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IN a typical Christian or Catholic school, how many AP classes do students take nowadays?


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TO be competitive for a mid tier Christian/private university, for a teaching degree, my dd needs a good GPA, good volunteering, and a slightly above average SAT Score.  The SAT remains to be seen, but we've covered all of the rest.

But I'd like to know how many AP's these types of universities are used to seeing from "good" students but not "driven" students who are top of their class.  IN our old area it is typical for students to graduate high school with all 12 AP classes under their belt and one school had over 26 Valedictorians because every single one of them achieved the max GPA and max amount of AP...

I know that south of us in the more rural areas, with less competitive and less international students (more like normal American high school), the kids I know that are considered "academic" take more or less 4 or 5 AP courses. 2 or 3 Junior year and 2 or 3 senior year. 

My dd is planning probably about 3.  

How does that stack up ?

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I think what is happening in our area is AP courses are being used to boost up the GPA for UC admission. So in our good district  but with minimal international students the top 10% take APs in double digits but the tier after kids in  my limited experience of watching my friends’ children take maybe 8 (1 as freshman, 1 as sophomore, and then maybe 2-3 per each junior and senior year). Now they don’t necessarily get 5s on those exams. Most will manage 4s, maybe couple of 3s, but they do manage better grades in class for the hopes of higher GPA. 

I can tell you my friend’s kid had 8 APs (7 fours and one 3). He didn’t get into any UCs and ended up at LMU, a great school. I mention this because LMU is a religious institution that isn’t the top tier, so I am wondering if you have eyes on it. He had no DE at all. This is completely an anectodal evidence, but hopefully it is a little helpful. 

 

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We have kids on this board who did not do APs but went on to great schools. I think PS comparison is a little more challenging because by design and school culture college bound kids just end up with so many APs. 

Also I don’t know your target schools. St. Mary’s College has a very high acceptance rate and a good reputation.  

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I love Saint Mary's! But my dd really wants a non denominational Christian school that will have occasional chapels and stuff, but without being strict or requiring too many Bible classes...(she met people from The Master's College at the college fair talking about their school, and promptly threw the pamphlet on the way out after the fair...there was another one that boasted that they required Bible all four years to graduate.  That one went in the trash too...) LOL she has her own ideas!

Edited by Calming Tea
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In my area, bright kids will have 3-4, and many will have none. A lot of schools offer AP English, APUSH, AP Calculus, and a couple of science classes and nothing else. Some of the smaller private schools offer less than that.  Usually there will be an AP or DE option ecery subject area, but not necessarily more than that. There are a few magnet and private “he who survives on the least sleep wins” high schools for those who want more. 

In my area, I would say that 3 APs and an ACT in the high 20’s would be more than enough for most of the Mid-tier, slightly selective Christian colleges for admissions and some merit aid, particularly if the student has been active in their church and has good volunteer work and excellent recommendations. There are a lot of quite good schools where that would be a typical profile for a student in their top 25%. 

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Well you did ask about Catholic colleges in your title and they are most certainly not non-denominational. ?

In terms of admissions, I think you are overestimating the value of APs at most schools. Most of my kids have not had any APs and have no problems with admissions.

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Regional differences must certainly be at play here because it is hard for me to see how having a transcript loaded with AP courses is necessary for an education major at a mid-tier university. I believe you are someplace much more competitive than I am, so I am not dismissing your concerns, it is just not something I see at all in my region of the country. 

Just make sure you aren't overthinking this. I wouldn't make my kids push through APs they didn't want to take. 

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3 hours ago, teachermom2834 said:

Regional differences must certainly be at play here because it is hard for me to see how having a transcript loaded with AP courses is necessary for an education major at a mid-tier university. I believe you are someplace much more competitive than I am, so I am not dismissing your concerns, it is just not something I see at all in my region of the country. 

Just make sure you aren't overthinking this. I wouldn't make my kids push through APs they didn't want to take. 

 

Yes, absolutely. I think what is happening in California specifically is absolute insanity over UC admissions. UCs (and some CSUs) have become so competitive that a lot of outstanding kids are now applying to “lower tier” schools pushing those acceptance rates lower and student stats higher. A lot of this is a generalization, but a case in point are Occidental College, LMU, and Santa Clara U. Those are all three absolutely wonderful schools, but getting into them has become much more competitive because those who can’t compete with 15 AP classes with all 5s (think Bay Area and an extremely competitive population of overachievers and tiger parenting on steroids), now apply to those schools. Also I believe the spots available at UCs haven’t kept up with population, but I don’t really know how big that discrepancy really is. 

