The School District of Beloit is the first district in Rock County to offer an Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course this fall.
The course is open to all students and will be taught by Nicole Powers, Co-Chair of the Social Studies Department at Beloit Memorial High School. Powers teaches African American Studies, American Minorities, Sociology, and AP World History.
“I am proud that our school district understands the importance of offering culturally relevant and challenging college-level coursework to our students,” Powers said. “All students benefit from examining history through a multi-cultural lens and experience.”
“Our students will experience and learn from a curriculum that elevates voices, stories and history of African Americans,” said Dr. Willie E. Garrison II, Beloit School District superintendent. “This course will also enhance our students’ critical thinking skills and broaden their understanding and exposure of the African American experience and its significance today and historically.”
Topics covered will include Origins of the African Diaspora; Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance; The Practice of Freedom; and Movements and Debates. The course will examine the diversity of African American experiences through authentic and varied sources and will draw from a variety of fields such as literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography, and science.
“Expanding advanced learning opportunities for our students is identified in our strategic plan,” said Theresa Morateck, Executive Director of Teaching, Learning and Equity. “We are grateful for the continued collaboration across our staff and departments in order to make this course being piloted through the College Board available to all students at Beloit Memorial High School.”
Beloit Memorial High School offers 19 AP courses allowing students to take college-level classes and potentially earn college credit before graduating high school. According to the College Board website, over the past 10 years, the percentage of U.S. public high school graduates who took an AP exam during high school has increased to just over 1 million, up from approximately 800,000 in 2011.