AP Courses

  • There are many Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered at Columbia Heights High School. Students may earn both high school credit and college credit in these courses. College credit may be earned by achieving a qualifying score on an AP exam given in May. All AP students are expected to take the corresponding AP test in May.

    Many of our AP courses are supported by online review tools through APEX Learning. Talk to your instructor about how you can use APEX to review during the year and prepare yourself for the exam in May.

    Students who plan to enroll in AP classes are encouraged to schedule Pre-AP courses in 9th grade English and science and in 10th grade English. Below is a list of the AP courses offered at CHHS. AP Courses require a separate application process prior to regular registration.

    * denotes course is a single semester


    AP Art History
    AP Art History introduces students to the history of art created in the European and non-European traditions. Students demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of formats: reading/discussion, research, comparative analysis of artwork and reflective writing about observations and interpretations. This course is built for students who are independent and self-motivated. Students must also be proficient in essay writing, study skills, art concepts, and world history

    Two Semester Course - Grades 10, 11, 12

    Instructor: Dane Hodges


    AP Biology A/B
    This is a college-level course is designed for interested 10th- 12th grade students who have met the prerequisites listed above. AP Biology is the equivalent of a college freshmen- level biology course. Concepts covered include: molecules, cells, heredity, evolution, organisms, organ systems, and ecology. Students will practice reading at the college level, note taking, designing experiments, analyzing data, and writing lab reports. Examples of labs include analyzing the genetics of fruit flies, inserting glow genes in bacteria, and measuring the rate of enzyme catalysis. Significant time will be spent practicing how to take multiple-choice tests and how to answer essay questions. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. Consistent attendance is critical for success in AP courses.

    Prerequisite: A or B in Physics with Astronomy. Chemistry is recommended before AP Biology. Since the class uses a college-level text, it is highly recommended that students have reading skills well above grade level prior to taking the course.

    Two Semester Course - Grades 10, 11, 12

    Instructor: Aimee Candella


    AP Calculus AB
    AP Calculus AB is a rigorous college-level course. The course comprehensively covers single-variable differential calculus and provides an introduction to integral calculus. Course topics include (but are not limited to) the theory of limits, basic differentiation techniques on known functions, the Power, Product, Quotient, & Chain Rules, analyzing the relationship between a function, its derivative, and its second derivative, applications of derivatives, rectangular approximations of area under a curve, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, basic integration techniques including u-substitution, and calculations of areas between curves and generated volumes using integrals. Students will prepare for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Exam, given in the first week of May. The course is delivered via the Advanced Placement four-pronged approach to studying calculus – graphical, numerical, analytical, and verbal.

    Prerequisite: B or better in in Pre-Calculus or has instructor approval.

    Two Semester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Daniel Honigs


    AP Calculus BC
    AP Calculus BC is a rigorous college-level course. The course is an extension of AP Calculus AB. 60% of the material in this course is the same as in AP Calculus AB, however it is covered from a completely different perspective (and at times much more in-depth) since students already have a working knowledge of differential and introductory integral calculus. The 40% of the course that is new material includes (but is not limited to) further integration techniques, Euler’s method, improper integrals, convergence and divergence of series, creation of polynomials used to approximate functions, calculus applied to vectors, parametric curves, and polarcoordinate functions. Students will prepare for the Advanced Placement Calculus BC Exam, given in the first week of May. The course is delivered via the Advanced Placement four-pronged approach to studying calculus – graphical, numerical, analytical, and verbal.

    Prerequisite: B or better in AP Calculus AB or has instructor approval.

    Two Semester Course - Grade 12

    Instructor: Daniel Honigs


    AP Chemistry A/B
    The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. The course curriculum is designed to extend understanding of chemistry by providing an in-depth study of fundamental concepts. Emphasis will be placed upon laboratory experiences and chemical problem solving. The course should contribute to the development of the students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their ideas orally and in writing, with clarity and logic. AP chemistry will provide a solid foundation in chemical concepts to prepare students for future courses in chemistry and is recommended for students who plan to pursue chemistry- related careers. Additional emphasis is placed on designing experiments to investigate scientific problems or test hypotheses.

