Advanced courses give HS students leg up
By Laura Katsirdakis
The Advanced Placement program in Canada, which has just recently
made its way to London, may ease the transition from high school
to university for some students.
The AP program offers university level courses to senior level
high school students, said Peter McKegney, co-ordinator of
the AP program at London’s H.B. Beal Secondary School.
After completing the courses, students take uniform exams and
depending how well they do are assigned as level one through
The AP program started at that school just two years ago,
he said. “We are the only school between Kitchener and
Chatham to offer AP courses,” McKegney added.
“All academically capable students can take AP courses;
there are no requirements,” he explained, noting the
courses are free and often give students a considerable advantage
“AP students tend not to have the initial drop in their
marks [upon entering university],” McKegney added.
“University departments look at their first year classes
to see if [the content] matches AP course content,” said
George Ewonus, director of the AP program in Canada, explaining
that if there is a match, universities will give AP graduates
credit for the equivalent course, allowing them to jump ahead
in their education.
AP graduates receive a separate transcript which they send
to universities along with their applications, he said.
“The biggest issue in the jump from high school to university
is not as severe [with the AP program],” Ewonus explained,
adding AP usually encourages students to go on to higher education
and gives them more confidence in doing so.
The AP program has been in used in Canada since 1986, Ewonus
said, adding that in the United States the program has been
used since the 1950s. It was designed by the college board
in the U.S., he added.
“450 high schools in Canada now [offer] AP courses,” Ewonus
“We do give credit for AP exams,” confirmed Lori
Gribbon, manager of undergraduate recruitment and admissions
in the Office of the Registrar at Western, adding students
must achieve a four or five on the exams to get credit.