ECU College of Education hosts AP Summer Institute for educators

Kathie DeMonte, left, a science teacher from Middle Creek High School, and Ingrid Coulson, a science teacher from Panther Creek High School, complete an AP chemistry experiment during the AP Summer Institute hosted by ECU at South Central High School on June 28.

Kathie DeMonte, left, a science teacher from Middle Creek High School, and Ingrid Coulson, a science teacher from Panther Creek High School, complete an AP chemistry experiment during the AP Summer Institute hosted by ECU at South Central High School on June 28.

Nearly 70 teachers from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia attended the Advanced Placement (AP) Summer Institute hosted by The College Board Southern Regional Office and East Carolina University from June 25-28. Held at South Central High School, the summer institute offered intensive professional development for AP educators through the completion of 30 or more hours of content-rich training designed to strengthen how they teach AP courses.

AP educators can register for five content areas according to their disciplines — AP chemistry, AP English language and composition, AP English literature and composition, AP European history, and AP studio art.

Works of art created by educators in the AP studio art track of the annual AP Summer Institute hosted by ECU and The College Board.

Works of art created by educators in the AP studio art track of the annual AP Summer Institute hosted by ECU and The College Board.

ECU College of Education AP Summer Institute coordinator Ann McClung said the attendees are led through this professional development opportunity by fellow AP teachers who are trained by The College Board.

One of those instructors is Nicki Griffin, an ECU alumnus who is the AP European and U.S. history teacher at South Central High School. In her first year serving as a consultant, Griffin led the AP European history track.

“We have set up this training to make sure the AP European history teachers start with understanding the objectives and themes of the course, and then move on to modeling, instructional strategies, and then into the content outline and practices and skills needed,” Griffin said.

Griffin said one of the most difficult skills required of students in AP history classes is the required writing.

Nicki Griffin, AP Summer Institute consultant South Central High School AP history teacher, and ECU alumnus, guides a fellow AP European history teacher Thursday, June 28.

Nicki Griffin, AP Summer Institute consultant South Central High School AP history teacher, and ECU alumnus, guides a fellow AP European history teacher Thursday, June 28.

“The teachers here are actually completing the writing themselves, and then also experiencing being readers, and assessing student writing,” she said.

Similar professional development models were employed throughout the other tracks as well, from working through AP chemistry experiments to creating works of art in AP studio art.

There has been an annual AP Summer Institute hosted by ECU since 2004, and McClung said it is all about helping the educators learn how to better instruct their students. Those students then benefit by being better prepared for the AP exams.

For more information about next year’s AP Summer Institute, or to learn how to become a consultant, email apsi@ecu.edu.

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