The Advanced Placement (AP) is a program created by the College Board offering college-level curriculum and examinations to high school students. Colleges often grant placement and credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. The AP curriculum for the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in each subject. For a high school course to have the AP designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ascertain it satisfies the AP curriculum. If the course is approved the school may use the AP designation and the course will be publicly listed on the AP Ledger.
More than 30 AP courses and examinations spanning multiple subject areas are offered to students at the secondary level. AP examinations are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of college-level work in a given discipline. Completed AP examinations are scored on a numeric scale from 1 to 5. Students earning qualifying scores on AP examinations may obtain course credit and/or placement from colleges and universities. However, policies regarding the acceptance of AP exams or the scoring level required for course credit and/or placement may vary from one college or university.
International Baccalaureate Program
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program is a two-year comprehensive and rigorous pre-university curriculum leading to an IB diploma. The International Baccalaureate Program was designed through an international cooperative effort and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Students who participate in the full diploma program are actively engaged in a liberal arts curriculum that includes: critical thinking classes and minimum of 150 hours of participation in extracurricular activities and community services. The two-year program is a very rigorous program leading to passing of 6 exams to receive an IB diploma.
AP/IB Test Program
Nevada Department of Education (NDE) has participated in the federal AP/IB Test Fee Program grant since 2002. The purposes of the AP/IB Test Fee Payment Program are to increase the number of low-income, minority and disadvantaged students enrolled in AP/IB courses and remove the financial barriers that prevent many low-income students in high schools from taking AP/IB course tests. Through this program, test fees are reduced for qualifying low-income students who are eligible for advanced placement testing offered through the College Board and the International Baccalaureate Organization. These opportunities are funded through the federal AP/IB Test Fee Payment Program for low-income students. This program is authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title I, Part G.
The NDE program recognizes five methods for determining student eligibility. AP/IB coordinators are required to document student eligibility based on one of the following.
- Free Lunch Program: The parent or guardian has filled out an application and they are approved for the free lunch program. (Their income is 130% or less of the poverty level figures on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Level Tables.)
- Reduced Lunch Program: The parent or guardian has filled out an application and they are approved for the reduced lunch program. (Their income is 131% to 185% of the poverty level figures on the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Poverty Level Tables.)
- Social Security Program: The student’s family receives assistance under Part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act.
- Medicaid Program: The student is eligible to receive medical assistance under the Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
- Declaration of Income: If a student does not qualify for the above, he or she may still qualify by having the parent/guardian certify that the student’s family taxable income does not exceed the 2011 Annual Low-Income Levels. If this method is used, the parent/guardian must sign the Low-Income Student Verification form.
Both the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Programs give high school students an opportunity to pursue college-level studies while still in high school.