AP students advance further with new certificate


Photo by Ryan Temple

The forms that students are required to fill out to attain their certificates require detailed information about their high school careers.

Ryan Temple, Editorial Chief

Post graduation plans are a frightening bug in the back of every senior’s mind, but for those who have stuck to difficult courses during their OHS lives’, there is one last achievement left.

For the second consecutive year, OHS is offering the certificate of advanced academics. To qualify for this certificate, students must have taken three honors classes in freshman and sophomore year. In junior year, students need three AP courses or two AP courses and two Dual Enrollment courses. The same is needed in senior year as well.

For Sara Stollar-Yates, Advanced Academics Department Chair, the certificate is a nice way of recognizing advanced students once more at graduation.

“It’s a way to show the work that you’ve done in terms of the rigorous coursework,” Stollar-Yates said. “But it also shows that, in addition to taking the rigorous courses and doing well in those courses, you’re giving back to the community as well.”

This is in reference to the 25 hours of service learning required in both the student’s junior and senior year in addition to the required classes, all of which are needed to attain the certificate.

Some students, including Shelby Kahldon, senior, believe the requirements are slightly too stringent.

“I think it’s a little harsh to say you have to have at least three AP classes,” Kahldon said. “For instance, I had two AP classes last year and Algebra 3-4 H, but Algebra 3-4 H was a difficult class, so I don’t see why that couldn’t have counted.”

Regardless, Kahldon still sees how the certificate can be valuable to graduating seniors.

“For colleges, it shows that you took the initiative to work hard throughout high school and it shows that you were a dedicated student,” Kahldon said.

Nick Ackerman, senior, qualified and applied for the certificate, due to the fact that he fell easily into the requirements. However, he wishes to see some changes for future graduating classes.

“I think it probably needs a couple of years to grow out and become more popular, because right now it’s pretty quiet,” Ackerman said.

Ackerman recommends alerting students of the certificate much earlier, while also creating something definitive that students could put on an application prior to graduation.

Stollar-Yates similarly hopes to see students informed further ahead of time, specifically in regards to the service-learning aspect.

“I’d like to see more emphasis on the service learning part, and really showing students how to initiate programs in their community,” Stollar-Yates said. “It shows that they had a goal and they had some place that they were passionate about other than just doing the service because it looks good.”