AT? AP? Why Does SAS Offer Both?

We are committed to providing each SAS student with high quality, personalized learning opportunities. We see our AT and AP courses as complementing each other in this goal. These two types of college-level classes give SAS high school students varied opportunities to learn different skills and topics, address different criteria for excellence, explore their own interests, and distinguish themselves from other applicants in the college admissions process.

The SAS college counselors have asked hundreds of college representatives what they think of AT courses, and the response has been universal approval. US colleges do encourage applicants to take the most rigorous course loads possible in which they can do well. AT courses allow SAS students to demonstrate the highest level of rigor in a wide range of course areas. US colleges often look for students who delve into particular areas, who are interesting, who have engaged in coursework with real-world applications, and who differentiate themselves from their peers. AT courses offer students a way to do all of these things.Tina Forbush, SAS College Counselor

We recognize the academic value of many Advanced Placement courses, especially as the College Board has rewritten a number of them to address schools’ concerns about their pace and breadth of inquiry. We also respect the deep culture that SAS has regarding our AP curriculum and the preference of many SAS families that students have access to a strong suite of AP courses. For these reasons, our strategic plan calls for retaining high-quality AP courses that have been approved by our vetting team of teachers, administrators, counselors, and admissions representatives. As we phase out four AP courses by 2019-20, our AP program will comprise around twenty courses.

Our AT courses offer high school students different opportunities for rewarding academic engagement and differentiation in the college admissions process. Some AT courses address topics not available through the AP program, while others will replace AP courses that do not fit our priorities for student learning. When applicable and stated in the high school program planning guide, AT courses will offer students the opportunity to take the relevant AP exam. All AT courses are designed to require rigorous study, deep thinking, interdisciplinary connections, and mastery of competencies relevant to students’ future academic and professional interests. Our strategic plan calls for the gradual expansion of our AT program over the next few years until it also includes around twenty courses.

Altogether, our high school will offer over forty college-level courses by 2020. We anticipate that most our high school students will opt to take one or more of each type of course during their high school career, and we are confident that together our AT and AP offerings give students enhanced challenges and opportunities in the context of an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective.