Lafayette Parish seeing an increase students taking college preparatory classes; 255 earning early college credits _lowres


More Lafayette Parish students are taking Advanced Placement courses as the school system works to expand course offerings, and more than a third of test takers passed exams to earn college credit, according to data released Tuesday.

The number of students taking Advanced Placement courses in the parish increased over the past two years from 407 to 745. Of the 745 students who took the courses, 255 had a passing score, translating to college credit at most colleges.

Lafayette High saw the highest number of passing scores — 208 students. Acadiana High had 19 students and Comeaux High and Carencro High each had 12 students with passing scores. The remaining four students who passed the test were from Northside High and David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy. More information about the number of students for the individual schools wasn’t immediately available Tuesday afternoon.

The Louisiana Department of Education has made a push in recent years for school systems to expand course offerings and encourage students to enroll in the courses, which are recognized as more rigorous, college prep courses.

Thibodaux is one of the school system’s newest high schools, and only 26 students took AP courses last school year. The school system’s other newer high school, the Early College Academy, did not have any AP scores because students there take college courses as part of their curriculum on the campus of South Louisiana Community College.

The school system has worked to increase course options to students. Lafayette High is the school system’s largest high school, enrolling nearly 2,500 students and offers more college prep courses than the other high schools.

Carencro High Principal Ken Roebuck and Northside High Principal Julia Williams both said they’re implementing strategies in the 2015-16 school year to better prepare students for college prep coursework.

“We are continuing our efforts to show our students the value of the advanced rigor in these classes,” Roebuck said. “We have sent our teachers to training in both AP and pre-AP to help them increase the rigor in both regular and advanced courses.”

Williams said the school is expanding its course options and some teachers attended their second training for the placement program this summer.

“We hope to offer some AP workshops for students throughout the year to better prepare them for the test,” Williams said. “We are also implementing a schoolwide focus on literacy, which will help in performance across the board on the AP exams since so much of the tests is reading and responding.”