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NEWS RELEASES 2012-13

NEWS RELEASES 2012-13 :: DECEMBER 17, 2012

44 NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOLS QUALIFY FOR AP STEM ACCESS PROGRAM; PROGRAM PROMOTES DIVERSITY IN AP MATH/SCIENCE COURSES

Forty-four high schools in 15 districts qualify for funding to participate in the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) STEM Access program. Google, DonorsChoose.org, and the College Board developed the program to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented minority and female high school students who participate in AP courses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said, “Our goal is to prepare students for careers in the STEM field, which continue to be in high demand. This grant encourages all students who qualify to take advantage of these rigorous courses and sets the foundation for success in these fields in college.”  

Schools qualified to participate in the program meet the following criteria (list of qualifying schools by district is below):

  • They are public high schools.
  • They have a significant number of traditionally underrepresented students who are academically prepared for rigorous coursework in AP STEM as indicated by their scores on the PSAT/NMSQT® (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) exam. Specifically, they have 10 or more traditionally underrepresented minority students (African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino students) and/or 25 or more female students with high potential to be successful in college-level AP STEM courses that are not currently offered at the high school that the students attend.
  • They serve communities with a median household income of $100,000 or less and/or 40 percent or more students qualifying for free or reduced-price school meals.

The $5 million grant from Google to DonorsChoose.org will enable public high schools across the country to start 500 new AP math and science courses. The grant provides participating schools with “start-up” funding for the classroom resources, educational materials, and teacher professional development typically needed to start one or more new AP math and science courses. In addition, all AP STEM teachers in participating schools that increase diversity in their classroom will receive DonorsChoose.org gift cards to acquire additional resources for their classrooms for each student who achieves a score of 3, 4, or 5 on an AP STEM exam. A typical school will receive $2,000-$10,000 if they meet the criteria for all elements of the funding.

The AP STEM Access program provides funding for any public school in the United States that meets the readiness criteria to begin offering new AP STEM courses in the 2013-14 school year. Schools that participate in the program will sign a Memorandum of Understanding committing to start one or more new AP math or science course(s) and maintain these courses for a total of three years. This will enable the new STEM course(s) to become an integral part of the school’s overall AP course offerings. New AP STEM courses will need to have a minimum class size of 10 students. Schools will follow their usual enrollment policies, as well as use AP potential data to identify underrepresented students with high AP potential and encourage them to enroll in AP STEM courses.


AP STEM Access Program Grant Potential Recipients
(pdf, 35kb)

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.