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College Board Goes ‘All In’ to Attract Latinos to Advanced Placement

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Latino students might shun Advanced Placement courses if the only students they see in them are mostly affluent whites.

That’s essentially what Jeremy Goldman, head of counseling at a Baltimore high school told NBC last week in an article about the College Board’s new campaign to boost the number of minority high school students enrolled in AP classes.

The campaign, called “All In,” is the College Board’s effort to eliminate the gap between Latino, black and Native American students with potential to succeed in AP courses — based on PSAT scores — and those who actually enroll by eliminating barriers these students face, according to the organization’s website.

“Last year alone nearly 300,000 students with the potential to succeed in certain AP courses did not take them,” NBC reports.

To combat the challenge Goldman mentioned, the College Board is urging schools to establish a buddy system — a mentor-mentee type of relationship between former students of color who have finished an AP course and those who have shown AP potential.

“Teens make decisions about their social network based on individuals similar to them,” Goldman told NBC. He suggests targeting student leaders in minority groups who can influence their peers in favor of taking the high-level courses.

The percentage of Hispanic high schoolers taking AP end-of-course exams has been steadily growing over the past decade, College Board figures show, but work is still needed to get the numbers as high as their white and Asian peers.

The College Board plans to reach out to prospective AP students and their families directly but says schools and the educational support system students have there are at the heart of the campaign. The campaign urges counselors to stress future college success as the reason to take these courses, which have the potential to produce college credit for those who score well on the related exams.