Mentor College is proud to offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses to eligible senior students. AP is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers university-level curricula and examinations to high school students. This is a cooperative educational endeavour between secondary schools and colleges and universities. AP courses provide the opportunity for academically talented and highly motivated students to upgrade the quality and increase the challenge of their studies. Some schools offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. The Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes are both high school programmes, but their philosophies and goals are quite different.
Examinations take place in May and are administered by the US-based College Board. Grade 11 or 12 students interested in pursuing AP courses/ exams must apply in May and be approved by the department head, AP teacher, and the Principal. There is an additional fee to cover course materials and exam costs. The AP class is taken from September to May in a regularly scheduled time slot in the student schedule. This is the same as the class period in a regular credit course. Subject specialist teachers trained in delivery of AP curriculum teach the class. The exams are written in May at Mentor and are scheduled by the College Board for international administration at a common time under strict guidelines. They are sent to the College Board in the U.S. for marking as a standardized exam.
Every university has its own rules about acceptance of AP for first-year course credit, so students must research their choices. Eligibility also varies from programme to programme. Saying this, most students take AP courses not for credit, but to learn the university material in a course prior to first year. This helps students gain an advantage in understanding and earn better grades in the first year class.
The AP Biology course is designed to help highly motivated and independent learners develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and to help students gain an appreciation of science as a process. Primary emphasis in the AP Biology course is on developing an understanding of concepts rather then on memorizing terms and technical details. Essential to this conceptual understanding are the following: a grasp of science as a process rather then as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.
Calculus AB is primarily concerned with developing the student’s understanding of the concepts of calculus and providing experience with its methods and applications. the courses emphasizes a multi-representational approach to calculus, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed graphically, numerically, and analytically.
The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken in first-year university. For some students, this course enables them to undertake second-year courses in their first year or to register in courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, the AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees up time for other courses.
The AP Economics course consists of two parts: macroeconomics and microeconomics. The purpose of an AP microeconomics course is to provide a through understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual consumers and producers within a larger economics system. The AP course macroeconomics is designed to offer a through understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Two final examinations are required, one for micro and one for macro.
The AP Literature and Composition course allows students to examine both formal and creative approaches to the reading, writing, and analysis of university-level texts. Students are engaged in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature and – through the close reading of selected poems, short stories, and novels – deepen their understanding of the way writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure to literary works. The study of various literary devices is covered, alongside the building of a more extensive English vocabulary, and the examination of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. The course is composed of several units, organized thematically, which include Satire and Jest, The Grotesque, The Narrative Voice, and Magical Realism.
The AP French Language course is comparable to a third-year college level French course. It emphasizes the use of language for active communication and helps students develop the following: the ability to understand spoken French in various contexts; sufficient vocabulary to understand articles published in newspapers and magazines as well as literary texts; the ability to express themselves coherently and with reasonable fluency in both written and spoken French. Students are assessed by means of an examination which is approximately 2.5-hours long.
The AP Physics B course is a general in-depth physics course based on algebra and trigonometry, with a syllabus designed by the College Board that has been adapted and implemented locally. The course utilizes guided inquiry and student-centred learning to foster the development of critical thinking skills. It teaches students to think in terms of cause and effect. It develops the very important skill of assessing a situation/phenomenon and frame it within the correct physical principles. The course also enables students to quickly connect essential laws and principles when describing a problem-solving strategy. Last but not least, the students become educated and skillful problem-solvers in any field they choose as their profession.
The AP U.S History course is delivered across nine historical periods, ranging from 1491 to the present. Considering this frame of reference, students will have the opportunity to investigate historical processes through a variety of primary and secondary resources. Additionally, they will work to develop their historical inquiry skills, through meaningful and accurate research. Finally, students will have the opportunity to assess their findings by way of chronological reasoning and argumentation. Identified themes of focus include: American and national identity; migration and settlement; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; geography and the environment: and culture and society.