It is hard to say without real visibility on who was accepted, but my friend’s kid got denied at Occidental, which was a shock to me. It wasn’t that long ago that his good grades and significant number of 4s on APs would have been more than enough to get in. 

I have no clue what is going on at Biola for example. I would call. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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Being a Christian school or a private school has nothing to do with their selectivity; some private schools are highly selective, many are not very selective at all. You really just have to evaluate each individual school, their requirements/recommendations, and class stats. Schools that are often grouped together in people's minds can have very different stats, and "mid-tier" can cover a broad range. What do you have in mind when you say mid-tier?  

Like teachermom2834, I find it hard to imagine that a decent student aiming for an education major will have trouble with admittance to good schools, but again, one's definition of mid-tier comes into play. And I also wouldn't load extra APs onto her plate that she isn't interested in just to be more competitive for these specific schools. It doesn't guarantee admittance by a long shot, and there are just so many excellent schools out there. I'd broaden the search to public schools where her religious needs can be easily met: services in walking distance, a significant peer group, active clubs. As she wants non-denom, this is honestly almost every college I have ever visited, lol. 

Standardized test scores are important and should guide her application process. She needs a safety school and preferably two. If you aren't confident that you can get in AND afford it, it's not a safety school. If the acceptance rate is 50% or less and she is not in the top 25% of students, I wouldn't consider it a safety school (even if she is, I'd be wary if they have a tight score range, say 25-28 rather than 22-29).

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41 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

gah...I gotta get her volunteering somewhere ?

 

 

 

I wouldn't be overly worried about that, either. When it is taken into account (it frequently is not, even at religious schools), it is often rated as Considered (as opposed to Important or Very Important) and it is one criterion of many. I'm not saying that volunteering isn't a good idea, but it is really nothing to stress over in her situation. 

Just google "School Name Common Data Set" and then scroll down to Basis for Selection and you can what that particular school takes into account and the relative importance. Most schools have a CDS readily available online. 

She will have good choices! 

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10 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

gah...I gotta get her volunteering somewhere ?

 

That is a misunderstood concept. @katilac is right. Most schools admit by transcript, GPA, and test scores. For schools that want more, they want to know students are interested and involved in things beyond school. Volunteering just to check off a box is not what they are looking for and it is pretty easily identifiable bc it is thrown in the mix as college apps approach.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Putting on my education faculty hat—the single best thing she can do now is to work with kids in groups. It doesn’t have to be volunteering, although that’s one way to do it. Paid summer camp counseling, daycare or after school program worker, be an assistant leader for a scout troop, coach a sports team etc. She may have to volunteer to get enough experience to get a paid job. If she has taken Athena’s Academy classes, and has an idea for an online class, she can apply to teach there online as well. Online is a different dynamic, but the work in developing a class is the same. 

if she wants more AP, I’d suggest psychology and statistics. Both will be required for her major, and probably will be accepted. DE is another option, and if so, add Speech and Communications and child psychology to that list. I would also suggest Spanish, with a focus on conversational Spanish. Grammar isn’t all that important,  but understanding when a child is trying to tell you that he needs to go potty is. 

There often are education major versions of many of the other classes that are more focused on teaching, so sometimes AP ends up leading you to miss actually useful content in science and history. Those can be good DE options as well. Even if they don’t transfer, often there won’t be a lot of direct repetition because usually they are very individual to a specific instructor, and more ideas for the toolbox is always good.

 

She can start doing workshops and short classes now. Project Wild (and it’s variants), Project Wet, and Project Learning Tree are all usually offered through the local cooperative extension service, are usually free or low cost, and are great resources for teaching environmental education to kids-and could be used as part of a high school credit, either in environmental educafion, or as a teaching elective. The Handwriting Without Tears training isn’t cheap, but is a great way to learn how to break down a skill and teach it. The local literacy council may have other options as well. If there is an education conference nearby, go! Subject doesn’t matter. 

 

My state has a Governor’s School for prospective teachers, and that’s worth looking into as well. 

