W.Va. High School Graduates Named AP Scholars

October 04, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County high school graduate and a Monongalia County graduate have been named 2012 AP Scholars by the College Board.

Ahmed Yousaf, a 2012 graduate of George Washington High School in Charleston, and Swetha Doppalapudi, a 2012 graduate of Morgantown High School, are among 108 students nationwide to receive the honor based on their outstanding performance on Advanced Placement exams. Yousaf is now attending the University of Pennsylvania, while Doppalapudi is enrolled at Princeton University.

“Ahmed and Swetha, their parents and teachers should be extremely proud, and their accomplishments should be commended,” said state Superintendent Jorea Marple. “Receiving such a prestigious honor will open many doors for them, and I wish them luck on their continued success as they continue their educations in college.”

The College Board, which oversees the AP program as well as the SAT college entrance exam, gives the award to the top male and female students in each state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP exams and the highest average score of at least 3.5 on all AP exams taken.

Advanced Placement courses allow high school students to take college-level classes and receive college credit while they are still in high school.  Research has shown that 61 percent of students who take two or more AP classes and exams will graduate from college in four or fewer years. In 2012, 2.1 million students took 3.7 million AP exams at more than 18,000 high schools. On nearly 60 percent of these exams, students received scores of 3 or higher on a five-point scale.

West Virginia public school students are taking significantly more Advanced Placement exams than ever before, according to the Annual Student Achievement Report published by the College Board. West Virginia’s high school student participation in AP has grown from 9 percent in 2001 to 20.5 percent in 2011.

The increase is a result of collaboration of the state Department of Education, the West Virginia Center for Professional Development (WVCPD) and the Higher Education Policy Commission and others over the last decade to increase student access to the AP Program.  

“We are proud of the success of our Advanced Placement Scholars,” said Dixie Billheimer, CEO of the West Virginia Center for Professional Development. “Each year we see significant increases in the number of students earning a three, four or five on their AP exams in West Virginia. Students, teachers and parents should be commended for this progress. As an AP partner, WVCPD is excited to continue to support this success through teacher professional development, and by working with other agencies to increase access and success in AP.”

The West Virginia Board of Education has adopted a policy that requires each school system to offer at least four AP classes. In 2010, West Virginia also partnered with the College Board to create WVAP2014, an initiative with specific goals for increasing student success rates by 2014 on AP exams and enhancing participation. The initiative focuses on strengthening instructional leadership, improving teacher quality, emphasizing content knowledge and culturally relevant instructional practices, and building a culture of high expectations and college readiness through the expansion of the AP program in West Virginia public schools.

For more information, contact the Office of Communication at (304) 558-2699.

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