AP classes put LHS students on path to college

January 26, 2023

Junior Jack Jubar studies calculus.

AP classes put LHS students on path to college

LHS News is a presentation of Ludington High School in partnership with Mason County Press. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

LUDINGTON — As Ludington High School students begin planning for their 2023-2024 school year next month, many of them will chose to enroll in an advanced placement (AP) course.

AP courses and exams give students the chance to tackle college-level work while they are still in high school and earn college credit and placement.  Several different courses of study and exams are offered through this program. This trimester, LHS is offering six AP courses: Calculus, Composition, World History, U.S. History, Environmental Science, and Computer Science. 

Marianne Hayne currently teachers two sections of AP U.S. History with a total of 46 students. She said the course begins with 1491 to the present. She said as a sophomore level course it is often one of the first AP classes students take. While there are some classes offered to freshmen, typically AP classes are taken by students in grades 10 through 12. Hayne said compared to non-AP classes, the AP history courses tend to have more reading and more in-depth analysis. As with most AP classes, the course leads up to an exam in early May. Based on the results of the exam, students can earn college credits. 

Computer science students work on a project.

“I chose this class because I wanted to challenge myself to take my learning skills to the next level,” said sophomore Maddie Gasaway.

Classmate Hanna Rudzki  agreed. 

“The AP classes like U.S. History allows me to take a college-level class while still in high school,” Rudzki  said. “This is preparing me for college and I will earn college credit.” 

Taking a break from AP Calculus, junior Jack Jubar said he has taken several AP classes. “These classes are helping me prepare for my college career. I’ve taken almost all the AP courses that are offered at LHS and I feel like I am better prepared for the next level.” 

Jubar is also taking an online AP Spanish class. Though the class is not part of the LHS curriculum, he will earn both high school and college credit for it. 

Most recently 133 LHS students have taken an AP course with 95 students taking the AP exam, 69% received a level 3 grade or better on their AP test.

AP Computer Science teacher Eric Venglar said his course is a little different than several of the others. 

“The Computer Science class is unique. The students still must take a written exam at the end of the term, but they are also assessed by a project. The students learn many of the principles of computing in this class including coding.”

Senior Sophia Grierson has taken most of the AP classes offered at LHS. Like her peers, she said the classes have given her a great head start to her college career. She said after her undergraduate studies she plans on going to medical school. 

U.S. History students discuss the 19th century.

“These classes have definitely been challenging,” she said. “I think it looks good to have the AP classes on your transcripts when you apply for college. It shows that you are willing to commit to that level of studies.” 

LHS Principal Dan Mesyar said Ludington is one of the few schools in the region to offer AP courses. 

“We are proud of the variety of courses we can offer for students who want to advance to college or technical school after graduation,” Mesyar said. “We offer AP classes, and also duel enrollment at West Shore Community College and Career Technical Education at West Shore Educational Service District. These are all great options for the students and each program serves its purpose in preparing the students to their next steps after high school.”

Mesyar emphasized that AP students do not have to necessarily be honor roll students. 

“There are certainly classes that require a high level of commitment and drive, but we have students from all grade point levels taking AP classes.” 

“Now is a good time for students and their parents to talk about AP classes and also the other course options as well,” Assistant Principal Steve Forsberg said. “Anyone who has questions or would like to learn more about these classes are welcome to email, call or make an appointment with myself or Mr. Mesyar.” 

The high school can be reached at 231-845-3880. 

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