 

The goal with all this isn’t resume building, although it doesn’t hurt. It’s to start building skills and experience in the profession, because you truly have to love it enough to put up with a lot to do it. If you don’t love teaching, and love that dynamic, there are other careers which might be a better choice. And it’s better to figure that out in high school and maybe your first year or two of college as opposed to during student teaching or after college graduation. 

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25 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

Putting on my education faculty hat—the single best thing she can do now is to work with kids in groups. It doesn’t have to be volunteering, although that’s one way to do it. Paid summer camp counseling, daycare or after school program worker, be an assistant leader for a scout troop, coach a sports team etc. She may have to volunteer to get enough experience to get a paid job. If she has taken Athena’s Academy classes, and has an idea for an online class, she can apply to teach there online as well. Online is a different dynamic, but the work in developing a class is the same. 

if she wants more AP, I’d suggest psychology and statistics. Both will be required for her major, and probably will be accepted. DE is another option, and if so, add Speech and Communications and child psychology to that list. I would also suggest Spanish, with a focus on conversational Spanish. Grammar isn’t all that important,  but understanding when a child is trying to tell you that he needs to go potty is. 

There often are education major versions of many of the other classes that are more focused on teaching, so sometimes AP ends up leading you to miss actually useful content in science and history. Those can be good DE options as well. Even if they don’t transfer, often there won’t be a lot of direct repetition because usually they are very individual to a specific instructor, and more ideas for the toolbox is always good.

 

She can start doing workshops and short classes now. Project Wild (and it’s variants), Project Wet, and Project Learning Tree are all usually offered through the local cooperative extension service, are usually free or low cost, and are great resources for teaching environmental education to kids-and could be used as part of a high school credit, either in environmental educafion, or as a teaching elective. The Handwriting Without Tears training isn’t cheap, but is a great way to learn how to break down a skill and teach it. The local literacy council may have other options as well. If there is an education conference nearby, go! Subject doesn’t matter. 

 

My state has a Governor’s School for prospective teachers, and that’s worth looking into as well. 

 

The goal with all this isn’t resume building, although it doesn’t hurt. It’s to start building skills and experience in the profession, because you truly have to love it enough to put up with a lot to do it. If you don’t love teaching, and love that dynamic, there are other careers which might be a better choice. And it’s better to figure that out in high school and maybe your first year or two of college as opposed to during student teaching or after college graduation. 

 

Thanks, it's true.  I didn't mean "just somewhere"  She did that last year at the library and it was a great experience, but she's in the process of getting finger pritned and getting her TB test so she can volunteer at the local public school.  She seems very excited about this, but doesn't know when she will squeeze it in.  However, I do have a day and time in mind that might work so maybe I should really work on getting her over and finishing the finger printing so she can start out.  She really wanted to just put it off completely this entire school year, and wait till 11th grade but I'm not sure that's a great idea.  ON the other hand she is really adjusting to certain things in life right now and also working hard to build and maintain a few friendships and her Pony Club certifications, so I might put it off till January.

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33 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

Putting on my education faculty hat—the single best thing she can do now is to work with kids in groups. It doesn’t have to be volunteering, although that’s one way to do it. Paid summer camp counseling, daycare or after school program worker, be an assistant leader for a scout troop, coach a sports team etc. She may have to volunteer to get enough experience to get a paid job. If she has taken Athena’s Academy classes, and has an idea for an online class, she can apply to teach there online as well. Online is a different dynamic, but the work in developing a class is the same. 

if she wants more AP, I’d suggest psychology and statistics. Both will be required for her major, and probably will be accepted. DE is another option, and if so, add Speech and Communications and child psychology to that list. I would also suggest Spanish, with a focus on conversational Spanish. Grammar isn’t all that important,  but understanding when a child is trying to tell you that he needs to go potty is. 

There often are education major versions of many of the other classes that are more focused on teaching, so sometimes AP ends up leading you to miss actually useful content in science and history. Those can be good DE options as well. Even if they don’t transfer, often there won’t be a lot of direct repetition because usually they are very individual to a specific instructor, and more ideas for the toolbox is always good.

