Institute Inspires Advanced Placement Teachers

UT Dallas Classes Help Hone Skills in Pre-College Course Instruction

Aug. 1, 2008

Many high school students imagine their teachers spending summers enjoying good books, taking long vacations and generally staying away from the classroom.

That’s not the case, however, for Advanced Placement (AP) teachers who spend part of their summer at UT Dallas learning above-and-beyond curriculum methods to teach their gifted students.

The university’s School of General Studies is hosting about 700 high school and middle school AP and Pre-AP teachers for its 13th AP Summer Institute. 

Teachers are choosing from 29 courses, ranging from biology to studio arts, to hone their skills for the upcoming school year.  The sessions are scheduled for July 28-Aug. 1 and Aug. 11-15.

“We look at this not only as a chance to provide a much-needed service to the educational community, but also to showcase UT Dallas to those who recommend colleges to high school students,” said Scherry F. Johnson, Director of Teacher Education with the School of General Studies.

Brock Rustin, an English teacher beginning his second year with Allen ISD, is attending the Institute to prepare for his first year of Pre-AP instruction.

“I want to teach Pre-AP because it’s more intellectually engaging for me,” said Rustin. “I get more excited about the material; I get more excited about the interaction between students and teachers.” 

Gayla Kelemen, a veteran teacher with Grand Prairie ISD, likes teaching AP courses at the high school level because of the type of student who is attracted to the AP curriculum.

“The kids have a vision; they see the end, and they’re ready to move on to something different,” said Kelemen. “Most of them are self-motivated, self-disciplined.”

Grand Prairie requires training for AP and pre-AP teachers every three years. She chose UT Dallas because it fit into her schedule and she enjoyed the Institute when she attended two years ago.

“This is a drive for me. I could go to TCU or UTA, but schedule-wise, this one fit me better, and I enjoyed it last time I came, so I came back.”

UT Dallas has a chance to shine while hosting these visitors, offering Summer Institute participants a taste of life on campus.

“Many teachers, even those from school districts very near our campus, do not know much about the University,” Johnson said. “Thanks to their time on campus at the Institute, they take home a very positive experience that they can share with students.”

For more information regarding the AP Summer Institute, visit www.utdallas.edu/teach/apsi.


Media Contacts:  Karah Hosek, UT Dallas, 972-883-4329, karah.hosek@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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