Social studies keeps AP Psych in mind

Every year, various departments at Saint Viator re-assess their course offerings to ensure they align with student interests. Recently, the social studies department had students take a survey to gage student interest in new courses. One of the new options was AP Psychology. Course enrollment and student interest prompt the consideration for this addition, as it has for other courses in the past.
“With the number of people interested in psychology, this would be a good offering for us to consider for students where we could have two levels of psychology,” said Mrs. Maureen Martin, the Social Studies Department Chair.
A one-semester psychology class is already offered along with a self-paced online college psychology course. However, AP Psych will provide a more intensive, in-person study into the human mind.
“It follows the College Board material,” said Mrs. Martin. “There is more rigor and more specific content. [Students] have to work with more experiments as examples, and there’s the national exam at the end of the year.”
As with all decisions, there are benefits and drawbacks to adding AP Psychology to the social studies course offerings. One major drawback is rooms and scheduling. By adding another course, finding an available room and a teacher that can fit the class in their daily schedule will be an obstacle. Another difficulty would be burdening students with an overload of homework.
“APs have a lot of workload, so students really have to be committed for a class like that,” said Mrs. Martin.
One benefit of adding AP Psych as a course is that students have another choice when selecting courses. Another perk is that students who want to study psychology in college will gain a strong foundation in the field before they get to college.
Yet, many decisions have to be made in order for AP Psych to become a reality. The Social Studies Department would need to create a proposal to present to the administration and school leadership team in November. These groups would then decide whether or not the course should be offered the next school year. Other considerations include whether the AP Psych course should be one- or two-semesters and if the regular psychology course should still be offered.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the addition of an AP Psychology course, one thing is for certain: Saint Viator’s academic departments are constantly seeking new ways to fulfill student interests.