Editorial: HHS should offer more AP history courses

Elizabeth Vojt, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Applying to colleges is a competitive process with numerous layers. One of the most important parts of the application is a students’ transcript. 

While competitive schools consider all pieces of an applicant’s application, the classes they take have a large impact on whether they get admitted to the school. Advanced Placement, or AP, classes take a student’s application to the next level and increase the likelihood of being accepted to competitive colleges.

The College Board offers 38 AP classes to high school students. Hershey High School provides students with the opportunity to take half of those.

One AP course offered by HHS is chemistry. In 2021, 135,997 students across the United States enrolled in that course according to data released by the College Board. However, HHS fails to offer AP U.S. Government – a class taken by 283,353 students in 2021.

Between Model UN and Youth and Government, hundreds of Hershey High School students are involved in mock government or debate clubs. There is clearly an interest for a course like AP government, Hershey just needs to offer it first.

Another AP class, AP World History, was taken by 302,232 students in 2021. This class is a more advanced version of the current world history course required for all sophomores at Hershey. If Hershey chose to add AP World History to the course options for sophomores, they would be able to join the thousands of other students who took the same course that year.

For students choosing to major in something such as law or history, there are very few courses at HHS that would be of direct benefit and interest to them. Expanding the AP selections, however, would be a simple way to offer challenging courses for these students.

Furthermore, students would have the potential to earn college credit by taking these advanced courses. Science or math courses would serve the people interested in history with no benefit in the long run, whereas classes catered to their interests would produce copious amounts of benefits.

Many students opt to take the science or math AP courses offered by Hershey not because they want to but because the class will benefit them when applying to colleges. They should not have to do this and should instead be able to take classes they actually want to.

AP World History and AP U.S. Government are just two of the classes that HHS should add to their curriculum. 

According to Best Colleges, AP classes strengthen college applications by showing to the universities that a student has already been able to learn at a pace more similar to what their college courses will be. For this reason, Hershey should offer AP classes that focus on history and government. Doing so will give opportunities for more students to take classes that will not only improve their application but interest them.

To request the addition of these, or any other AP classes, fill out this form to get in contact with the DTSD School Board.