Focus on Achievement-#2 in a Series of Discussions
By Joan E. Gosier, CEO of HBCU kidz, Inc.
Definition of GAP [a problem caused by some disparity] Pronunciation: \gap\
Science +Math +Artifacts of Culture +Reading +Test Taking Tips (S.M.A.R.T)=Gap Closure
Last month, we began our Focus on Achievement discussion about the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the largely published gaps between black students and white students. We had a lot of feedback from people who would like to see the racial comparisons disappear. There was also a great testimonial from a concerned aunt for her nieces and nephews who had indifferent fathers.
Well I have a testimony that I would like to share. One of the things that I had on my list of things to do was to check in with my daughter at school and to check in on one of my out-of-state relatives. I certainly had a great half day eating lunch with my munchkin. It made me so proud observing her and her kindergarten classmates learning how to work and play basketball together in phys ed. As I watched them, I realized that a good education should be well-rounded. Those little munchkins gained so much confidence just by hearing the words “Way to go!, Try again!, You almost have it!, You can do it!, Now help someone to do it too!”
This month, I also had a quick and inspiring discussion with the father of a 5-year-old cousin who confessed that my long distanced phone call “out of the blue” gave him confirmation in his soul to move forward on some thoughts. He plans to go ahead and enroll his child in a special after-school camp next week. He seemed to appreciate just knowing that someone else in the family shared an interest in seeing his son succeed in life.
So now before we get too caught up in the shopping sprees, we are ready to tackle our topic for the month of December.
This month, we would like to begin our discussion on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam. The AP exam seems to be not as well known to many parents. So we will begin with a little background on what it is, why it is important and why would there be such a sizeable gap in the # of black students and white students opting to take this exam. Most importantly, we will conclude with action steps that we can specifically take to close this gap within our sphere of influence.
Did U know? There is a 55% gap in AP exam sittings between black students and white students.
Source: US Department of Education NCES Status and Trends in the Education of Blacks
The Advanced Placement Program is a program that offers college level courses at high schools across the United States and Canada. The College Board is a non-profit organization that has offered the AP program since 1955. It is responsible for developing and and maintaining college level courses in various subject areas.
1)According to the college board’s website http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html,
“…the AP can change your life. Through college-level AP courses, you enter a universe of knowledge that might otherwise remain unexplored in high school; through AP Exams, you have the opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing at most of the nation’s colleges and universities…”
The website that will provide the cost, deadlines and process for students to take AP examinations is here: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/about.html
2) Have you compared the college cost savings from AP course acceptance lately?
The 2007 state fee for each exam is $84.00. However, there are various deductions that can reduce the final fee for needy to be $54 per exam! Each state has different programs to help out.
Here is the link to look up your state: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/cal_fed.html
For example, if the cost for a single college-level course is $300.00. By successfully completing the requirements, a child can potentially save $246.00 per class. Those credits might enable the student to get a stronger start right into his or her major courses.
As you can see, it truly is worth looking into and encouraging more college-bound black students to register and sit for the exam.
3) There is a lot on the plates of most high school seniors right now. Right this minute, there may be some kids in your immediate and extended family who need to have this information. Please don’t assume that they are on information overload and will not appreciate hearing from you. Why not check in with them to see if a college plan is already in place?
You can be very helpful with just a simple inquiry, “Anthony, what year will you probably finish college?” Any child born in 2006 could be graduating from a 4-year undergraduate program in 2028. Sometimes, just hearing an outside family member’s voice of support and encouragement can make a big difference in someone’s life. “Anthony, are you aware that an acceptable AP exam score could potentially save you hundreds of dollars?”
Although each school has its own policy and procedures, there is a link that shows you what scores each school will accept: http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/apcreditpolicy/index.jsp. For example, according to Hampton University’s website, the institution “grants credits for acceptable performance on the College Board administered Advanced Placement Examination. A minimum score of three (3) is required in all subject areas.”
4) You can select a unique gift that will inspire a love of preparing and investing in a college education. There is a list of “10 Things that Every Child Should Know About HBCUs” located at http://www.hbcukids.com/EducationalConcepts.html. In addition to this top 10 list, it could also be fun to find out what information your child already knows about college/university life. College paraphernalia is a great way to get him or her thinking about and imagining the future. There is a host of choices available for holiday delivery at http://hbcukidz.com. Be sure to take a quick tour of the local college campus and point out the basic facilities. Visiting a college football game can be an experience in itself that could spark positive life changing memories.
5) Most importantly, have fun sharing and exploring with a young soul. The earlier, the better. This series is intended to be a work in progress. What I am doing as an individual, and what others are doing as well. Together we can learn some new things and reinforce some things we already knew. What do you think? Can we work together?
The Achiever in Training and S.M.A.R.T curriculum are exclusive copywritten and proprietary programs developed by HBCU kidz, Inc.
For more statistics and academic resources please visit www.HBCUkids.com and click on “Educate.” To comment on this article, visit the Blog. To communicate with other concerned Black parents, please visit www.blackparentconnect.com.
For more information about the program or the limited edition gift collection, visit www.HBCUkids.com. The site contains information and ideas to proactively promote positive images for African American children and their families. Contact Joan Gosier at 1-888-HBCU-kid.
Joan E. Gosier