Colorado is receiving national attention for having some of the highest average advanced placement test scores in the country. Students here in the Grand Valley are helping with three local high schools receiving a Legacy Grant for their accomplishment.
Education experts say students who enroll in AP classes are more successful once they hit college. Last year more high school students in Colorado took the AP exam than ever before. Taking the test can increased their chances of earning college credit before they even walk onto campus.
Grand Junction High School is being recognized as one of the best scoring high schools for AP classes in the state.
Principal Job Bilbo said, "Our goal is really to make sure that every students takes an AP course at grand junction before they leave.' Principal Bilbo of Grand Junction High School says in past 6 years his school has added 5 new AP courses.
AP teacher Lorena Thompson has worked at Grand Junction High School for 24 years and said, “So here at our school we have a huge push to get kids into these AP course, even if they don't get the passing score. The fact of the matter is once they are in there and if you can keep them in there; the chances of getting a passing score is pretty high."
There is another program called Strive that has partnered Grand Junction High School with Colorado Mesa University.
Thompson said, "These students are propelled into honors and AP course work on to our campus and many are minorities, about 80%."
Colorado's Hispanic and Latino students made of 11 percent of the students who passed the AP exam. This is a huge increase from last year.
High school junior Soraya Morales is one of the high achievers and is currently taking 4 AP classes this year. She will get $100 if she passes two of them.
After arriving in the U.S. when she was young, Morales' goal is to major in linguistics or neuro science in college. She says, "My background has definitely influenced what I want to do with my life."
In the past 6 years, Colorado's AP scores have been consistently ranked in the top 10. Aside from Grand Junction High School both Fruita Monument and Central High Schools are both receiving grant money to increase their AP offerings in the future.