    Prerequisite: 1. Successful completion of Chemistry and Algebra II or 2. Successful completion of Advanced Algebra and 90% or better in Pre-AP Physical Science or 3. Instructor approval.

    Two Semester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Donald Kitzmann


    AP Comparative Government & Politics*
    The AP Course in Comparative Government and Politics introduces students to fundamental concepts used by political scientists to study the processes and outcomes of politics in a variety of country settings. The course aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in process and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes.

    Prerequisite: B or better in previous social studies courses and a GPA of 2.0 or better

    Instructor: Dan Tschida


    AP English Language and Composition A/B
    This college-level course is designed for students who already possess excellent reading and writing skills and who are ready for a higher academic challenge. Course content includes reading non-fiction essays that show how writers uses rhetorical features in language ( i.e. diction, syntax, tone, imagery etc.) to fit specific purposes. There will be many writing assignments which explore different modes of rhetorical development such as narrative, analytical, compare/contrast, definition, and process essays. The long-term goal of this course is to prepare students to pass the AP Exam in May. Summer reading is expected as well as after school study sessions during the 3rd trimester. A teacher recommendation, an application letter, and success in prior English classes are required to enroll in this class. It is recommended that students take this course in their junior year. 

    Prerequisite: 1. A grade of A or B prior English classes 2. Above grade level reading skills 3. Instructor approval

    Two Semester Course - Grade 11, 12

    Instructor: Christina Anderson


    AP English Literature A/B
    This is a college-level course designed for skilled English students. They will study a wide range of literature from a variety of genres and periods. In addition to intensive reading, these students will write reaction and analysis papers. The college level curriculum in this course prepares students to take the national AP exam in English Literature and Composition in the spring. The exam tests students' ability to read and interpret literature in both multiple choice and essay formats. Students who pass the exam will earn college credits at most colleges and universities. Literature studied will include: Crime and Punishment, Les Miserables, Hamlet, and The Heart of Darkness, and The Scarlet Letter. Students taking this course during their senior year will be exempt from English 12. Summer reading is an expectation of this course. A teacher recommendation, a letter of application, and success in prior English courses are required to enroll in this class. It is recommended that students take this class in their senior year. 

    Prerequisite: 1. A grade of A or B prior English classes 2. Above grade level reading skills 3. Instructor approval

    Two Semester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Christina Anderson


    AP Economics (Micro and Macro)*
    These two classes are an accelerated introduction to economics. Sign up for each semester separately. The first semester will focus on microeconomics. Topics covered include supply and demand, elasticity of demand, monopolies and taxes. The second semester shifts to macroeconomics which is the study of the economy as a whole. The class covers issues such as unemployment, inflation, interest rates, investment, money supply, exchange rates and trade.

    The goal of these semester-long classes is to prepare students to take one or both of the AP Economics exams in the spring; therefore, they focus on college-level material, with college level expectations. the reward is the potential to earn college credit in economics, as well as a unique perspective on how individuals and society behave. Students are expected to take the corresponding AP exam(s) in May. The course is structured around the college level curriculum because all students will take the AP exam in May. Students will do extensive reading and write college quality essays. Consistent attendance is critical for success in AP courses.

    Instructor: TBD


    AP Physics A/B
    AP Physics is a college-level class. AP Physics is designed to equip students with the appropriate lab and problem solving skills to pass the AP Physics exam. Students may receive college credit if they pass the AP exam. AP Physics is an intense hands-on class that uses lab experience to investigate the world around us. This course will investigate in detail the concepts of motion, forces, momentum, and energy. This course is calculus-based, but it is designed for students who have a strong background in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. AP Physics students will study the topics of physics through investigation and experimentation. This course will develop rigorous problem solving and lab skills that will equip them to do well in any college level science course. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May.

