Advanced Placement Courses
Some of our upper-level courses at South Medford are designated as AP (Advanced Placement) classes. This means that the curriculum parallels the content tested on the Advanced Placement Tests offered each May by the College Board (a national testing agency).
AP courses are offered at SMHS for the following subjects: Biology, Calculus, Economics, English Composition, English Literature, Comparative Government, US History, Physics, Psychology, Statistics, European History, and Human Geography.
If you take an AP class, it is recorded on your high school transcript and counts as credit toward graduation. To receive college credit, you must take and pass the AP Exam for that subject. If you are interested in taking an AP course, you should talk to your counselor. It is possible to take an AP Test even if you are not enrolled in an AP class. Additionally, while some advanced-level classes may not have the AP designation, their content may still provide excellent preparation for the exam.
You can read more information about Advanced Placement Exams on the College Board website.
AP Coordinator: Jessica Bangma | email@example.com | 541-842-1495
AP Prep English 1 & 2
Designed to prepare students for the scope and rigor of college-level AP courses, AP English Prep will enable students to critically read, analyze, and respond to works of literary merit. Students will study authorial intent, theme, figurative language, rhetoric, argument, and more to build the necessary foundation for success in future AP English classes. Students learn to use syntax correctly and stylistically, to write with precision and clarity for a variety of purposes and audiences. This course provides the necessary foundation for success on the AP language and composition and literature exams. Students completing this course fulfill the district and state requirements for English 1 Honors and English 2 Honors, respectively.
AP Language & Composition
Designed to parallel college-level English courses, AP Language and Composition exposes students to prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of authorial purpose, intended audience, and the subject at hand; students learn to develop stylistic flexibility as they write compositions covering a variety of subjects and intended for various purposes. Students may earn advanced credits through Southern Oregon University or may elect to take the AP Language & Composition exam. Students completing this course fulfill the district & state requirements for English 3 Honors.
AP Literature & Composition
Designed to parallel college-level English courses, AP Literature and Composition introduces students to a variety of literature in order to enrich their understanding of the great works and also to explore the deep and profound questions about life and meaning that authors, playwrights, and poets have been addressing for centuries. This course builds students’ skills, allowing them to 1) read, comprehend, and analyze a broad section of literature from a variety of historical periods, cultures, literary perspectives, and genres; 2) write valid interpretations of literary content and analysis, expressing ideas clearly and skillfully with stylistic maturity, and 3) discuss literary themes with empathy and insight. For those interested, this course qualifies for English 104 & 105 through Advanced Southern Credits.
AP Statistics closely parallels a college-level statistics course, emphasizing reading and problem-solving. The learning strategies, activities, and labs emphasize real-life applications using real data. Calculators and computers will be used. Students will have the opportunity to take the AP Statistics exam. Topics include event probability, probability distributions including binomial and normal distributions, analysis of data, measures of central tendency and variability, random variables, random sampling, central limit theorem, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. College credit may be available through SOU.
AP Calculus AB
Following the College Board’s suggested curriculum designed to parallel college-level calculus courses, AP Calculus AB provides students with an understanding of the concepts of calculus and experience with its methods and applications. This course introduces calculus and includes the following topics: functions, graphs, limits, and continuity; differential calculus (including definition, application, and computation of the derivative; derivative at a point; derivative as a function; and second derivatives); and integral calculus (including definite integrals and antidifferentiation)
AP Calculus BC
(taught at North Medford High School for SMHS students)
AP Calculus BC is a year of Calculus for those students who have already successfully completed first-year Calculus. It is designed to have students deepen their understanding of year one topics in differentiation and integration through additional applications and projects and learn a variety of new topics including sequences and series; Taylor and McClaurin series, and parametric, polar, and vector functions and applications. Upon completion of the course, students will be prepared to take the AP Calculus BC exam and/or earn Calculus 3 college credit through SOU.
