AP Psychology goes dual credit

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Missouri Baptist website expaining the Acheive program.

AP Psychology is one of the most popular classes Oakville has to offer. Taught by Nicholas Aboussie, students have been finding an interest in the inner workings of their minds and are intrigued by the engaging labs, involved projects and interesting content.

A new opportunity is being offered to those interested in taking AP Psychology. Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, AP Psychology will offer dual credit, which allows students to earn college credit for their classes through Missouri Baptist’s Achieve program. 

Students will earn their credit by taking six to eight tests throughout the year. The average of the test scores will determine the students’ Missouri Baptist grade and result in three credit hours. Each credit hour will cost $104, equaling $312. Aboussie hopes that the reputation of the psychology program and the chance to have more opportunities for college credit will inspire students to join the program. 

According to Aboussie, the psychology classes at Oakville have been increasingly popular for the past 15 years. Started by the recently retired Susan Caton, students have been enjoying the class due to the personalities of their teachers and the relatability of the content. 

I feel that our personalities, the way we teach the subject, and by word of mouth of students have pushed our numbers up. Plus the information in the class is applicable to students now,” Aboussie said. “I also think that the social studies department has done a tremendous job of demonstrating the value of psychology to students, as it’s a subject matter that all students will most likely have after high school.”

Caton has been a huge influence on Aboussie as he navigated teaching psychology. Caton wrote the curriculum for AP Psychology 15 years ago and since Aboussie joined her, the pair has worked closely ever since, until recently, when Caton decided to finally retire from Oakville. 

“[Caton] wrote the curriculum underneath the guidance of the College Board, which sets up specific units of study, learning objectives and terminology that must be covered. Ms. Caton then went to a College Board AP Psychology conference to become certified. This two day conference makes instructors aware of the expectations, provides professional development opportunities and involves networking possibilities,” Aboussie said. “After the two previous steps were completed, she designed a syllabus that was approved by the College Board. From there, I got involved about seven years ago when she asked me to take one of her sections, and I had to do the same process as above.” 

The well-liked course will largely remain the same, except for the addition of the assessments that students will take throughout the school year. The future of AP Psychology looks strong at OHS, as six sections have been confirmed for the 22-23 school year. There is no lack of interest, and students are excited about the new opportunity for college credit. 

“When I first found out that AP Psychology was going to be dual credit, it really gave me the encouragement I needed to take the class,” future AP Psychology student Brooke Rahden (11) said, “given that it would benefit both my future college experience and overall credit.”