    Prerequisite: Completion of Advanced Algebra with a B or higher and successful completion of/or concurrent registration in Pre Calculus or teacher approval.

    Two Semester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Luke Sands


    AP Spanish
    This full year course is meant to be comparable to the fifth or sixth semester college or university courses that focus on speaking and writing in the target language at the advanced level. The course will build Spanish proficiency across interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes. Students will be expected to take the AP Spanish Language exam in May.

    Prerequisite: Successful completion of Spanish 3 or Heritage Spanish 2 with a grade of B or higher. Native or non-native speakers of Spanish may take this course.

    Two Semester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Maddie Wills


    AP Statistics A/B
    Advanced placement statistics is an excellent option for any student who intends to major in education, psychology, sociology, health science, environmental science or business. The purpose of AP Statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are expected to take the AP exam at the end of the course. Consistent attendance is critical for success in AP courses. This course can be taken concurrently with Pre Calculus or with AP Calculus. Students who take AP Calculus their junior year should wait to take AP Statistics until their senior year.

    Prerequisite: B or better in Algebra II or consent of your Algebra II teacher. It is highly recommended to take Pre Calculus before or at the same time as AP Statistics.

    Two Trimester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Jeff Ellering


    AP Studio Art
    This course involves artistically advanced students developing a portfolio, which shows both the breadth of their artistic experience, as well as their ability to explore one particular concentration in a series. Following the guidelines of the Advanced Placement Board, you will develop a portfolio that can earn you college credit at the end of the year and be used during your college entrance interview. The portfolios will consist of works that excel in quality, concentration in a subject, and breadth in terms of materials. 20-25 pieces of finished works will be included in your portfolio. Portfolios will be submitted in either a 2D-Design or 2D-Drawing format.

    Prerequisite: 1. Advanced Drawing & Painting 2. Media Arts 3. Photography (recommended) 4. Instructor permission

    Two Trimester Course - Grades 11, 12

    Instructor: Dane Hodges


    AP U.S. Government and Politics*
    The AP course in United States Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Students will become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes.

    Prerequisite: B or better in previous social studies courses and a GPA of 2.0 or better

    Instructor: Dan Tschida


    AP U.S. History
    Pre-colonial through 21st century America will be covered in this yearlong course. A chronological format of United States' history, past, present and future will be followed. Political, social, economic, diplomatic and domestic problems will be covered. Specific topics will be stressed as independent units within the chronological presentation. However, these topics will also be developed to show how they relate and interact with the overall evolution of the United States of America. Some topics to be discussed are the Constitution, Minorities, the Civil War, Westward Expansion, Immigration, Industrialization, Political Parties and America's role as a world leader. This AP course is offered to college bound juniors seeking a more rigorous and in-depth study and discussion of U.S. History. The course is structured around the outline of the AP exam for U.S. History. This college level curriculum prepares students to take the AP exam in May. To prepare for this, students will be required to not only follow the course outline, but also to complete additional readings and write college essays. Students who pass the exam will be given college course credit at most colleges and universities. 

    Prerequisite: B or better in previous social studies courses and a GPA of 2.0 or better

    Two Semester Course - Grades 11,12

    Instructor: Erin Edwardson-Stern


    AP World History
    In Advanced Placement World History, the course content is presented with more in-depth analysis of historic and geographic themes than in general world history. Emphasis will be placed on developing analytical skills as students study primary source documents. Students will also work to improve their writing and other communication skills in preparation for the AP exam in May. Students who take this course must be self-directed learners with strong reading and writing abilities. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May. Consistent attendance is critical for success in AP courses. Students should be prepared for a significant amount of homework and high expectations for class involvement.

    Prerequisite: B or better in previous social studies courses and a GPA of 2.0 or better

    Two Semester Course - Grades 10, 11, 12

    Instructor: Kristen Sinicariello