AP classes that CollegeBoard should offer

in Opinion by

The College Board recently announced the addition of an AP Precalculus class after six years of not announcing a completely new AP course (the most recent being AP Research), and that got me thinking: what other AP courses should the College Board offer? Here are my top five picks:

AP Hindi and Culture and AP Arabic and Culture:

College Board offers several foreign language courses already – AP Japanese, AP Chinese, AP French, AP German, AP Italian, AP Latin and two AP Spanish courses – but that doesn’t mean they cannot expand. With the exception of the first two languages, there is a clear Eurocentric bias. Hindi and Arabic are the fourth and fifth most common native languages respectively, putting them well above the number of native speakers for the other languages offered besides AP Chinese and AP Spanish (and AP English), so why are they not offered? Even AP Latin, a dead language, takes precedence over two of the most spoken languages in the world. It is not a question of how many people will sign up for the course either, as all but the two Spanish courses are among the top 10 least taken AP tests, showing that the College Board does not seem to care about lack of interest. These two widely spoken languages should become AP courses so that native speakers and foreigners looking to learn these languages will have the opportunity to gain college credit.

AP Anatomy & Physiology:

Human anatomy was removed from the AP Biology curriculum 10 years ago, leaving all students interested in pursuing  medicine without the opportunity to pursue their interest at a higher level. At Heritage, Anatomy & Physiology is offered as an honors-level elective, but that does not translate to college credit. If AP Anatomy & Physiology becomes a course, it can be great initial training for aspiring doctors, nurses and medical workers. In fact, physicians and nurses are ranked in the top 10 of careers high schoolers are interested in, so AP Anatomy & Physiology is certain to become popular should it be developed in the future.

AP Astronomy:

There are four separate AP physics classes already, but astronomy is a more practical way to apply this knowledge, implementing the fundamentals of physics on a much larger scale. With the rise of commercial space travel and programs like SpaceX and Blue Origin, space exploration is becoming a point of interest in the modern age, so this course will be relevant to all future astronomers, astrophysicists or even just interested students. Careers in astronomy and physics are also projected to grow this decade, making a potential AP Astronomy course a very attractive option for students. 

AP Computer Science B: 

Computer science is projected to be one of the fastest growing career fields this decade. While there are already two AP Computer Science courses, one of them, AP Computer Science A, is very limited in its scope, focusing primarily on teaching JavaScript, a popular coding language that is mainly used for website development. However, there are many other coding languages that have wide ranges of uses, including Python, C++ and SQL, all of which any future computer scientist should know. Offering AP Computer Science B, which would focus on these other languages instead, will provide the head start future programmers need.

AP World History Ancient:

Before 2019, AP World History spanned from prehistoric times to the current day, but that changed after the College Board’s announcement that this course would now be deemed AP World History: Modern and start at 1200 instead. That begs the question, though: what about everything that happened before then? Heritage’s Mr. Michael Tavernia, who teaches AP World, spends the time after the AP exam going over ancient history; however, this is a brief summary that does not begin to cover the scope of the ancient world. AP World History: Ancient should be offered as a separate course to help students understand the building blocks of society. Of all the ideas mentioned, this would likely be the easiest to implement as it used to be in the AP World curriculum, so College Board already has the resources to make this a fully-fledged course.

There are currently 38 AP courses, with the new AP Precalculus making 39. This graphic depicts some of the suggested courses for the future. (Graphic/Ella Gohari)

Junior Ella Gohari is entering her third year on the Patriot Post staff and second year as co-Print-Editor-in-Chief. After co-leading the Patriot Post last year, she is excited to continue taking the Patriot Post to new heights in the year ahead. She has done research with Mrs. Joykutty since 6th grade, and is now editor-in-chief of the Sigma Xi Science Society’s magazine. On weekends, she volunteers with Village Book Builders and OTTER to teach underprivileged children, and is also peer tutor chair for the Science National Honor Society. She hopes you enjoy your time reading the Patriot Post.