Advanced Courses FAQs
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 below.
- Why is Westridge making this change? What prompted reconsideration of APs?
- Will the Advanced Courses be as rigorous as AP courses?
- What are the criteria for the new Advanced Courses? How will you assure students are challenged?
- Will Westridge administer AP exams, and will the new Advanced Courses prepare students to sit for AP exams?
- How will the elimination of AP courses impact students’ college admissions?
- Aren’t APs more important than ever in college admissions when many schools are moving away from SATs?
- Will a lack of AP courses impact admission to University of California schools because that system relies so heavily on standard measures?
- What other schools have shifted from APs to their own advanced courses?
- Why have you decided to move to unweighted grades?
- Will students be hurt in the college admission process because their grades will no longer be weighted?
- How will Westridge’s new approach to advanced classes be communicated to colleges and universities?
- Will students be able to gain college credit for their Advanced Courses like they can for AP courses?
- Is it true that international universities require AP scores in their applications?
- How will students categorize Advanced Courses on the Common App?
- Is this being done to decrease student stress?
- What does this paradigm shift in Westridge’s approach to advanced learning mean for the lower divisions of the school?
- Westridge School 2020-2025 Strategic Plan (PDF)
- "Searching for Deeper Learning," The Harvard Gazette
- "Trends Lines: Revisiting the AP Debate," NAIS Magazine
- "Purpose Learning: Reimagining What & How Students Learn," NAIS Magazine
- "What if Weighted Grades are Meaningless," Inside Higher Ed
- "15 Soft Skills You Need to Succeed When Entering the Workforce," Forbes
- "The Quest for Deeper Learning" (30 min), Harvard Graduate School of Education
- "Deeper Learning," NAIS (video)
- "Designing Backward to Move Forward" (45 min), NAIS (podcast)
- "Turning the Tide: Inspiring Concern for Others and the Common Good through College Admissions," Making Caring Common, A Project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education