60 percent of jobs require a college or technical degree. Idaho public schools have a high rate of high school graduation, but only about 47 percent of those who graduate go on to college and many of those don't finish. On Wednesday, the College Board announced advanced placement results for Idaho's class of 2012. Summer Joy spoke with the department of education to gain insight into the situation.
Advanced Placement courses give high school students the opportunity to take college level classes and receive college credit if they pass the five point AP Exam with a score of three or higher. Research indicates that students who score a three or higher are more likely to graduate on time, lower college costs, and experience greater academic success. The number of Public high school graduates that took the AP exam in Idaho has increased by 75 percent in the last decade.
"I think it has a lot to do with the local school districts and with the teachers in those districts. I mean we are seeing across the state increases in AP course enrollment and exams ," said Melissa McGrath, the Communications Director for the Idaho Department of Education.
12.3 percent of all 2012 graduates in Idaho scored three or higher on at least one exam, among low-income students the percentage receiving a three or higher has increased from 9.3 to 15.2 percent
"Also seeing participation among students who are considered low income that participation increase which is really important because there are ways we can help pay for those exams if students can't afford it. We want to make sure that all students have equal opportunity to take those advanced course and go on to post-secondary afterward," added McGrath.
Each year the College Board recognizes districts across the US and Canada that increase in AP course work and students scoring a three or higher with its AP Districts of the year honor Roll and two from Idaho were honored, Madison and Nampa school districts.
"Those student who are maybe thinking they weren't college material are needing to get a post-secondary degree before they go on can see that they do have the skills and they do have the ability to go on," said McGrath.
More than 3 thousand colleges and universities in the United States received AP scores from students last year, including 13 colleges and universities in Idaho.