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College Board Shares Updates on AP, SAT and More

hide Creating greater opportunities for students, parents and teachers to help provide access to college opportunities was the underlying purpose for three College Board informational sessions held Tuesday, March 7. Representatives from Columbia Heights Public Schools and multiple metro school districts heard first-hand about new or updated SAT and Advanced Placement (AP) services the College Board offers.

Approximately 50 local educators heard first-hand from College Board leaders about changes and improvements as they relate to students being prepared for college and careers. 

Superintendent Kathy Kelly was invited to the National School Board Superintendent’s College Board Advisory Council meeting last June. “During the two days, I reflected on the information I was learning about the SAT and AP and I wanted to bring this back to Minnesota Andy Haupt to share with others,” she said. "Part of the intrigue for me was that it's more than a test, it's about equity and access for students, making classroom connections and providing timely support to students," she said.

The Superintendent was lucky enough to be seated next to Vice President of College Board Midwest Regional Office Greg Walker (pictured above), so she asked him what he thought of her idea.

“Kathy offered to bring metro-area colleagues together so they could get a better understanding of the services the College Board offers,” said Walker. “This was an opportunity to learn about all the services the College Board has to offer and how we are addressing college admission changes in the SAT and ACT, tying assessment and instruction together and scholarships.” 

In speaking to the first group of educators, Walker pointed out that Columbia Heights Public Schools was also the 2016 College Board AP Small District of the Year. He also applauded Columbia Heights High School for being selected to the 2016 AP Honor Roll.

Educators Another subject discussed was the newly updated resources available, but maybe not known to everyone. Executive Director of K-12 Services for the College Board Midwest Region Tricia Renner told the educators to be aware of the additional resources available to AP teachers. “The College Board is developing new resources – including professional development – that teachers can access online and on demand that they can use throughout the school year. College Board Director of K-12 Services Andy Houpt (pictured above left) echoed Renner. “We are there in support of students as they prepare for college and career-ready readiness," he said.

One of the most important College Board resources Houpt wants everyone to know is that colleges and universities in Minnesota have updated their admissions processes. "We want students, parents and teachers to know that Minnesota's colleges and universities accept the SAT and ACT," stressed Houpt. The Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Admissions, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Rachelle Hernandez, emphasized Educators that her institution “will accept the SAT or the ACT, without preference, as part of a holistic review.”

Erin Edwardson Stern, who teaches AP United States History at Columbia Heights High School, shared that this District believes in providing all students access to challenging courses while providing targeted support. She added the resources and tools from the College Board will empower teachers like her to better support student mastery of content and skills and to allow students to review at their own pace. "My students will benefit greatly by using the AP U.S. History Course overview to prepare for their AP test,' she said.

According to Columbia Heights High School Principal Dan Wrobleski, the presentation reaffirms the school is on the right track regarding AP testing. “I think that the tools they (College Board) have to offer, for free, to assist in improving test scores, closes the opportunity gap for our students.”

In reflecting on the presentation and the steps ahead, the District's Superintendent is optimistic for the future. "We are creating greater opportunities and access for students, teachers and families to help every student on their college and career-readiness pathway."

For more information, contact Director of Teaching and Learning Zena Stenvik at 763-528-4438 or