AP & Honors Programs

SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS FOR HONORS AND ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDENTS

The Huntington Beach Union High School District’s schools maintain comprehensive Honors and Advanced Placement programs to make it possible for academically talented and high achieving students to increase the challenge of their studies. Marina High School is dedicated to helping students achieve and excel in their academic endeavors. Marina High School teachers in the honors/AP programs are committed to preparing students to achieve academic excellence that will ensure superior preparation for college course work. An Honors level course is more rigorous than regular courses. Teachers cover curriculum at a faster pace and in greater depth while incorporating more complex analysis. An Advanced Placement class is a college level course that culminates with an exam, which can earn college credit for the student. The instructional program offers in-depth study and is not intended to accelerate the date of graduation.

INDICATORS FOR SUCCESSFUL PLACEMENT

Students are encouraged to enroll in Honors/AP courses on the basis of a variety of indicators:

  • Completing all prerequisite classes with a grade of B or higher and past performance as indicated by grades.
  • Test scores may be utilized as necessary.
  • Teacher recommendation.

EXPECTATIONS

Honors/AP program, students are expected to:

  • Maintain A/B grades in all Honors/AP courses.
  • Remain in the course(s) for the duration of the YEAR. Student success is the goal of Marina High School and students not succeeding in an Honors/AP class will be handled on an individual basis.
  • Maintain high standards of academic integrity and adhere to the MHS academic code of honor.
  • Be in class every day. Excessive absences are grounds for removal from the course.

CHARACTERISTICS OF HONORS/AP STUDENTS

Students in Honors/AP courses are expected to have the following characteristics:

  • High academic achievement and intellectual ability;
  • Self-motivation and self-discipline;
  • Good organizational skills;
  • Excellent written expression;
  • An avid interest in reading;
  • Good oral communication skills;
  • An ability to work independently and collaboratively;
  • Good citizenship and attendance

SKILLS TO BE A SUCCESSFUL HONORS/AP STUDENT

The ability to: Identify and formulate problems, as well as the ability to propose and evaluate ways to solve them.

  • Recognize and use inductive and deductive reasoning, and to recognize fallacies in reasoning.
  • Draw conclusions from information found in various sources, whether written spoken, tabular, or graphic and defend one’s own conclusions rationally.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion.
  • Engage critically and constructively in the exchange of ideas.
  • Analyze and edit one’s own writing.
  • Gather information from primary and secondary sources; to write a report using this research; to quote, paraphrase and summarize accurately; to cite sources properly.
  • Prepare for various types of examinations and to devise strategies for success.
  • Accept constructive criticism and learn from it.
  • More than a million high school students nationwide are enrolled in AP courses (up 200,000 since 2000). Once seen as an opportunity for ΓÇÿgifted students’ only, the rigor of AP can be a valuable experience for any college-bound student. These courses give students an opportunity to study a subject in-depth at a college level.

Research supports the contention that students benefit from exposure to college-level coursework in high school. One federal study found that 59 percent of those who took one AP course later graduated from college, compared to only 33 percent of students who didn’t take an AP class. For students who took two or more AP exams, the college graduation rate was 76 percent.

Important MHS AP Facts:

  • Advanced Placement classes are open to all Marina students. We have increased the number of AP courses available over the last few years. Marina students have 21 different options to choose from. Our most recent additions will include Computer Science, and English Language and Composition (APE3).
  • AP courses conclude with students having the opportunity to take the corresponding AP Exam. AP exams are two- to three-hour exams, given in May and made up of multiple-choice and free-response (essay) questions. They are graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with a 3 considered a qualifying score to show mastery of the content. In May 2012, 450 students took a total of 1041 AP exams. 86.9 percent of those tests earned a score of 3 or higher.
  • There is an exam fee of $89 per exam taken. If your student is in financial need, you or your child may want to contact Marina’s AP Exam Coordinator, Danny Morris at (714) 893-6571 ext. 4403. Information regarding registration for the 2013 AP exams and the AP fee reduction will be available in December 2012.
  • Marina does offer summer AP Bridge programs for some classes that are open to any student enrolled in any class through the Huntington Beach Adult School. This one to two week experience helps to prepare students for success in their AP classes by emphasizing writing, study skills, time management, effective note taking, and test preparation.
  • For more information about the Advanced Placement program, please contact your student’s guidance specialist, Mr. Morris or visit the AP website at www.collegeboard.org.

Advanced Placement & Honors Courses Offered at Marina High School:

Subject Area Suggested Grade Level(s) Subject Area Suggested Grade Level(s)
World Geography Honors 9 AP Calculus A/B 11,12
AP World History 10 AP Calculus B/C 11,12
AP United States History 11 AP Chemistry 10,11,12
AP Human Geography 11,12 AP Biology 11,12
AP Economics 12 AP Physics 11,12
AP Government 12 AP Environmental Science 11,12
AP Psychology 11,12 AP Japanese 4 11,12
CP English Honors 1 9 AP Spanish 4 11,12
CP English Honors 2 10 Advanced Music Honors – Band, Orchestra and Choir 11,12
AP English 3 11 AP Music Theory 11,12
AP English 4 12 AP Studio Art 10,11,12
PreCalculus Honors 10,11,12 AP Computer Science 11,12
AP Statistics 11,12 AP Capstone 11,12

*subject to student enrollment

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE VALUE OF TAKING ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)COURSES DURING HIGH SCHOOL

Q: WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF ENROLLING IN ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES (AP) WHILE IN HIGH SCHOOL?

