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Homepage Home > K–12 Services > College-Level Studies & Assessment > AP® Program > Building Your AP Program > Training AP Teachers

Training AP Teachers

Ensure that your teachers are prepared to lead AP courses

There are no rigidly defined selection criteria for who can serve as an AP teacher. The College Board recommends that AP teachers have undertaken some form of professional development prior to teaching AP for the first time.

Most teachers will welcome the opportunity to:

  • Improve the quality of the curriculum
  • Teach challenging content to motivated students
  • Receive feedback on students' AP Exam results

Opportunities for new and experienced AP teachers

College Board and College Board-endorsed workshops provide teachers with valuable course-specific content and pedagogical knowledge, and serve as collegial environments in which teachers can interact with experienced members of the AP community. The College Board has been approved as an authorized provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 8405 Greensboro Drive, Suite 800, McLean, VA 22102 to offer Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attending College Board workshops. IACET is an internationally recognized organization for standards and authorization for continuing education and training.

Resources include:

  • AP workshops: These are offered throughout the academic year and range from one to three days in length. Each workshop concentrates on the teaching of a specific AP subject with the focus on instructional strategies and the management of an AP course.
  • AP Summer Institutes: Hosted by colleges and universities, these intensive, weeklong courses provide in-depth preparation for teaching AP courses.
  • AP Readings: Experienced AP teachers are encouraged to apply to serve as Readers at the annual AP Reading, where the free-response sections of the AP Exams are scored.
  • AP Annual Conference: High school teachers, high school administrators, college faculty and others attend workshops, panel discussions, and lectures where they can share ideas with their peers.

Funding for professional development

Each year, the federal AP Incentive Program (APIP) provides states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands with funds to encourage low-income students to participate in AP. Through these awards, states provide students from low-income backgrounds with exam fee subsidies and offer teachers from low-income districts funding for professional development.

Consult your state department of education for information on these awards.

The College Board also offers scholarships to teachers who are:

  1. Serving in rural areas
  2. Serving in schools with high percentages of low-income and/or underrepresented minority students
  3. Planning to teach redesigned AP courses in fall 2015
Visit the AP Teacher Scholarships page for more information. 

A professional development success story: Desert Sands Unified School District

"In 2001, the Board of Education at Desert Sands Unified School District ensured that all AP teachers were trained in the AP courses that they were teaching. After an analysis of needed trainings, the superintendent allocated strategic planning funds to train teachers during the summer. In 2001, eleven teachers were trained; in 2002, seven more were trained; in 2003, eight more were trained; and in 2004 thirteen have signed up. The cost to the District is $1,600 per teacher. Sponsoring the teachers to attend the professional development has kept them apprised of the focus for the course, and more centered on student learning outcomes."

Dr. Diane M. Kline
Director, Curriculum
Desert Sands Unified School District
La Quinta, CA

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