 

She can start doing workshops and short classes now. Project Wild (and it’s variants), Project Wet, and Project Learning Tree are all usually offered through the local cooperative extension service, are usually free or low cost, and are great resources for teaching environmental education to kids-and could be used as part of a high school credit, either in environmental educafion, or as a teaching elective. The Handwriting Without Tears training isn’t cheap, but is a great way to learn how to break down a skill and teach it. The local literacy council may have other options as well. If there is an education conference nearby, go! Subject doesn’t matter. 

 

My state has a Governor’s School for prospective teachers, and that’s worth looking into as well. 

 

The goal with all this isn’t resume building, although it doesn’t hurt. It’s to start building skills and experience in the profession, because you truly have to love it enough to put up with a lot to do it. If you don’t love teaching, and love that dynamic, there are other careers which might be a better choice. And it’s better to figure that out in high school and maybe your first year or two of college as opposed to during student teaching or after college graduation. 

 

 

YES, anoher reason a friend who is a teacher really wants her to get inside a public school and see what it's like.  My dd is very sensitive and very idealistic and what she will see there might really make her frustrated/angry/sad and not want any part of it or it might make her feel like maybe she can be that small little bright spot in the children's life and little bit of change int he system, who knows but since she has never been inside a school on a regular school day, let alone a public school, it would be very instructive for her.  The school we have here is the perfect option because there's a good mix of very caring parents and staff, and upper middle class, but a pretty large population of poorer students and students from uneducated white backgrounds as well.  So it would be a good sampling of reality, at least for most of middle America.  

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Volunteering in the school system is definitely a good idea-although she could volunteer or work somewhere this summer, and put off going into the schools until 11th grade without issue if she has time commitments now. Summer will have lots of options, paid and unpaid. Be aware that once you get past January, public schools are likely to be using volunteers for test prep-perhaps not the best place to start. 

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12 hours ago, Calming Tea said:

gah...I gotta get her volunteering somewhere ?

 

 

Your daughter is already volunteering in Sunday School so I won’t fret.

Information about volunteering from a catholic high school. 7 pages of suggestions. Your nearest catholic school might have a similar list. https://www.sfhs.com/uploaded/03_Campus_Ministry/2014-15/Documents_and_PDF's/Freshman_Suggested_Agencies_100814.pdf

“CHURCH
Contact your own church or parish and ask about Sunday school or CCD classes.”

This link has a longer list and can be sorted by categories so your daughter can have some idea on what is out there and look for something similar near home if she is interested. For example, DS13 would be interested in data entry as a volunteer work, something we didn’t think of. http://www.bcp.org/students/christian-service-program/agencies/index.aspx

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The comparison of a homeschooler's transcript to a private Christian high school's transcript may not be super helpful because these high schools have relationships with the colleges.  The colleges have particular rigor expectations for the students they select and some familiarity with the high school's rigor even for regular, non-AP classes.  (Private high schools do vary in rigor.)  Homeschooling is outside that box but I imagine less frame of reference for the admissions officer.

With the disclaimer that I am truly just guessing, I'd think there are plenty of kids with few APs from private religious high schools applying to mid-tier Christian colleges, though maybe it depends on what you mean by "mid-tier."  My kids attend a fairly rigorous Jesuit high school where many students apply to mid-tier Catholic colleges at every level of student - these colleges will be reaches for some students, matches for many, and strong students use these colleges as safeties.  In this high school, strong students will have 6-8 APs and only a handful of students will have more than that.  The rest may have few APs or even no APs - it varies quite a bit.

More guessing:  from our kids' high school, 3 APs would probably be sufficient for most mid-tiers, but it really depends on the particular colleges.  The published stats, especially acceptance rates, at many of the Catholic colleges can be a bit deceptive.  SCU is an obvious example that I would not consider to be mid-tier any more - in spite of a 50% published acceptance rate and >60% in our high school's Naviance, most of the acceptances to SCU from this high school are strong students who would have more than 3 APs.  Perhaps USD, LMU, Providence College, Loyola Chicago, Loyola Maryland would be better examples as mid-tier and my guess is 3 APs from this high school may be enough for students considering these colleges as matches (ACT middle 50 percentiles for enrolled students is 26-30 for all of these colleges, although their acceptance rates vary from 50 to 75%).  My dd will be applying to 2-3 from that group as low matches/safeties; she will have 7 APs total (3 junior yr, 4 senior yr).

A Christian but-not-super-religious mid-tier that comes to mind is TCU.  I know someone there who probably had around 3 APs from a public high school.  Loves it.

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