Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Creed, Benjamin M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations (LEPF)


The Advanced Placement (AP) Program has become ubiquitous in terms of earning college credit during high school. Since the College Board incorporated it in 1956, the AP Program has grown to include 38 courses across seven subjects/categories. Recently, approximately half the states have passed legislation guaranteeing credit towards an undergraduate degree contingent on passing AP Exam scores. Many studies, especially those from the College Board, have shown that students who pass AP exams are more likely to succeed in other academic areas, including earning higher undergraduate GPAs and graduating with an undergraduate degree in less time. With the opportunities and benefits that are available for students through the AP Program, it is critical to address inequitable student access. The national trend in AP participation shows that Asian and White students are consistently overrepresented while American Indian, Black, and Hispanic students and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds are consistently underrepresented, and in some cases, traditionally excluded. In 2002, the College Board stated that academically prepared and willing students should have access to their rigorous courses. This research study focuses on the inequitable access to the AP Program at the local level and how an intervention designed around non-traditional student identification and personalized student and family outreach can empower them to make informed educational decisions in partnership with the school and can close the opportunity gap.


162 pages




Northern Illinois University

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