By EMMALEE C. TORISK
A $10,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Education’s Advanced Placement Network will allow juniors and seniors at Struthers High School to take a college-level psychology course online in the spring, and potentially earn credit for a similar class in college.
The semester-long, half-credit, blended-learning course will expose students to two instructional experiences, said Kevin Dailey, a social-studies teacher at Struthers who will act as the course’s facilitator.
“Students can learn at their own pace and use online materials but also get support in the classroom,” he said. “At the end of the course, by taking the AP exam, if they score well, they could earn college credit at a greatly reduced cost, [saving] hundreds or thousands of dollars.”
The AP Network grant will fund the psychology course’s required software and textbooks, as well as the $89 AP exam, said Sandra Ross, a high-school guidance counselor.
She added that the school chose to offer a psychology class after the junior class’ PSAT results indicated a strong likelihood of scoring “very well” on the AP psychology exam.
To receive college credit, students must score at least a three on the AP Exam, which is graded on a five-point scale.
Aside from the possibility of earning college credit, AP courses — which are designed to be more rigorous and challenging than typical high-school classes — serve another purpose: They open up “a whole new world” for students, Ross said.
“Kids realize the difficulty of taking a college class,” she said. “It shows them how it’s run, how to get organized for college, how to realize that every assignment is important. It gets them college-ready.”
The psychology course that will be offered in the spring is Struthers High School’s most recent AP offering, said Joseph Fuline, an associate principal.
In 2012, the school received a two-year $10,000 grant from the ODE to start an AP program that now includes an English literature and composition course, as well as a government and politics course. A biology course will be offered beginning in the fall.
“It gives our kids another opportunity,” said Fuline, who added the one-year blended learning grant may be available for a second year.