AP freshmen enrollment at record high

AP freshmen enrollment at record high

Freshmen look at an APUSH review book to prepare for the college course.

By Emily Raab, Online News Editor

As soon-to-be freshmen finish choosing their ninth grade courses, a lot are choosing AP U.S. History (APUSH) as their social studies.

APUSH, the most popular freshman AP course, has seen an increase in freshman students over the past few years.

“This year I have three sections of APUSH for ninth graders,” APUSH teacher Amanda Marshall said. “Last year, I had two enormous sections, and the year before that I had two very small sections. Next year, I anticipate three to four depending on final registration numbers from the middle schools.”

According to APUSH teacher Rodney Van Tassell, next year, for the first time, there will be more freshmen than upperclassmen enrolled in APUSH.

Although some freshmen may feel pressured to take the course because they want to make their college applications more competitive, others are enrolled in the class because of their genuine love for the subject.

“I decided to take the course because I personally like history and wanted to be challenged in it,” freshman Amreen Kanwal said. “I was not pressured to take it by my parents or counselors.”

Before enrolling, it is important for freshmen to research the class so they know what they are getting themselves into.

“You need to balance your course load so you have a positive experience your first year, because your workload is significantly more in high school,” Moore said.

Besides the evident collegiate bonuses, there are many other benefits for freshmen who decide to take APUSH. For example, the class is a smooth transition from their middle school history classes, according to Van Tassell.

“Taking APUSH as a freshmen is a natural progression from eighth grade,” Van Tassell said. “While it is on a much higher level, there is comfort for students in that they know a lot of the history already.”

In addition, according to Van Tassell, freshmen pick up on important skills early on that they can continue to build upon throughout their years at CHS. These reading and writing techniques can also help freshmen who plan on taking more AP classes in the future.

“Students learn to read and write critically on a college level, which definitely benefits them in their later years of high school,” Van Tassell said.

Even with the increase in freshmen enrollment, a large population of CHS juniors and seniors still choose to take APUSH. Junior Katie Kidney is glad she made the decision not to take APUSH as a freshmen.

“It definitely would have been more difficult, and I would have been more stressed,” Kidney said. “When you’re an upperclassmen, you really know what to focus on in the readings and during class. Your study and critical thinking skills have become more developed, and the class is easier.”

Although there are many benefits of taking APUSH freshmen year, it is important to remember that it is a college-level course, and that a majority of these students are only 15.

“It really depends on each individual student, what their maturity level is and how serious they are,” Moore said.