Westridge Advanced Courses are designed to promote deeper learning and the critical thinking skills and habits of mind that colleges and employers are looking for today and for the future.
At Westridge, we strive to develop adventurous learners who are strong conceptual and critical thinkers; students who can apply their learning beyond the boundaries of a classroom, discipline, or single, cumulative test; graduates who are prepared for their rapidly-changing futures. With this in mind, our Upper School Advanced Courses were designed by Westridge faculty to provide students with opportunities for deeper learning (or learning that goes below a surface-level understanding), increasing the intellectual rigor of our program and allowing additional time to expand in-depth on specialized topics.
Our Advanced Courses' content and projects are responsive to student interest and real-world events. Students take an active role in their learning and are equipped with the skills they need to tackle any challenges they may face in the future.
In an AP class, you are chugging along to the end goal of taking the AP test, but the advanced courses bring this different focus where you are caring more about the actual process of learning each individual project rather than doing all of this for one big test.
—Katie S. '23
I was seeing students’ love for Latin fizzling out but now (with the new class), students are learning that looking at a Latin text isn’t just about memorizing, learning the vocabulary, and reviewing the grammar. They see it as a piece of art and are making connections to the world and other disciplines.
Upper School Latin Teacher
What's happening in this class is on par with work of college Spanish majors that I taught, and the Westridge students are more engaged.
World Languages & Cultures Department Chair
& Upper School Spanish Teacher
Moving to Advanced Courses
Our Advanced Courses were developed to replace the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) program at Westridge. This move is designed to increase the intellectual rigor of our program and remove the constraints of a curriculum with an inherent need to emphasize speed and memorization on the path to a single, cumulative test.
We introduced our first Advanced Courses in 2022-2023, and will continue to phase in additional courses until fall of 2025, when we will have shifted to Advanced Courses exclusively. Read more about this transition in our Frequently Asked Questions.