Reviews of online AP Chemistry providers

<p>Our school district will likely raise the minimum number of kids that have to register for a class in order to offer it. This change may eliminate AP Chemistry next year in D's school if not enough kids register for it. </p>

<p>We want to be prepared to present administration with a high quality alternative.</p>

<p>Does anybody have any specific reviews of AP Chemistry from any of the following providers, or any others not listed here. Many well known providers (EPGY, FLVS, VHS) don't offer it. </p>

<p>Northwestern Center for Talent Development (CTD)
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY)
APEX (Used in a number of Virtual Schools such as Kentucky, Michigan)
Aventa (Used in a number of Virtual Schools such as Wisconsin)
Georgia Virtual School
Virtual Virginia
Keystone </p>

<p>Are any of these better suited to a small group of kids that work well together? </p>

<p>Thanks in advance.</p>

<p>My school used Virtual High School. Looking at the course catalogue, it seems like one of the Chem courses (Advanced Topics in Chemistry Section RN) is going through some kind of redesignation. It's listed as Honors, but all the material for it refers to it as being an AP, so whether it's becoming an AP or becoming an Honors, I'm not sure. You could contact them to find out what's going on. I had good experiences with VHS (although I didn't do Chemistry) and would recommend them.</p>

<p>How about a summer course at a local college? Your daughter would get the lab (in person) aspect too.</p>

<p>Great suggestion, BCEagle! OP, check the summer courses offered at your local community colleges. Chemistry is a hands-on science, and the lab component is important (and possibly fun).</p>

<p>An AP science course without the lab component surely wouldn't be accepted for college credit, would it? Certainly not for the same credit as an AP science course with labs.</p>

<p>Isn't credit given at colleges for merely passing the AP test with a certain result? There are a number of kids who self-study and take AP tests.</p>

<p>I believe some colleges treat the AP science courses need the lab component to receive full credit. But right now, I can't find a reference to back that statement up. I will keep looking. Does anyone else have an example?</p>

<p>Here is a related article: <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

“Members of the College Board insist that college-level laboratory science courses not be labeled ‘A.P.’ without a physical lab,” the board said in a letter sent to online schools in April. “Online science courses can only be labeled ‘A.P.’ if the online provider” can ensure “that students have a guided, hands-on (not virtual) laboratory experience.”</p>

<p>But after an outcry by online schools, the board issued an apology in June, acknowledging that “there may be new developments” in online learning that could merit its endorsement.


<p>Not sure of the status of the 'new developments'. This article was written in 2006.</p>

<p>Here's a site to UCLA AP credit policy in chemistry. It looks as if the test result is the only thing that the school looks at (in other words, they don't look at whether the AP class had a lab or not). But different departments give different credits (or none at all) for the AP chemistry test.</p>

<p>University</a> of California - Counselors</p>



<p>I think that some online classes have "virtual labs." I guess you can mix those chemicals but avoid the explosion!</p>

<p>Thanks everybody. D's not interested in doing this over the summer, she has other plans. We're talking about effectively offering the class to a group of motivated kids without having to pay for a whole teacher. </p>

<p>I'm hoping that with an online course taken by a number of kids, where the online provider can handle teaching, homeworks, grading, that the school district can at least supply a chemistry teacher and a lab 2 hours a week to supervise real labs. That has to cost a lot less than teaching a whole section of AP Chem. The science curriculum director at the school seems quite reasonable and seems distressed himself by the budget situation.</p>

<p>My daughter did the Johns Hopkins CTY online AP Chemistry course one summer. She couldn't make the schedule work to go to a community college, which she would have preferred.</p>

<p>The CTY course was pretty bad and I resented the high cost we paid for such lousy teaching. I had had some email conversations with the regular instructor, who sounded wonderful. I wanted to make sure there were labs, and she assured me that they did plenty of them, both hands-on (kitchen chemistry) and an interesting online approach where the students could design experiments that would connect to real-world data sets, which made the process of analysis and interpretation nicely challenging.</p>

