CollegeBoard is a nonprofit organization that runs the AP program and the SATs. The AP program is an Advanced Placement course which prepares students for a regulated test at the end of the semester. This test, if passed with high marks, allows students to “skip” this course in colleges/universities. Not only that, but the AP classes also boost the student’s GPA, allowing students to recover or increase their overall GPA score. The AP Test is not the SAT, and this test is what determines if the class should be taken or not when the student attends college. After students finish the test, they must send the score results to the colleges they are applying to, just like the SAT.
APs include many subjects, such as Calculus, Statistics, European History, US History, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, and more. There are also AP courses for foreign language and culture, such as Italian, French, German, Chinese, Spanish, Latin, and Japanese. However, there is currently no Korean course, even though many schools count Korean as a foreign language class. That is why the Korean AP Task Force is now trying to make Korean a new AP course.
The Task Force is leading a summer program, which is designed to teach the students about the Korean language and culture through zoom. In the sessions, each teacher teaches the language or culture. Some examples are Korean traditional instruments and simple ways of playing, Korean origami, K-Pop, and grammar/writing. Student workers help during these classes by muting all students, taking roll, and assisting the learning by either translating what the teacher has said or to teaching alongside the teacher.
As mentioned, the Task Force not only includes Korean teachers and staff, but also students who work in the summer to assist the teachers. The students have different roles in the task force: assisting teachers for the summer program for grades K~3, gathering data, and writing a draft for the petition.. The students are also encouraged to gather salient data that is needed in order for the petition to include Korean as an AP class to be successful. Students are to research the schools offering Korean courses in individual states, the number of Korean speakers in the US, and to check the Korean education center for the states. After they research the data, students work together or individually to write a draft explaining how the AP should be appended to the program. This way, students can earn service hours and allow future high school students to have another AP course available.
Overall, adding Korean to the AP exams will be beneficial to both students and the Korean culture. Many people, both teachers and students alike, are working hard to make this happen. With a little luck, hard work, and determination, it is hoped that this new AP class will be available soon.
Jeseung Park, 9th Grade
Crescenta Valley Highschool