CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) – Nevada high school graduates have had both the largest five-year increase and three year increase in the percentage of public high school graduates demonstrating college readiness on their Advance Placement (AP) Exams. Nevada saw increases of 6.6 percent over the past three years and 8.2 percent over the past five years of students earning a 3 or higher on their AP Exams.

In May 2017, Nevada high school students took a total of 18,878 AP Exams that resulted in scores of three or higher, which demonstrates college readiness. Based on Nevada students’ opportunity to earn at least three college credits for each AP Exam of three or higher, this represents an estimated 56,634 college credits.

“Our high school graduates are the fastest improving in the nation on the AP Exam,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “At an average rate of $242 per credit hour, the total potential cost savings for our state’s students and families was nearly $14 million. That’s good for our economy and the development of the skilled workforce that Nevada’s new economy is demanding,” said Dr. Canavero.

Overall, Nevada’s graduating class of 2017 was 14th in the nation, scoring a three or higher on an AP Exam with 24.7 percent exceeding the mark. Nationally, 22.8 percent exceeded a three or higher. Nevada has shown tremendous improvement over the past decade. In 2007, only 14.2 percent of Nevada students scored a three or higher.

Nevada will continue to lead the nation in AP increases through its work to expand access to rural communities. Through its grant making, the Department will work with school districts in rural communities to provide digital access to a dozen Advanced Placement classes through existing programs, resources, and teachers available in Clark County. Next year students all across Nevada will be able to access AP classes at their school library or even on the bus to and from school.

Nevada students demonstrated the highest rate of success in Student Art: 2-D Design Portfolio, and Spanish Language and Culture AP Courses. Approximately 90 percent of the students who took these two AP Exams scored a three or higher.

The College Board also tracks students from the graduation class to determine whether graduating seniors had AP potential to succeed in college freshman courses. By race/ethnicity, 86 percent of American Indian/Alaska Native students from this data set took the AP STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Exam; 74 percent of Asian students too the AP STEM Exam; 49 percent of Black/African American students took the AP STEM Exam; 59 percent of Hispanic/Latino students took the AP STEM Exam and 59 percent of the White students too the AP STEM Exam.

Nevada is focused on expanding participation in the AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) course as career pathway leading to 2,731 computing jobs that are currently open in Nevada. In December 2016, Governor Brian Sandoval announced that Nevada would partner with the College Board and Code.org to expand computer science course work in the state. The Nevada Legislature followed up with legislation in 2017 that requires a computer science course in every public and charter high school in the state. Of the 304 Nevada students who took the initial AP CSP exam last May, 66 percent earned a score of three or higher.

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