Hamilton High School was one of 367 school districts across the U.S. and Canada selected by the College Board to the second annual AP Honor Roll. The award recognizes high schools that simultaneously increase access to Advanced Placement (AP) course work while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams.
“Being selected for the AP Honor Roll is a significant accomplishment for Hamilton High School,” said Hamilton Principal Candis Mongan. “Our goal is to provide a rigorous educational program that allows students to be successful wherever they choose to go after high school.”
With a pass rate of 89.3 percent in 2009-10, Hamilton had the highest AP pass rate among all Waukesha County school districts. In the past five years, the number of students enrolled in AP courses increased from 80 to 375, and the number of tests taken went from 108 to 401.
Expanding the number of students in AP courses while maintaining its high pass rate has been a goal at Hamilton for a number of years. Mongan credits the commitment of teachers and students with the school’s success.
“This goal has been important to us because of what it means for our students and their families,” Mongan said. “More Hamilton students are taking high-level courses that challenge our students and provide them with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced standing or both. What they are learning at Hamilton will be a great foundation as they move on to their careers and further education.”
At Hamilton, students have the following AP course options: biology, physics, calculus AB, calculus BC, statistics, English literature, English language, studio art, U.S. history, European history and government. Other courses are offered periodically based on student interest, staff availability and curriculum.
Districts named to the AP Honor Roll are successfully identifying motivated, academically prepared students who are likely to benefit most from AP course work, according to AP representatives.
“These school districts have achieved something truly remarkable. They managed to open the doors of their AP classrooms to many more students, while also increasing the percentage of students earning high enough AP Exam grades to stand out in the competitive college admission process and qualify for college credit and placement,” said Trevor Packer, the College Board’s senior vice president of Advanced Placement and College Readiness.
The College Board’s AP program enables students to pursue college-level studies while still in high school. Through more than 30 college-level courses, each culminating in a rigorous exam, AP provides willing and academically prepared students with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both. Taking AP courses also demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by college faculty from some of the nation’s leading institutions, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. AP is accepted by more than 3,800 colleges and universities worldwide for college credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores. This includes over 90 percent of four-year institutions in the United States. In 2010, 1.8 million students representing more than 17,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.2 million AP Exams.