Advanced Placement Institutes at GSE: Summer Professional Development Opportunities

Now in its 23rd year, Fordham’s summer AP Institutes offer training and networking opportunities for beginning and returning teachers of Advanced Placement high school courses. Dr. Anthony Cancelli, AP Institutes Director and School Psychology Professor, discussed the AP Institutes and Fordham GSE, and gives advice to future GSE students.

The Institutes cover 17 subject areas and run from July 7-25. Register.


Why are AP Courses important for adolescent education?

It is really important to challenge those who need to be challenged. For many, the regular curriculum is not challenging enough. Our youth can be challenged more than they are and they are up to that task. I think AP courses provide them with additional study skills that work as a grounding to survive at the university level.

The courses advance a level of knowledge of our high school students, which is not only important for their being good citizens but for their later participation in college.

AP continues to grow and is one of the favored curriculums for challenging students. When a teacher is going to start teaching AP courses – it’s a big step. They are looking for a place to receive additional training.

“I would enthusiastically endorse the institute for the breadth and depth of materials, quality instruction, and practical application of skills.” – George Gallagher

How are current GSE students involved in the AP Institutes?

I have been blessed with graduate assistants who have been competent and capable, which enables them to ensure that nothing is falling between the cracks. So while I do things like make contact and recruit new teachers, my graduate assistants handle all the scheduling and coordinating. Right now, I have two excellent students, Rachel Larrain, the Associate Director, and Sudanë Del Valle, the Associate Director who handle the day-to-day operations.

We’ve also had a handful of students from our Teacher Education program who take Institute courses as part of their program. If they see themselves teaching AP Courses in the future, they can make the case for including an Institute in their plan of study.

Who are the AP Institute teachers?

All teachers who teach in our Institutes are endorsed by the College Board. The people who teach these courses not only need to be familiar with the subject matter but also with the curriculum, the exam, etc.

A lot of the reason people come to the Institutes is because they need to be updated and talk about the curriculum, and want to learn from experts and each other.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas, methods, and strategies. The instructor’s vast knowledge provided excellent resources and practical applications related to the course.” — Sharon Vogt

Who should attend the Institute?

The Institutes draw both beginning and advanced teachers of AP courses. Over the years, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Institutes provide a real service for these teachers.

For example, if you’re teaching an AP English literature class in high school, you have your colleagues in your high school English department but they are usually outside of the AP community. So it really is a value for these teachers to train at an Institute and network with other AP teachers. Our participants are highly motivated to get together and talk about what they’re doing in their AP classes.

There are also a lot of new teachers stepping up to teach AP courses and they need to learn about the curriculum and about the different instructional methods and lessons used. They are here to learn as much from the other participants as from the instructors. . It’s a nice community of people who get together to talk about their subject matter and the AP curriculum, and it’s been a great addition to GSE.

We have people who come year after year to the same Institute. There was an instructor from Fordham Prep who must have come for about 18 years to the AP Calculus Institute.

“Great experience, very worthwhile for a new AP teacher. An excellent opportunity to meet with peers and discuss ideas and topics!” -– Jack Fitzgeorge

If you could tell us one thing about the Institutes, what would it be?

If you teach or plan to teach an AP class, you will certainly learn and do a better job if you attend an AP Institute.

If you could tell us one thing about Fordham GSE, what would it be?

You not only receive a quality professional education but there is value added because of the Jesuit tradition and the focus on social justice.

What advice do you have for future GSE students?

I’ve been a proponent of higher education all my life. The more education you have, the more options you open yourself for in the future. While you have the opportunity, I recommend getting all the education you can. It opens up doors. It creates networks. It allows you the flexibility to do as many things as possible.

Learn more about and register for the AP Institutes.

College Board®, AP*, Advanced Placement Program* and Pre-AP* are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.

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