Offering Advanced Placement Support to Colorado’s Military Students

September 1, 2015

CEI’s Colorado Legacy Schools (CLS) program has received support from the U.S. Department of Defense (USDOD) to invest in 10 more Colorado schools to offer STEM education and Advanced Placement (AP) coursework for military kids.

In May, CLS director Greg Hessee traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Math and Science Initiative College Readiness Program announcement to expand AP programs to more schools with a high percentage of children from military families.

Nearly 17,000 additional military-connected students will benefit from the expansion of the program.

“We’re excited about our work reaching more students and schools around the state,” said Hessee. “Students in military families can face unique challenges because they often move around and switch schools. Our program helps ensure that these students are prepared for the rigors of college and career.”

Hessee added that the four current Colorado high schools supported by CLS and USDOD program — Fountain Ft. Carson, Mesa Ridge, Vista Ridge, and Widefield — have shown impressive growth.

Twenty-three schools have received at least one year of support from CLS. In their average first year, these schools have increased the number of qualifying scores earned on AP math, science, and English exams by 70 percent — and have increased AP enrollment by 80 percent.

Results include:

  • A 78 percent increase in qualifying scores among students of poverty.
  • A more-than-double increase in qualifying scores among students of color (107 percent).
  • A nearly double increase in qualifying math and science scores among females (90 percent).

The growth for students of poverty and students of color earning qualifying scores on AP exams outpaced the growth in enrollment for these groups. This means that participating schools are increasing college readiness for all students and closing achievement gaps.