Improving Advanced Placement Access for African American Youth

In January, 2018, WLP and YMS students presented to over eighty students on Advanced Placement education and awareness.  The workshops are part of a series of school-community engagements on the under-representation of African American students in AP course and test taking. Ninth-twelfth grade WLP and YMS students discussed the importance of AP classes for college preparation and admission, and deconstructed the racist cultural cues and low academic expectations that discourage African American students from taking AP classes.  Students highlighted their own experiences in AP classes and the need for greater vigilance from counselors, teachers, administrators and parents/caregivers. Nationwide, fewer than 30% of African American and Latinx students enroll in and/or take AP courses, which are gatekeepers for admission to competitive four year colleges and universities.