AP classes affected by enrollment numbers

Elliot Wang
news editor

This year the class AP Art History is not being taught, and AP European History, after being canceled last year, has returned to the list of classes that this school offers.

This year only approximately 19 students had signed up to take the class. “In order for a course to run, it needs 25 students minimum,” former AP Art History teacher Keith Yanity said. Thus, the class is currently not being given.

This is not the first time this class has been canceled because of a lack of enrollment. Yanity said there have been two other years during the time he has been teaching the class when the class’ enrollment numbers were not high enough

The class was mainly taken by seniors and because of this, few students talk about or know of the class’ existence after they graduate. “I think … the big thing is … there’s not a lot of information about the class,” Yanity said, “I think if word could get out about this [class],” more people may be likely to join it.

The class has been struggling to gain students nationwide. One factor that influenced this was the difficulty of the class’ AP test, specifically concerning the content it covered. “Initially with AP Art History the test was pretty ambiguous the idea was [that] I would teach as much of the textbook as I possibly could,” and the test could cover any myriad of items within the book. It was therefore considered one of the most difficult AP courses, Yanity said. The College Board therefore chose to change the AP test, giving students a list of works at the beginning of the year that students needed to study.

AP European History ran into similar issues last year. The course was not being taught during the 2017-2018 school year, once again because of a lack of enrollment. “[It is] primarily a senior level class,” AP European History teacher Amy Pollin said.

Because the seniors graduate immediately after they take the class, there is little “word of mouth,” Pollin said.

Pollin also said that the reason that enough students signed up to take AP European History so the class could be reinstated this year seems to be due to the fact that more juniors took the AP World History class that she taught during the 2017-2018 school year, allowing more of them to hear about the class.

As an elective, the class is driven by the support of people who are interested in social studies. It covers “modern European history … [and] starts during the Renaissance [period],” Pollin said. Although it is a European history class, it also enhances knowledge of world history.

Senior Kristi Lamoneca said students generally would most likely sign up for classes that more students are taking. “[Students] would be less likely [to take a class which has been canceled before],” Lamoneca said.
Freshman David Altman said that they would most likely choose “regularly given,” classes over those that were not, one reason being that parents would be more likely to have faith in the class if it were regularly given.

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