Advanced Placement Biology is a year-long college-level course in Biology covering units in cellular energy and communication, heredity and biotechnology, ecology, and plant and animal form and function. This course pursues in-depth analyses of biological concepts and aims to help students gain an appreciation for the amazing workings of the living world as they prepare for the AP test. Students can expect to keep pace with a demanding schedule of reading assignments, laboratory investigations, and out-of-class assignments. College Credit is available through SOU and with qualifying AP test scores. * May be offered every other year.
AP Environmental Science
The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of an introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography. Emphasis will be placed on regional issues and field trips will be part of the curriculum. There is a $10 lab fee to help with these experiences. Most four-year colleges grant college credit with qualifying AP Exam scores.
The AP Chemistry course provides students with college level coursework that gives an exceptional foundation for success in future accredited coursework. Students develop advanced inquiry and reasoning skills as they cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations and explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces, and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. The course follows guidelines established by AP Central and provides readiness for the study of advanced topics in subsequent college courses.
AP U.S. Government and Politics is a college-level, year-long course that not only seeks to prepare students for success on the AP exam in May, but also provide students with the political knowledge and reasoning processes to participate meaningfully and thoughtfully in discussions and debates that are currently shaping American politics and society. It is important to note that this course is not a history course; it is a political science course that studies the interconnectedness of the different parts of the American political system as well as the behaviors and attitudes that shape this system and are the byproduct of this system.
AP U.S. Government and Politics accomplishes these goals by framing the acquisition of political knowledge around enduring understandings and big ideas about American government and politics that can be applied to a set of disciplinary practices by using a set of reasoning processes. Through the development of this set of political knowledge, disciplinary practices, and reasoning processes, students will be able to analyze current and historical political events like a political scientist and develop factually accurate, well-reasoned, thoughtful arguments and opinions that acknowledge and grapple with alternative political perspectives.
AP Human Geography
This course is for Freshman students only. Articulated with the College Board’s curriculum and designed to parallel college-level Human Geography courses, AP Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped the ways in which humans understand, use and alter the earth’s surface. Major topics of study include spatial analysis, population, migration, culture, language, religion, ethnicity, political geography, economic development, industry, agriculture, and urban geography. Students take the AP Human Geography exam in May.
AP US History
AP US History prepares students for the AP exam in US History and provides students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the events, people, concepts, and problems associated with United States history. Students learn to assess historical materials and to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. AP United States History is equivalent to an entry-level college survey course. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May.
AP Psychology is a college-level course designed to prepare students to pass the AP exam in Psychology in May. The course focuses on the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students in this course will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Topics include research methods, the biology of the mind, human development, sensation and perception, learning, memory, motivation, emotions, personality, social psychology, abnormal behavior, and therapy, among others. This course has more depth and a faster pace than the regular psychology course and involves extensive reading and writing.
AP Spanish Language
The AP Spanish Language course is comparable to advanced-level college or university Spanish Classes. This course uses real-life topics in theme-based instruction to develop competency in three modes of communication: interpretative, interpersonal, and presentational. Contextualized study allows for strengthening cultural awareness, grammar, and vocabulary through theme based curriculum and authentic sources (Adapted from AP Central). At the end of this year of study, the student will have the opportunity to take the Spanish Language Advanced Placement test. With a score of 4 or higher on the AP test or passing the STAMP assessment and the completion of graduation requirements, students are eligible for the Oregon Department of Education Bi-literacy Seal.
AP Spanish Literature
The AP Spanish Literature course is designed to provide students with a learning experience equivalent to that of an introductory college course in literature, written in Spanish. The course introduces students to Peninsular Spanish, Latin American Spanish, and U.S. Hispanic literature. The course provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their proficiency in Spanish across the three modes of communication (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational). The overarching aims of the course are to provide students with ongoing and varied opportunities to further develop their proficiencies across the full range of language skills - with special attention to critical reading and analytical writing-and to encourage them to reflect on the many voices and cultures included in a rich and diverse body of literature written in Spanish.
AP French Language
This exam is an option for students in French 4.