High School

Benefits of Iowa Online AP® Academy courses

The Iowa Online AP® Academy framework works with students’ high school curriculum so that they can take advanced classes that are of interest to them. As an online program, the Iowa Online AP® Academy also offers flexibility that traditional courses may not in terms of scheduling, as well as practice in a supportive environment with online course formats, which are becoming increasingly common in higher education institutions.

Why AP®?

Iowa Online AP® Academy students who take the AP® exam generally perform just as well as students who participate in traditional AP® courses. Students who enroll in Iowa Online AP® Academy courses also tend to successfully complete them—during the 2013-2014 school year, the completion rate was 87%, and 94% of those students successfully passed their course. This is much higher than the national completion rate for online courses (20-50%), and we attribute much of this success to the presence of each school’s Iowa Online AP Academy mentor.

In addition, Advanced Placement® classes are nationally recognized as a quality way to earn college credit at many colleges and universities across the nation. Studies consistently show that students who earn a 3 or higher on an AP® exam:

  1. Perform well in subsequent college courses in the discipline
  2. Perform well overall in college
  3. Are more likely to graduate in four years
  4. Are more likely to major in their AP® subject or a related discipline
  5. Are more likely to have better outcomes in college compared to students who take dual enrollment courses.

Source: The College Board. "Research Findings for the AP® Program"

While there are multiple options for completing post-secondary coursework during high school, AP® courses are generally higher quality, with rigor and quality of content more comparable to a four-year university. In other words, they are more appropriate for the level at which gifted students are ready to learn, and they lead to results that are more in line with these students’ academic goals.

For more information, see the research report, "A Comparison of the College Outcomes of AP® and Dual Enrollment Students."

Learn More

Visit the College Board’s AP® Students and AP® Central pages or the AP® Teacher Community to get connected and learn more about AP® courses.

Middle School

Eligible high-ability middle school students can enroll in online, high school-level courses. The cost of the courses are covered for Iowa students by the Belin-Blank Center through the Iowa Online AP® Academy. Middle school courses are not AP courses; rather, they are AP-preparatory, intended to equip students with sufficient skills and background knowledge to be prepared for future AP courses in high school. For a full list of courses, visit the Course Catalog.

For help solving middle school course implementation issues, the links here will be useful.

To determine student eligibility, students should take an above-level test, with scores considered current within the past two years.

Getting Started: 3. Talk to your students