By Hope Su
According to the Los Angeles Times, 38 percent of the 2016 freshman class at University of California (UC) colleges were members of minority groups, an increase from 2016. In order to properly accommodate the increasing demand for higher education, Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) has not only increased the number of opportunities available to assist students who wish to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes but has also refined the process students go through when selecting these courses, increasing a student’s chance of being accepted to the college of his/her choice. These processes have aided a growth in minority participation in AP classes.
The rise in minority participation benefits the school population as a whole because it unifies the diverse community on campus. The increase in efforts to encourage all students to achieve academic excellence creates a positive environment where all students support one another in accomplishing both long term and short term goals. One reason for this increase is the growing amount of positive influence minority culture clubs have over the student body.
The Black Student Union and Middle Eastern Student Association are just some examples of growing communities here at GHCHS that encourage students to academically challenge themselves. La Familia, another culture club revolving around the Latino community, even offers a mentorship system where upperclassmen guide younger students through the many challenges of high school, including keeping up with homework and classes.
Taking AP classes teaches students to be persistent in pursuing their academic goals. Due to the fast pacing, students learn to ask for help quickly. Struggling and getting by might work for other classes but when it comes to AP classes, students will find it is much better to ask questions and obtain whatever help is necessary. Taking an AP class also allows students to potentially earn college credit upon passing the AP exam. In the long run, students who take AP classes save more money and also benefit from being exposed to college level coursework in high school. These are benefits to students from all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
Sophomore Victoria De La Torre recalls how being one of the few students of Latino descent in her AP World History class impacted her.
“The situation made me feel sad because minorities should also be in those classes. I can say for a fact that I’ve grown because of my AP teachers. I want others to have the same opportunities,” sophomore Victoria De La Torre said.
AP classes expose students to an entirely different classroom setting where they are expected to manage their own time and study for exams without a teacher guiding them every step of the way. Taking more advanced classes allows for a student to learn to manage his/her or her own time and avoid procrastination despite having numerous obligations or deadlines. Taking AP exams is a real privilege that not all students get.
As a result, taking AP classes prepares students to face the intense workload and stress level that awaits them in college and also helps minority students fight against negative stereotypes.