AP exams I was able to earn college credits so I will not have to take as many classes. AP classes have also prepared me for secondary education and increased my learning. By taking these AP classes, the extra time that I spent learning and studying for these exams was much more than I would have learned otherwise, giving me much more knowledge and preparing me for a more college-like classroom learning level.
For someone who was considering taking an AP course, I would tell them that while the class may be hard and more work, it will pay off. If they work hard in class and study for the exam, the teachers and other students will help you and do the best to prepare you for the exam so that you will pass and earn college credits. If the student plans to go to college, not only will they potentially be earning credit, they will also be preparing themselves for college-level courses before college.
Holly Puza, AP Scholar with Honor
I will be attending UW-Madison in the fall. I am double majoring in English and political science with a minor in Spanish. After my undergraduate education, I plan on attending law school with a specific interest in either immigration or international law.
Taking AP courses has helped me understand what my course load will be similar to once I attend college. These courses have also allowed me to develop my writing and organizational skills far more than what they once were. In addition to this, I am entering college with around 15 to 20 credits as a freshman because of taking AP classes. This not only helps with the cost of attending college, but I will not have to take required general credits which saves a lot of time and work on my end.
I would definitely recommend taking AP courses to those who are considering it. These classes will teach you very useful writing and studying skills that will prepare you for your future in higher education. Although AP courses can be challenging and will require a large amount of effort, the reward of college credits at the end of the year is certainly worth it!
Jacob Dreifuerst, AP Scholar
I plan on majoring in applied mathematics in engineering and physics, and maybe a double major in statistics.
AP courses have provided a challenge for me where I feel legitimately motivated to do the absolute best that I can do in school.
AP courses are designed to be challenging, but as long as you try your best and use all of the resources available, anyone can do well.
Carmen Ibarra, AP Scholar
I am currently deciding between attending UW-Madison and UM-Twin Cities. I want to double major in Spanish and English, and minor in political science. After completing my undergraduate education, I want to go to law school and study immigration law.
Taking AP courses has helped to prepare me for my college classes, as well as giving me the opportunity to enter college with credits already taken care of.
I would highly recommend taking AP courses because they help prepare you for your future college workload, as well as help develop responsibility and organization skills.
Madeline O’Hara, AP Scholar with Honor
I have been accepted to multiple schools, but I will be attending UW-La Crosse in the fall. I plan to major in psychology and minor in Spanish. Afterword I would like to go into a physician’s assistant program, and hopefully work in a mental health or rehab facility.
Taking AP courses has made me very good with time management. When you’re taking classes with a larger work load, it’s important to make sure that you keep a planner and use your time wisely. These classes have also prepared me for college in multiple ways. Passing the AP tests allows me to receive college credits before I even start at UWL. I am also aware of the amount of work it takes to pass a college course, and I won’t have as hard of a time transitioning from high school to college.
The best advice I could give to other students looking into taking AP courses would be to do your work sooner rather than later. Since the classes are more work overall, it’s extremely easy to get behind. Getting back on track is difficult, so it’s much easier if you don’t allow yourself to get behind in the first place.
Carleene Morien, AP Scholar
My future plans after high school are to go to college. I plan on attending Milwaukee School of Engineering to pursue a biomedical engineering degree.
AP courses have made a huge impact on my education. Taking AP courses has really prepared me for the workload, drive and focus needed for schooling beyond high school. Applying the skills I learned from AP classes has helped me improve in other classes as well.
Students should consider taking AP classes because not only do they help prepare you for college, they also help cover the cost of it. These classes also challenge your way of thinking and help you see things differently than you might have before. AP classes can also benefit you in other classes like applying AP studying techniques to them.
Abbigail Albright, AP Scholar
I’m going to UW-Stevens Point. I’ll be studying Instrumental musical education and a minor in German.
AP courses have helped me grow my love for learning. Taking them made school fun during the day because I got to learn cool new things that weren’t offered in other classes. They also helped me stay focused on school, and I learned valuable writing and time management skills that I don’t think I would have learned anywhere else. These classes gave me skills that I will definitely use in my further studies.
I would recommend AP to anyone willing to try. These courses are more rigorous, but they help teach self-discipline. It’s very much worth attempting them. You aren’t required to take the exam, but it’s very valuable if you do. So far, taking AP classes has helped me earn 13 college credits while still in high school, for which I’m very thankful. There are also many resources available for help outside of class like videos and websites.
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