With the promise of greater academic success in college and higher graduation rates, many high school students opt to take higher-level courses, such as advanced placement classes.
However, a lack of minority students within these programs in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools has raised concerns for some members of the district.
Peyton Battle, a Chapel Hill High School junior, said she is often the only student of color in her AP classes.
CHHS senior Nicole Branch also said there is less representation of people of color in her AP classes compared to white students.
“There's definitely kind of a sense of not exactly belonging or feeling like you have to do as good as possible to like, prove that you deserve to be there and that you're like as smart as like white students,” Branch said.
Branch said some AP history classes, like European History, often do not involve the histories of people of color.
As of the 2022 to 2023 school year, AP African American Studies has started piloting in 60 schools across the country and will expand to approximately 200 schools, including Chapel Hill High School, in the coming school year.
“The interdisciplinary course reaches into a variety of fields — literature, the arts and humanities, political science, geography and science — to explore the vital contributions and experiences of African Americans,” the College Board website states.
Branch said she thinks it is great College Board has created the class, as it will help students of color become more involved and feel represented in higher-level classes.