The student who completes AP courses and the end of year AP exam is sending a powerful message to colleges and universities that this student is ready for college, it very often assists the student in gaining admission, getting college credit and enabling the student to start off at college taking more advanced courses. See http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/apcreditpolicy/index.jsp for further details.

Q: ARE THERE ANY WEBSITES I CAN GET MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE ADVANTAGES OF TAKING AP CLASSES?

There are many great sources on the web but here is a great succinct article from about.com. See http://collegeapps.about.com/od/apadvancedplacement/tp/ap-classes.htm.

Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AP COURSE AND AN HONORS COURSE?

AP courses are designed and updated every year to reflect what is being taught in leading-edge college/university courses. Students receive an external evaluation – the AP exam – which is scored by college faculty from around the world who verifies that the student has mastered college-level studies. For some colleges, AP course grades are weighted, in other words a student who gets an A in an AP course is given 5 credits versus a student who gets an A in a standard course receives 4 credits. This is how many students are able to achieve better than a 4.0 GPA. Honors and AP courses are more difficult and comprehensive than standard high school courses; the subject matter in these courses extends beyond the standard curriculum and is approved by the University of California system.

Q: DOES THE STUDENT HAVE TO TAKE THE AP EXAM AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR?

A student enrolled in an AP course is expected and highly encouraged to take the AP exam. Most of the nation’s colleges and universities, plus colleges and universities in 24 other countries, grant students admission, college credit and advanced placement based on the AP Exam grades, not on the AP course grades. The AP Exam grade is viewed as a national standard. Students who have prepared for and taken the AP Exams adapt more easily to taking college essay exams, and are especially skilled in introducing a thesis and a well-developed argument stated Robert Blackey, Professor of History CSU, San Bernardino.

Q: WHAT IS THE AP EXAM AND WHAT DO THE TEST SCORES (1 TO 5) MEAN?

Each May, participating schools administer AP exams. With one exception, the exam combines multiple-choice questions with a free-response section in either essay or problem-solving form. The exception is Studio Art where the exam is replaced by a portfolio assessment. Each June the free-response sections and the Studio Art portfolios are scored by the above mentioned college faculty from around the world. The scores are combined with the results of computer-scored multiple-choice questions, and converted into a grade on the AP’s five-point scale.

  • 5: Extremely well qualified
  • 4: Well qualified
  • 3: Qualified
  • 2: Possibly qualified
  • 1: No recommendation

Q: HOW MANY STUDENTS TAKE AP COURSES AT MARINA HIGH SCHOOL? Below is a breakdown of how many students have taken AP classes and AP tests over the last 5 years at Marina High School.

  • 2007 – 2008: 425 students took 1,058 exams with 83.5% scoring 3 or better.
  • 2008 – 2009: 382 Students took 920 exams with 82.5% scoring 3 or better.
  • 2009 – 2010: 439 Students took 944 exams with 83.8% scoring 3 or better.
  • 2010 – 2011 : 455 Students took 1063 exams with 85.5% scoring 3 or better.
  • 2011 – 2012: 450 Students took 1041 exams with 86.9% scoring 3 or better.

Q: WHAT IS AN AP SCHOLAR, AN AP SCHOLAR WITH HONOR, AN AP SCHOLAR WITH DISTINCTION OR A NATIONAL AP SCHOLAR? Each year, the AP program recognizes students who have performed exceptionally well on AP examinations. Exams are taken in May and awards are usually granted in the following November. The following designations can be earned:

AP Scholar Awards
Designation Criteria
AP Scholar Grades of 3 or better on three or more AP exams.
AP Scholar with Honor Grades of 3 or better on four or more AP exams and an average of 3.25 on all* AP exams taken.
AP Scholar with Distinction Grades of 3 or better on five or more AP exams and an average of 3.5 on all* AP exams taken.
National AP Scholar Grades of 4* or better on eight or more AP exams and an average of 4 on all* AP exams taken.
AP State Scholar Top male and female student in each U.S. State (and the District of Columbia) ranked first by the greatest number of exams with a grade 3 or higher and then by highest average on all* AP exams taken.

Note: *”All AP exams taken” refers to all AP exams taken in any year. It is not restricted to the year the award is issued in.

Q: HAVE ANY MARINA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS EARNED THESE DISTINGUISHED AWARDS?

Yes, in the last three years 67 students have been awarded AP Scholar status, 46 students have been awarded AP Scholar with honor status, and 28 students have been awarded the most prestigious designation AP Scholar with Distinction.

Q: Are there any websites I can see an AP exam and find out if an AP class is right for me?

Yes! AP Exam Reviews are available from Michigan eLibrary! Follow the steps below to prepare for the AP Exam:

  1. Go to http://mel.org
  2. Click on “Test and Tutorials” in the left-hand menu.
  3. Click on “College Preparation” in the left-hand menu.
  4. Select “Advanced Placement (AP) Preparation” and choose the AP Exam Review for your course.

Plan to take the PSAT by College Board or the Explore by ACT during your junior year. Your scores on these tests can inform you as to whether you are ready for college level course. You would be surprised at how scholarly you can be!

Q: What if I have more questions?

Contact Dr. Robert Rasmussen or any of Marina High School AP teachers for more information. 714-893-6571