<p>I'm guessing that they had too many students for the regular instructor and had to hire an extra teacher at the last minute. This teacher made the labs optional and seemed to discourage students from doing them. Worse than that, her answers to student questions were unhelpful and sounded automated. There was one particular concept (titration) that my daughter struggled with and couldn't get her mind around - she read the material, looked around the web, etc. but she really wanted a teacher to listen to her and figure out where her thinking was confused. This teacher just kept telling her to reread the section one more time. For $1200, I expected more. I honestly began to wonder by the end if this teacher was actually an AI experiment and not a person at all.</p>

<p>On the bright side, my daughter did learn, though she wasn't sure how much she was getting at the time. She is doing great in chemistry as a college freshman this year. She placed into the middle class and finds the material very accessible.</p>

<p>Thanks for the responses so far, please keep them coming. </p>

<p>I agree that a real lab seems pretty essential. I'd hope the school can make that work. </p>

<p>CTY seems to be the most expensive option, and their rigidity with admissions may rule out some kids. I'm a little surprised by Calreader's experience, but not THAT surprised. </p>

<p>I've searched CC and have seen poor reviews of APEX AP Chem. </p>

<p>tli83: I didn't realize that what VHS offered was the same material as the AP Chem curriculum. Perhaps they didn't get college board accreditation. I'm wondering if that combined with a local lab instructor could be a good combination. </p>

<p>We had good experience with CTD's summer programs but don't know if their online programs are of the same high quality. I'd love to hear any experiences with CTD's learning links for AP classes.</p>

<p>You might look at the Chem classes offered at BYU online. The teacher is well-established, has published a text and they use a "virtual lab" that you can see a demo of that seems pretty cool and is used in some colleges. It is not entirely crazy to consider doing such an online course and then self-studying for the AP Chem test, I think. I looked into this when my daughter was doing an alternative junior year program that precluded the regular chem class and the community college option schedule wouldn't work. I liked everything I learned about it. We ended up just postponing to Chem in senior year--but you might find it works as an alternative for you. Don't be put off by the BYU religious connection..I was skeptical at first but ended up impressed by what was offered. (Just don't agree with the LDS stance on some social issues.. actually admire the strength of the community building and committment to distance learning for those who need and want it.)</p>

<p>Have used Apex for a number of online classes, but not for AP.
They are quite comprehensive, but cover a lot of material in a short time period. Sometimes the amount of information is not sufficient in the online material, definitely need to get a sense of who the instructor will be, and what their availibility will be.</p>

<p>My child took two online classes at BYU to get the state-required HS credits for health and fitness. There was no "religious propaganda" such as push for abstinence, etc.</p>

<p>I do not have any personal experience with this online school, but it has been advertised as an accredited HS in our state:</p>

<p>Insight</a> School of Washington Tuition-Free Online High School</p>

<p>It does offer AP Chemistry:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I took four BYU online classes to graduate early. They were social sciences so there was a definite conservative lean (extreme patriotism, overly benign recounts of historical oppression, very negative views on drug use, etc.), but I have no doubt that the program will not be biased in chemistry. I found BYU's courses very shoddy and actually got through a semester's worth of American Institutions credit in a three-day weekend, but if you use the course for the AP exam specifically then it would likely be beneficial, though not as good as some other options (below).</p>

<p>Lab experience for general chemistry is not as important as it seems. I'm a chemistry major myself and did not attend the optional lab held at the state school I currently attend when I took AP Chem in HS and did not feel that I suffered for it at all. As for credits, a close connection to the department chair and some other chemistry-related work (ACS HS Chemistry Olympiad, a summer chem course at said school, etc.), I was able to remove one of the general lab requirements necessary for a chemistry degree at my school without having taken the lab sections... even as a chemistry major! Your mileage may vary.</p>

<p>UC</a> Berkeley Webcasts | Video and Podcasts: Spring 2009 Courses
Berkeley does a good job with web courses, especially for organic chemistry, which I took (read "viewed") over the summer to familiarize myself with the subject. There is very, very little variation in general chemistry courses, so if your student has the motivation to read from a college textbook, watch lectures online, and ask questions via the internet, they should do fine on the AP test, which is mostly all that schools care for. Labs are much easier to fit into your schedule than a whole gen. chem. course, so even if you don't get credits for the lab, it beats not getting credits for any chemistry at all.</p>