Cybertimes, April 28, 1999

Students who have limited or no access to advanced placement courses at their own schools are beginning to use the Internet and other technologies to enroll in distance learning programs that prepare students to take advanced placement exams.

One company, APEX Online Learning, Inc., currently offers two Internet-based advanced placement courses in calculus and American government. APEX had 150 students taking its virtual classes in the spring.

There are other options, as well. Virtual High School is a non-profit organization which has marshalled together the resources of 44 different schools to make available a consortium of classes that each school otherwise wouldn’t be able to provide on its own. Gifted and talented programs at Stanford University and Ball State University in Indiana use satellite TV broadcasts and CD-ROMs to provide A.P. classes to students in their programs and at other schools.

The individuals who run these supplemental A.P. classes see a growing need for these kinds of programs, since only half of the nation’s schools offer any kind of A.P. course; of those that do, most have A.P. prep classes in only five of some 30 possible subjects covered by the A.P. exams.