QUINCY — A pilot program is giving students in rural Illinois high schools better access to Advanced Placement courses to prepare for college.
Seventy-five students at 10 high schools in rural areas of the state are taking online AP classes as part of a new initiative of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, the Herald-Whig reported.
“It is all on your own. We’ve got to try to keep up with time management to stay on pace with everything,” said Quincy High School student Ashley Zimmerman. “It really is like an introduction to college. This is what it’s like.”
Zimmerman’s course began Jan. 11 and ends May 10, about three weeks before the school’s classes.
“I just kind of like the change,” Zimmerman said. “I can relax and do my own thing, then go back to a regular class. It breaks it up a little bit.”
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti said there are limited AP classes that are offered to students in rural areas. She said the pilot program will test the feasibility of expanding AP classes through distance education so that students in rural Illinois can get the same opportunities to learn as their counterparts in urban areas.
“AP classes help prepare students for college and can even make college more affordable,” Sauguinetti said. “But unfortunately access to AP classes is extremely limited in rural areas.”